I had these muffins at Yarrow’s place a few weeks back when we were baking bagels. We whipped them up while we were waiting for the dough to rise. They were so easy that I didn’t wonder he didn’t bother to collect other muffin recipes! These tasted so good – soft moist cake without being fudgy. I asked for the recipe and made them this week with equally pleasing results.
What surprised me was how flavorsome and intense the honey was. As a child it was a treat to have honey on fresh white bread and butter. I still indulge in it from time and time and get so amazed that honey is so delicious that I find myself licking it off my finger. But it is more than that. Honey also brings back my childhood.
Thinking about it, it is not only that it we ate it on bread or toast, but that it is such an integral part of our culture. The song that keeps coming to mind is ‘Honey Honey’ by Abba. The lines ‘I don't wanna hurt you, baby, I don't wanna see you cry / So stay on the ground, girl, you better not get too high’ always made me think of a father talking to a little girl climbing a tree. (Now that I am older and more cynical, it sounds a bit like a sleazy old man.)
‘Honey’ is a common endearment because sweet is not just about taste but about temperament. This is why musos love the word. The Archies also sang ‘sugar, ah honey honey, you are my candygirl..’ One of Billie Piper’s hits in the UK was ‘Honey from the Bee’. Jesus and Mary Chain sang ‘Just Like Honey’. The Beatles had a song called Honey Pie’. And Van Morrison sang the weirdly named ‘Tupelo Honey’. E is very helpful in thinking about honey in song lyrics and even tells me that Tupelo is a place but I digress.
As a child, references to honey were common. We all knew that the Queen was in the parlour / eating bread and honey. Trixie Belden’s best friend was called Honey. And Lucy recently reminded me of everyone’s favourite honey lover, Pooh Bear.
So I believe that these muffins appealed to me not just for their wonderful taste, but also because they touched on a seam of nostalgia that runs through my dietary landscape. The only warning I will give about them is to beware the temptation to have more than one. Yaz tells me I am not the only one to fall into this trap. They are so very very good. I will be making these again and E is already looking forward to it.
[NB - the large photo is of one of Yaz's muffins which were so good. In my excitment about the freshly baked muffins most of the photos I took were blurry. I also wanted to say I will probably be a bit quiet for a few days because we are having holidays for a few days. I had intended to post something else tomorrow morning but am feeling too disorganised to think I will find the time.]
PS - while on holiday I kept thinking of The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton and the Pop Biscuits which go pop and fill your mouth with honey. Yet another childhood comfort connected to honey!
Choc Honey Muffins
Makes 48 mini muffins
½ cup (125g) butter
½ cup honey
1 cup plain yoghurt
Not quite two cups self-raising flour
¼ cup of cocoa
200g (1 generous cup) dark choc chips
Melt butter and honey together. I did this in the microwave in a large microwave proof bowl. You can also do this on the stovetop in a medium saucepan. Add yoghurt and beaten eggs. Gently fold in flour and cocoa, and then stir in choc chips towards the end of mixing. Bake in lined muffin trays at 200 degrees for twenty minutes, or fifteen if using mini muffins trays.
On the stereo:
Twilight Rituals: T.A.C.