This weekend brings about my very first road trip in Australia. Having been here for 7 months, we haven’t gotten much of a chance to do any traveling with work and the price of flights out of Perth is astonishing. So, with the South West Craft Beer Festival taking place in Margaret River this weekend, myself and Mr. T and Jacqui from Where The Wind Blows Her and her beau are high tailing it down south for a couple of days.
I have been over-excited to say the least about this trip, we’re renting a car and leaving the city for a weekend, to me that is bliss. In Ireland, when I used to live in Dublin, I loved the idea of loading up the car on a Friday evening and heading home West to Sligo with my sister Denise. There was always this wave of excitement and anticipation about what would happen at the weekend, where we would go and who we would get to see.
Heading to Margaret River, the wine region of Western Australia on a Friday afternoon, with a long drive ahead of us, I thought a picnic would suffice for the tired travellers. I was scouring my cookbooks for a nice recipe for muffins and happened upon a recipe for Chocolate and Orange Muffins in Darina Alle’n’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course, otherwise known as my Bible. I was really looking for a banana muffin recipe but this one definitely had some room for adapting to what I wanted. I love the original recipe, which is by Dervilla Whelan. It includes sunflower oil, brown sugar and bran. Some of the ingredients have been changed in my interpretation of it to suit what I was looking for. Nonetheless a great recipe.
Recipe for ‘Chocolate and Orange Muffins’ from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course
2 organic eggs
325g soft brown sugar
400ml low fat milk
2 tspns vanilla essence
200 ml olive oil
2 over-ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
70g maple syrup
Handful of sultanas
50g rolled oats
375g Wholemeal Spelt Flour
1/2 tspn salt (I used Maldon)
2 1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
175g 75% dark chocolate chips
2 tspns zest of an orange
Handful of toasted pecans, chopped roughly
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F
Beat the eggs and sugar together in a stand mixer.
Add in the milk, vanilla essence, olive oil, sultanas, oats, flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix together until all the ingredients are combined evenly.
Darina describes the batter as ‘gloopy’, which it definitely is.
Take the bowl off the stand mixer and add in the toasted pecans, chocolate chips and orange zest.
Line your muffin tray with muffin cases and fill with the mixture.
Leave about 1 cm from the top of the case.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes until risen and spongy.
Hope you enjoy your weekend whatever adventures you may get up!