Valentines Day, Cherries and Gluten Free Muffins

I am officially In Love. 


Husband, cat, and husband #2 aside (long story, one involving a lot of tea, a mistaken Twitter marriage and much cake), over the last fortnight two different companies approached me about trying their baking goodies. One, the French Glace Cherry company invited me to a baking class, and the other, Helen’s Kitchen a Gluten Free baking crew, took a much safer route, and sent me scrummy items to try in the post.



I’m going to look back at February 2014, and realise that this was the point whereby I  officially became a Brit. Not only do I speak with an English twang, prefer my queuing with a lot of passive aggressive staring, and use the word rather rather too much, but I have decided that homemade Jaffa cakes are the best things since sliced toast (though how did they toast bread without slicing it? I digress).


I never realised how many things you can make with cherries, they seem to be an unsung hero, languishing in corners of Christmas Cake, but cherry lovers, do not fear. This rather Napoleonic looking creation is a Cherry & Blue Cheese oatcake, with Cherry Chutney. They can also be popped into smoothies, brownies, wrapped in bacon and well, replaced everywhere you use sultanas (*cough Breakfast Cake cough*).



Now, tell me, how could you not fall in love with this divine creature? A handmade, cherry flavoured Jaffa Cake. It even had the iconic Jaffa Cake lid curve. With the lovely, brownie-making, French speaking, and tea-loving Baking Cindy guiding us, we made cherry jelly, finely chopped cherries, Genoese sponged, shaped said chilled jelly, coated with a good layer of chocolate and decorated to our girly hearts delight.



A leaning tower of Cherry Jaffa Cakes.



We then made Cherry and Pistachio Financiers where I burnt butter (intentionally), realised that our oven time didn’t like us and experience the worst case of fianancier theft since the Titanic went down. We managed to salvage them though… (and the slowly burning ones left forgotten in the oven.)



Don’t they just make your heart happy? The cherries themselves were delicious – not too sweet, perfect without overpowering.

I then arrived home to the sweetest package in many a week. Gluten Free baking pre-mixes. Now, you may have noticed that I’ve been a rather busy blogger of lack (symptoms include lapses of Twitter addiction, very delayed email returns and slightly off piste blog posts) and these really made me happy.


Quick, easy, no fuss gluten free goodies. I made scrumptious Chocolate, Ginger & Cherry mini-muffins which were baked & resting within 20 minutes of arriving home from work. That’s not bad odds eh?

The muffins have a nice flavour to them – good texture, not sickly sweet and feather light. Forget Genoese sponges (and their tendencies – when left to me – to turn into scrambled eggs) the next time I make Cherry Jaffa cakes which will be oh so soon, I think I’ll use these fab mixes.

So, Cherry or not?

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