I know some people in the U.K are fortunate enough to be growing their own cranberries, but to my knowledge they are not yet grown or sold on a commercial basis here, so often I like many people tend to buy those imported from the USA. However, if I should ever come across a cranberry bush at a garden centre here, I would certainly have a go at trying to grow my own, as I think they would be very similar to blueberries. The only thing I am unsure about is whether they would require more than one plant for cross pollination; or if the one plant be fine. I am not concerned about how much I would be able to harvest, just as long as I get enough for the Christmas season.
Anyway, like many homes, the cranberry only comes into my kitchen during the month of December. Instead of a rich, dark Christmas pudding, I tend to make Nigella’s Cranberry pudding and undoubtedly that is what I will be making for Christmas day, but today whilst I am still working I thought I would have a go at making some cranberry muffins for the rest of my working week.
I was really pleased with them and they look so seasonal. These muffins are quite flavourful, and the sharpness of the cranberry balanced really well with the sweetness of the white chocolate.
Oh just thought I would share a quirky fact with you about cranberries, if they are fresh and ripe they will bounce, whereas those damaged will not. I thought it was interesting...especially when a number of them literally bounced on the ground when I attempted to chop them.
Updated on the 18th December - I have been encouraged to enter the above image into this months NCR competition, so like a good little girl I am obeying instructions and submitting the above image to this months host Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes. The challenge is to submit a festive photo, it doesn't have to involve food, just something that captures the mood of the festive season. Well I guess my snowman holding a seasonal cranberry muffin with specks of snowflake chocolate should be shared, especially if it brings a smile to make fellow bloggers faces.
Regular readers will note that I have used American measurement this time. I often do when I make muffins, it only seems right.
Cranberry and white chocolate muffins
2 cups of plain flour
½ cup or of light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk at room temperature
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and allowed to cool
1/4 cup of white chocolate chips
1 cup of cranberries, roughly chopped
Line a 12 hole muffin tin with casings. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5. In a bowl, gently stir together flour, brown sugar, salt and baking powder. In another bowl, gently beat in eggs, milk, and the melted butter. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture, along with the chocolate chips and cranberries, and stir to combine well. Fill the muffin cases and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on w wire rack before enjoying. Adapted from ‘Tis the Season by Nanette Blanchard who was inspired by a cranberry and chocolate cookie recipe, now that something I want to try too.