Friday 13 June 2008

Choc Honey Muffins

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 top 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
2 eggs
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.


  1. These look great and sound almost too easy! Love all the honey references (and yes, I guess the Abba does sound a bit sleazy through more mature ears!!).

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday. You will be missed!

  2. choc + honey muffins? Yep, count me in, please... ;)

  3. thanks Ricki - they do seem ridiculously simple but so good

    thanks aforkful

  4. LOL - I am a closet ABBA fan and it brought back memories - as did the refernce to Trixie Belden. These muffins sound delightful.

  5. Hi Johanna,
    I love the muffins. The ingredients are so good and it is nice to know that there is no sugar or oil in them, you can tell yourself they are very healthy with the yoghurt and honey.
    I am saving this one to try:)

  6. Mmmmm...! I do love muffins and these are seriously yummy-looking!

  7. I love muffins, I had somehow never thought of putting honey in and will certainly give them a try.

    The problem with Abba is that it is the first things alphabetically on my iPod if I press play by accident rather than going through the menus - in the right mood cheese is great - but not on the tube at 8am!

  8. I have bookmarked this recipe in a flash! They sound so delicious, and honey makes me think of being a child, too. We used to have honey sandwiches sometimes when we got home from school, and I had forgotten how nice they were until your comment about white bread and honey. I like the song references, too - I sing 'sugar sugar, honey honey' to my cat because she's so sweet!

    I hope you have/had a great holiday!

  9. thanks Cakelaw - glad abba and trixie belden bring back memories for you too!

    thanks Holler - I make no claims about the healthiness of these muffins apart from that it will make you happy which I think is very good for you

    thanks Ann - seriously yummy is absolutely correct!

    thanks Hippolyra - try honey in muffins - I would never have thought it so good if I had not tasted it at yaz's! And I understand that Abba isn't always what you want to listen to in peak hour - but great when you are in the mood!

    thanks Lysy - I am now even more keen to try your honey cake after these muffins! I couldn't get that song out of my head while I was baking them - now when I sing it I will think of you singing to your cats (might try it with zinc and see if she likes it)

  10. I just whipped up a batch of these for a Saturday morning treat for the kids. They were lovely!!

    I didn't have any choc chips so they were probably lacking a little sweetness but the children didn't seem to mind.

    I think they'd be great with berries in them! I love this recipe as i prefer to use honey instead of sugar.


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