Muffin Mondays : Hazelnut & Cherry Jam Muffins

5 Mar

I missed Muffin Mondays so many weeks in a row. I have to admit that I did miss baking muffins.

What do I miss about it?

Well, making muffins was not just about baking muffins. It was the whole process, the journey of waking up early on a Saturday morning while the house is still sound asleep, tip toeing to the kitchen and looking at my Money plant that is growing so well. The the leaves are large and dark green, spreading themselves to form a sort of shade over the sink. I see new tendrils wrapping themselves around the older thicker stems. It is such a joy. Then I take a deep breath and look at my recipe book. Yes I have a recipe book which has sheaves of papers, cuttings, scraps of recipes, scribbles and food quotes. I rummage through them and find the latest recipe that An has sent us all. I had written it down quickly the night before so that I could start making the muffins, unhindered. I preheat the oven with a light of a matchstick and warm my hands. Then I grease my new heart-shaped silicon muffin moulds and suddenly just looking at them takes me back in time. I am reminded of my honeymoon, the day that I got married, the day Mimi was born, the day I resigned from my job, the day I walked off from office and took a plane to see my hubby in the UK and never returned for the next 1 year, the day when I fell terribly sick when my hubby was away and there was nobody to buy me medicines, the day when Mimi walked for the first time, the nights when I had to rock a 2 month old Mimi to sleep, falling asleep in the process.

Memories keep tumbling over each other, building blocks and then falling again. They race against each other for my time to reminiscence them in detail. I shake the unpleasant ones off and dwell on the nicer ones. The ones that make me smile as I mix the batter for my muffins. The roasted hazelnut reminds me of the smoky nights in Delhi when my hubby and I were still dating and he would drop me home. We would linger around at the door of my paying guest apartment wondering what we should do. To steal a kiss or a peck when nobody was looking and then I rush indoors while he lingered some more at the door before finally saying good-bye until we met again the following day.

The batter, now looked smooth and shiny with the hazelnut browned bits peeping out. I dollop a spoonful in the cups and then add a spoonful of cherry jam and then cover it all up another dollop of the batter.

I woke up from my stupor and realized I had spent a lot of time reminiscing and I need to prep everything by the time my family woke up. Breakfast had to be laid, tea had to be brewed, bread had to be toasted and fruits had to be washed. Yet again, I fell back into thinking about a time when we had no worries, my hubby and I would take off as soon as we woke up for a car ride across the city, right to the opposite end of the city to have a sumptuous breakfast at Chandni chowk in Delhi. Alas, such spontaneity I miss sometimes but life has given me so many moments to treasure and make up for the ones that I miss.

Now for the Recipe, I halved the recipe and got 7 muffins. But when I took the first bite, I regretted halving the recipe. It was a good, good muffin to have around the house for a mid day snack or a late night binge. The original recipe called for plum jam but I had cherry and fig preserves and used them instead. My toddler who is an ardent Jam hater ate around the jam and spat the fruit preserves out. So I think I can declare these muffins a hit, I suppose. I am jotting down the recipe with its original proportions.

The Recipe for Hazelnut – Cherry Jam Muffins

From Women’s Weekly

Ingredients

90 grams butter, melted

21/2 cups (375 grams) self raising flour

1/2 cup (55 grams) hazelnut meal ( I roasted hazelnuts and then ground them using mortal and pestle. They weren’t very fine and that gave the muffins a very nibble worthy texture)

2/3 cup (150 grams) caster sugar

1 egg, beaten lightly

1 cup (250 ml) milk

1/2 cup (160 grams) plum jam ( I used cherry jam and fig jam)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 200C/gas mark 6/400F

2. Grease a 12 hole muffin pan or line with muffin liners

3. In a large bowl, combine butter, flour, hazelnut meal, sugar, egg and milk.

4. Spoon half of the muffin mixture into the prepared pan and make a well in each muffin, spoon in rounded teaspoons of jam and top with remaing muffin mixture

5. Bake for 18-20 minutes


So you see, muffin making means all this to me; early mornings, tantalizing aroma of muffins baking and memory-walking. Like I mentioned before, it is a process and I enjoy every single step. But this time, I took it a step further and while my muffins were baking and turning into golden domes, I hurriedly walked to my cupboard and got my photo album out. I flipped through as many photos I could in those 20 minutes before I got my golden cups of hazelnut-cherry deliciousness out. I scattered the photos all over the table as I took my first bite and savoured the freshly baked muffin. Then the memories started to rearrange themselves keeping in order with the photographs that I had lined up. My Saturday morning was spent nibbling on this perky, full of flavour and jam-filled gorgeousness of a muffin. Every muffin baking adventure has had me going back and forth in time and that is why I enjoy it so much. The spell was broken when my toddler walked into the kitchen and promptly climbed my lap. We shuffled through the photos together, one by one and she was so happy to recognize every face in each photograph.

If you want to experience a wonderful weekend like I did, then you need to get in touch with Anuradha because Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week

42 Responses to “Muffin Mondays : Hazelnut & Cherry Jam Muffins”

  1. bikram March 5, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    Yummmyyyyyy and along with it all the moments u have described…
    The good old days of dating. Seeing old pictures .. Awesome…

  2. Cass @foodmyfriend March 5, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    Absolutely beautiful Anita! You really do seem to have a life built around delicious food. And such a gorgeous family 🙂

    • Anita Menon March 5, 2012 at 9:16 am #

      Thank you Cassandra. Yes my life really does revolve around all the good food !

