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Raspberry and Passionfruit Bliss

Have you ever rekindled your love for an old book? Not that I am an avid reader per se but I do frequently like going through books that I own, the majority of which are cookbooks. When I do go through them, one I get hungry by looking at the photos of the food and two, I feel that I am talented chef who can make any recipe that I read... unfortunately though that is my ego talking, I am just a person who enjoys cooking and baking and who has a pretty big appetite. When I look at these recipes, I think about how the chefs decided to combine the ingredients together. Why mix flour and water? When it comes to making a dish, I think it’s very similar to science. A combination of ingredients that creates a chemical reaction of bursting flavours and rising, especially when it comes to baking.

Currently, I’m re-reading a cookbook which was given to me as a gift called How to Bake by Paul Hollywood. Now if you don’t know Paul Hollywood, he is a renowned baker best known as a judge on one of the most anticipated cooking shows in UK, the Great British Bake Off, and also for his piercing blue eyes and his strange physical resemblance to the Night King (character from Game of Thrones). The silver fox Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake gives an important indication on the importance of flour. Being a laymen when it comes to baking I only thought there were 3 types of flour, all-purpose, self-raising and semolina. Although reading the book I discovered that there are several different types of flour and each is different due to its protein level which indicates how much gluten there is in the flour.

“Gluten being the ‘glue’ that binds the dough together and creates structure. High- gluten flours give the chewy texture you want in a bread, whereas the low-gluten flours give a crumbly texture”

The flour is the most important ingredient when it comes to baking. When you want to make bread “the protein level of the flour has to be above 12 percent and when it comes to baking cakes and biscuits it has to be below 12 percent.”  Usually when I bake it was always just a matter of getting the ingredient and using it, never analyzing its use. As I understood it, the more flour you use in a cake recipe the more it will bind with the rest of the ingredients, but then the question arises, will the cake be more dense? How to Bake has lots of recipes on how to make all different types of breads, pastries, cakes and lastly biscuits. Initially I want to make some bread, be it white or wholemeal, as it would be a great technique and skill to learn. I was going to start making the bread but unfortunately didn’t have the main ingredient that makes bread..yeast. So spanning through the pages and found a blissful baking con-caution of Raspberry and Passionfruit muffins. Luckily here in Kenya passion fruit is always in season and it’s one of my favourites. It’s sweet and sour at the same time, it’s great! This recipe for muffins is fantastic because it’s not dry it’s soft, and that is the trick with the raspberries. The recipe is rather simple and quick to make!

Whilst making this recipe I  was listening to a complication of Latin Jazz Funk, nothing better than just listening to some horns, drums, strings and electro tunes if you are interested to find out what it was click HERE.

Ingredients from How to Bake

175g raspberries 

125 g passion fruit pulp and seeds (from 3-4 large fruit) 

Pinch of salt 

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

200 g strong white bread flour (just used ordinary all purpose flour) 

4 medium eggs

150 g caster sugar

200 g unsalted butter

Method from How to Bake

1) Heat you oven to 200 C. Put 12 paper cases in a muffin tray or line the muffin moulds with scrunched squares of baking parchment.

2) Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together over the mixture and fold in lightly until only just combined; do not overwork. Add the passion fruit pulp and fold until just combined. 

3) Distribute half the muffin mixture evenly between the paper cases, then add a raspberry or two of each. Top with the remaining muffin mix and stud the tops with the remaining raspberries.

4) Bake for 15-20 minutes until the muffins are golden and spring back when gently pressed. 


- This recipe is from How to Bake [2012] by Paul Hollywood 

- Instead of using parchment paper, I just used muffin cases (saves you time cutting paper) - These are one of the easiest and quickest recipes to make, easily within an hour you can enjoy these fruitful muffins. 

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