Sunday, 28 July 2013

Rum and Raisin Muffins

The heavens have finally opened and I've had to switch my bedroom light on at quarter to five to compensate for the gloom cast by a storm which can't decide whether it can be bothered to make an effort or not. Is this the start of the end of the British summer? Possibly. Who knows. Tomorrow morning it could be back to a week of 30 C scorchers but if not then you could always make a batch of these as a comfort tool. I'd even suggest sticking on a DVD of PotC Curse of the Black Pearl and while Jack Sparrow is being his charming self, apologise and tell him you'll have to eat his rum soaked raisin muffin unless he can materialise in the room right now. Jack (after the number of times I have watched that film I feel that formalities can go out of the window) has never professed whether he likes spiced rum or not but I feel that the amount that has gone into making these will make it acceptable to him. Throw in a bottle of the stuff and a marker pen to replace the Morgan's with Jack's and I'm sure he will be happy. I'll even bake a batch every day for a week if he gets me a pair of his boots. I have a weakness for boots and get a bit sad when I have to put them away ready for the next autumn. A new pair mind. Heaven knows what unhygienic habits pirates have.

The original recipe for these was a banana bread recipe that came to me by the way of my penpal Lesley. I've mentioned here before and we regularly swap recipes though this was probably one of my favourites. The first time I tried it out I did it as a loaf like it said using the chocolate variation suggested. While eating a slice, and enjoying it very much I might add, I realised that it was very similar to a muffin recipe with the whole mixing the combined wet ingredients into the dry ones so this was the nest thing I tried and I swear it made them taste even better. It was the first time I had tried the chocolate/banana combination in a cake and despite finding a multitude of other banana bread recipes since then and vowing to try them all, I know I never will. This is the one for me. Very simple and works every time. Every baker knows the joy that comes from a recipe like that. It makes a perfect base for adaptation too and I've had this one in my mind for a while.

I think I've explained before about my hatred of alcohol that turns into a love affair when it is in food or chocolate and knowing my dad's favourite ice cream flavour is rum and raisin I really hoped these would work out for the both of us. Mum is up for trying most of my baking ideas though occasionally she needs a little convincing (I'm still working on my cheesecake trifle suggestion) so I was good to go with these. I left the banana in because they are well known for making cakes moist and yummy and if the flavour came out strong still I thought it would blend well with the rum and raisin. I only made a half batch too just in case they didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped but no worries there! The drizzly glaze isn't strictly necessary either but I thought it couldn't hurt and it does boost the rumness but it won't be a travesty to leave it off. Whatever your choice, do give these a go. Though maybe leave off the 'Yo, ho! Ho! And a bottle of rum!' song while baking unless you are home alone or with another avid PotC fan! 

150g raisins
150ml spiced rum
3-4 small very ripe bananas
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar
100g unsalted Lurpak, cubed and not fridge solid but not very soft

2 dsp spiced rum
4 heaped tsp icing sugar

(sorry, I forgot the ingredients pic!)

At least an hour before you start baking, or even overnight, stir the rum and raisins together and cover the bowl with a saucer. 

When ready to bake, set the oven to 180 C/160 C fan and line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases.

Peel the bananas and slice into a bowl along with the eggs, vanilla and the excess rum not absorbed by the raisins:

Mash really well then stir in the soaked raisins and leave while preparing the next bit.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, stir in the sugar and rub the in butter until it looks something like so:

Quickly mix the mashed ingredients and divide evenly between the cases. The mixture should be a bit lumpy and the cases will be quite full but that's fine and yes it is ok to leave a little bit of mixture in the bowl for yourself if you're really concerned. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 mins then turn the oven off and leave in there for another 10 mins. Cool in the tray on a wire rack for a few mins then remove the muffins and leave to cool completely.
When cold, prepare the glaze. Put the rum in a cup and sift in the icing sugar a bit at a time, mixing until smooth between additions. You can make it thicker or thinner as you wish. Spoon a little onto the centre of each muffin and let it drizzle down the sides then serve as part of a high seas tea.



  1. I love rum and raisin - these are perfect!

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