  3. yummychunklet March 5, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    Aw! What cute baby photos! Your muffins look delicious with that jam center!

  4. Suman Khajuria March 5, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    Yummy post Anita!

  5. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen March 5, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    Those heart-shaped muffins are beautiful, and I love the jam flavors you used. Your family photos look so cute and the memories precious!

    • Anita Menon March 5, 2012 at 9:15 am #

      Thank you Maya. It was wonderful baking with you this week

  6. Marie March 5, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Oh your words are more delicious than those muffins. I love how you lose yourself in all your wonderful memories, it’s good to never forget them and make sure your kids know them. That is the reason I started a blog. I feel I don’t really know my mom’s life when she was a child or a young mother. I always want my kids to know me, my thoughts, and how much they are loved and cherished.

    • Anita Menon March 5, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      What a beautiful comment Marie. I started the blog to do just that. Thanks!! xx

  7. Baker Street March 5, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Your baby girl is adorable! I love that you picked cherry and fig. So glad you baked with us this week!

  8. Gayathri March 5, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    Loved everything about the post – the write-up, the muffins, the pictures and the memories…And reminiscing is the best thing to do when you have the whole house to yourself esp., during the early mornings in the weekend.

  9. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com March 5, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    What a great walk along your memory lane, accompanied with delicious muffins. You have a beautiful family 🙂

  10. Tandy March 5, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    what lovely memories you have shared with us 🙂

  11. La @ FoodSlice March 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    It feels like such a waste to sleep through my Saturday mornings, now. I guess its time for me to get a muffin pan. Especially because i have grape jam in my fridge and i want a jam centred muffin or mini cake now.
    Oh and love the photo slides on the side bar of the blog. Just saw it today

    • Anita Menon March 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      thanks La. You should join the monday muffin gang now.

  12. Farwin March 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Anita,your words are so true! The process of baking takes me back in time,too.What lovely memories you shared with us !

    • Anita Menon March 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

      Thank you for your lovely comment Farwin. 😀

  13. Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb March 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    I like your new molds, the heart shape is adorable. Baking is surely a process, I guesse cooking in general, like a ritual. With each dish we associate a story part in our live a memory, thats why I guesse food is more then just food and we dont just throw ingredients together but also emotions into the mixing bowl and into the oven. =)

    Its nice to watch creeper plants grow, right? =)

    • Anita Menon March 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

      Yes to everything you just said Helene.! Couldn’t agree more.

  14. Stay-At-Home-Chef March 5, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    What a lovely post – so beautifully written! There’s just something about muffins that is nostalgic. Talk about true comfort food 🙂

  15. FoodBabbles March 6, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    I love the idea of cherries and hazelnuts. Yum!!! Cherries are one of my very favorite fruits so I would love your muffins for sure. And the heart shaped muffins are just too cute. Nice job!

  16. anh@anhsfoodblog.com March 6, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    I have not had cherry jam for the longest time! using it in muffins is wonderful 🙂

  17. Audrey March 6, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    Cherry is my favorite pie filling 🙂 These look just wonderful.

  18. Ameena March 6, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Such sweet memories…love the photo too.

    I think it’s awesome that you can remember all these amazing things that have happened to you…all thanks to your muffin moulds.

  19. Deboshree March 6, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Super awesome post! It was like a trip down memory, oops muffin lane. 😀

  20. Deeps @ Naughty Curry March 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    i enjoy baking but im always concentrating so hard on the measurements, temp, whisking etc that nothing else has any space in my muddled brain! u take it to a whole new level, reading the beautiful words makes me wanna bake like how u do surrounded by memories & photographs.. what a wonderful way to begin ur day 🙂 those muffins look sinful, esp with the jam filling and all. will def be making the whole recipe

    • Anita Menon March 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

      Your comment is so beautiful Deepthi. Thank you so much!

  21. Suchi March 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Hi, I am new to your blog. You have a lovely space. Love the muffins with the jam centres and enjoyed reading your reminiscences… cheers!

  22. Anzz March 6, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

    So many memories, so many moments.! That time in the morning before the world wakes up, all alone in the kitchen …. pure bliss.! My son would love those jam filled muffins… he is a total mixed fruit jam junkie..!

    • Anita Menon March 7, 2012 at 7:32 am #

      Thanks Anzz. You live so close by, we ought to meet up and then maybe I can handover these jam muffins to you for your adorable children

  23. I Live in a Frying Pan March 7, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Yay for the resurgence of Muffin Mondays!! Loved loved loved reading this post, you’re so poetic with the way you describe your experiences and memories, I feel like I’m a fly on the wall just watching those memories develop (creepy thought, but this post did that to me.)

    All I can say is, TGIMM. [Thank God it’s Muffin Mondays.]

  24. Meenakshi March 8, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    ‘Roasted hazelnut reminds me of smoky nights in Delhi…’ I love how you effortlessly blend stories in with your recipes, and make everything so beautiful. Lovely pictures of baby Mimi! And I really like that green lacy mat!

  25. hotlyspiced March 9, 2012 at 4:46 am #

    Your post inspired a lot of memories in me! I love the look of your muffins with the cherry jam. Love the image of the muffin broken in two – gorgeous!

  26. maha March 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Oh my god..such a mouthwateringmuffins..it looks just awesome…vl try 4 sure….
    Maha

  27. kankana March 10, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    Beautiful memories and the photos are so cute Anita 🙂

  28. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 11, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    Lovely storytelling, it’s wonderful the memories we can relive in those quiet moments we have to ourselves in the kitchen.

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