Recipe #10: Clementine and Oat Muffins

What is it?: A breakfast muffin for the sweet-toothed citrus lover

Occasion: Just breakfast

Short and Sweet in South East London is now in double-figures *blows imaginary party-popper*.  Although this should have given me the push to carry on through more of the recipes, this week I hit something of a brick wall.  Firstly, work was super-duper beyond busy, so all I wanted to do with my evenings was curl up on the couch and watch trash TV (I barely even cooked – shocker!) And secondly, I decided to choose this week to give up smoking, my all-time favourite thing after eating and drinking.  So not only am I massively grouchy and developing a strange habit for holding pens like cigarettes, I now have the inevitable ‘clear-out’ cough which makes me feel like the perma-tanned grandmother from Benidorm.  In all of this doom and gloom, however, I did find the time to cheer myself up by making one little thing from Short and Sweet, the delicious-sounding clementine and oat muffins.

These are a perfect breakfast muffin (and who doesn’t love a good muffin at breakfast?!) as they contain two of the most common breakfast foods – orange juice and oatmeal. See – guilt free!  They are fairly quick and easy to make, especially when you have a shiny new Kitchen Aid, so you could even make them in the morning and eat them warm from the tin.  The prep and mixing of the ingredients takes about 25 minutes and the cooking itself also takes about 25 minutes – so maybe not great for a weekday morning, but certainly good for the weekend.  Although I try to stick to Dan’s recipes as much as possible, I made one small change here and substituted the 50g rolled oats for 50g medium oatmeal.  I had a load left from the ingredients for the lemon and poppy-seed cake, so decided this would make good use of them.  Flavour-wise, it probably makes little difference, but the texture would be less coarse than using the larger oats.

Although these muffins tasted very wholesome and were substantial enough to have alone for breakfast, I was a little disappointed by the flavour of them.  Most of the citrus flavour came from the slick of icing (made with clementine juice and zest and icing sugar) drizzled over the top, and the muffin itself just seemed to have little ‘punch’.  I started thinking that, perhaps if I were to make them again, I would add a little spice to the batter to try to lift it – some freshly grated nutmeg or a little pinch of mixed spice could work perfectly.

In other news:

Since this week has been so hellish, I will instead think back to last weekend’s activities.  On Sunday, I went for lunch with three lovely ladies, Sam, Laura and Lauren, to Song Que on the Kingsland Road.  Despite my love of Vietnamese food, I had never before ventured far north enough to encounter Song Que.  I have found with the Vietnamese restaurants of the Kingsland Road, most people find one they like and become incredibly monogamous – until now my heart belonged to Tay Do, however after hearing a rave review of Song Que’s soft shell crab, I decided to defect. I ordered the crab for lunch as well as some pork with chilli and lemongrass – both were delicious, but perhaps not quite worthy of the huge amount of praise they were given, but the star of the show, the iced Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk was beyond amazing and will definitely draw me back to Song Que in the future.

Song Que, 134 Kingsland Road, London E2 8DY.

*Please visit the ‘Recipe Index’ section of this blog for a link to Dan’s recipe (via www.guardian.co.uk)

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