“I’m going down to get more jam”, said my boyfriend’s voice, suddenly, breaking into my thoughts. As some of you may know, I’ve been working rather hard recently writing my book, and it’s hard to switch gears when someone talks to you suddenly; your mind is far away in the world you created.
“Mm”, I said.
Then I realised what he’d said. “Hang on”, I said, a little indignantly. “There’s almost half a bottle of that lemon and orange marmalade left.” I make and bottle my own preserves, and we never open a new jar until we’ve scraped everything we can out of our current jar.
He leaned against the door frame and informed me that he was, quite frankly, tired of marmalade, and wanted to know if I had a flavour in mind. I shook my head (he chose strawberry) and made a note to myself to ‘use up’ the lemon and orange marmalade. I’ve been wanting bread pudding for a long time, and I don’t know about you, but lemon and orange marmalade bread pudding sounds pretty good to me.
Then the weather, which had been taunting us with hints of summer, changed overnight, as it does in this part of the world. It was no longer a hint, but a full blown summer that is currently making us groan with trepidation as we contemplate the hellish sunny weather ahead. We turned the air conditioning on, got out the sun shades for the back garden, and I looked out the popsicle moulds.
To be honest, I no longer felt like bread pudding. I felt like I’d rather run a mile than look a bread pudding squarely in the face.
So, this was the second obvious answer. We always have fresh bread for breakfast on Saturday mornings and on Sunday mornings we eat breakfast at a local cafe that serves gorgeous crispy fried eggs, whole wheat toast, and thick slices of French toast slathered in syrup. I usually make croissants or rolls or bread for Saturday mornings, but sometimes we get fresh chocolate croissants in from a local bakery. As I had decided to resurrect my food blog over the week, I decided to make lemon and orange marmalade muffins for our Saturday morning breakfast – and invite you all to it! What could be better, right?
These gorgeous muffins are really easy to whip up and they taste like you’ve gone to a lot of trouble! They’re a perfect way to use up any leftover marmalade you may have, and even if you don’t have lemon and orange marmalade, you can use either lemon or orange. It doesn’t have to be both. The taste of the muffin itself is of rolled oats and subtle hints of citrus goodness, and the yoghurt gives it a softness and a lift, but when you add the lemony cream cheese topping the citrus goes from subtle to whoa in a second. Honestly, if you’re a citrus fan, this is a gorgeous and delectable breakfast treat, and perfect for a lazy summer weekend breakfast!
Recipe: Awanthi Vardaraj
Makes: 10 – 12
175 grams plain flour
25 grams porridge oats
175 grams sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
150 grams plain yoghurt
5 tablespoons marmalade
Zest and juice of one orange (or if you’re using lemon marmalade, use the zest and juice of one lemon)
125 grams cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon orange zest (or lemon)
1 teaspoon orange juice (or lemon)
Icing sugar to taste (I forgot to weigh it, but just keep tasting it as you add it a couple of tablespoons at a time; the final result needs to be sweet _and_ tangy)
1) Preheat the oven to 180C and line a muffin tin with 10 paper cases. If you’re not using paper cases, you need to grease the muffin tin.
2) Combine everything together.
3) Spoon mixture into the cases; I use an ice cream scoop because it’s easy, but you can use anything you like. The cases must be 3/4 full of the mixture.
4) Bake for twenty minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
5) For the topping, combine everything together.
6) Once the muffins are cooled completely, top them with the cream cheese topping.
7) Sit back and be adored.
PS: In case you hadn’t noticed, the name of the blog has changed! It is now (and will forever be) called ‘The Writing Cook’. I know I took a long hiatus – but I’m back!