I love the idea of baking, but my attempts are sporadic. I'm no great heath bean - but sometimes find the large quantities of eggs, butter and sugar needed for baking a little scary.
There is no need to fear with these lovely, rather healthy Christmas muffins. They are vegan - and very light! They are also effortless in terms of baking rituals. Eating one of these little beauties, I kind of felt better about the inevitable, impending Christmas feasting. They would also be perfect for a festive, but light and reasonably healthy start to Christmas day, or a nice addition to a little Christmas morning buffet you might be planning.
However, be warned, the fresh cranberries are really tangy! I love this contrast against the sweetness of the dried figs. If you like a sweeter muffin, you could use dried cranberries - or a half fresh, half dried mix of cranberries.
The bright reds of these Christmas muffins really bought back memories of a trip taken earlier this year to Colmar in Alsace, France. The city is well know for its wintery Christmas markets - and while we were there during summer, there were bright red and green reminders of Christmas dotted all over the town. I would love to return one day to see the falling snow and the Christmas markets in all their glory!
Raspberry, fig and cranberry Christmas muffins
1/4 cup dried figs, finely chopped
1/2 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup raspberry & cranberry juice
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup whole meal self raising flour
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Step 1: mix together dried figs, sugar and cranberry juice. Leave to sit for a good hour, so the figs soak up lots of the juice and soften.
Step 2: preheat oven to 220C and grease muffin tray or add paper baking cups.
Step 3: add oil and vanilla to figs, sugar and juice mix, whisk to combine.
Step 4: in another bowl, mix flours and salt together. Carefully pour this mix into the figgy juice mixture. Stir to remove the lumps.
Step 5: fold the raspberries and cranberries into the batter.
Step 6: spoon into muffin tin and fill cups to the top. Bake for around 20 mins and then remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire baking rack.