Chorizo Muffins

Chorizo MuffinsI like chorizo a bit too much. It’s spicy and salty and rich and wonderful, and I’m always drawn to dinner recipes that call for it. Because it is so spicy and salty and rich, few recipes call for 200 grams of it, which is the smallest package size I can find. Therefore, after making dinner, I typically have 100 grams of chorizo left. I could, of course, save it to make another dinner, but I prefer to consider it a “leftover” that I must put into good use forthwith. Enter chorizo muffins! Muffins are always good; always needed. :-)


Chorizo Muffins (makes 12)


450 ml all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon thyme

80g butter, diced

100g chorizo, chopped

150 g mature cheddar, grated

1 egg

125 g plain yogurt

150 ml milk


Preheat oven to 190 C. Grease or line a muffin pan.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, paprika and thyme in a bowl.  Rub in butter until the mixture is crumbly and well combined.

Stir in grated cheese and chopped chorizo.

In another bowl, combine egg, yogurt and milk. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined.

Divide batter between muffin tin holes. Bake for about 20 minutes.


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond Chocolate Chip CookiesI first bought almond butter for my sugar-free chocolate ball experiments, but I figured there was no reason why I should earmark it for “healthy” stuff only – surely it would do wonders in something pretty decadent, too? Like soft chocolate chip cookies. It would. It did. Now I can eat chocolate chip cookies and convince myself that I’m getting all the health benefits of eating almonds at the same time. Yay!


Note that the dough is not too sweet – you can add a little more sugar if you like, and using milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate also sweetens things. I really enjoy the almond & chocolate combo, and love the way almond butter gives the cookies a more rustic texture and flavour.


Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (20 cookies)


1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup almond butter

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

100 g chocolate (milk or dark, your choice), chopped


Preheat oven to 190 C. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, beat butter, almond butter and light brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract, beat well.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix until combined.

Fold in chopped chocolate.

Shape dough into 1” balls and place on cookie sheets. Bake for 7-9 minutes.



Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email

Chocolate & Red Wine Cake

Chocolate and red wine cake

As we have already established, I do not like red wine. My VLSO does, but it’s usually not his drink of choice (a pint of stout trumps red wine hands down). When he does indulge in red wine, he is happy to have just a glass or two, and then doesn’t really feel like having it for at least two weeks. This is why our household is regularly home to that elusive oddity: Leftover Wine.*  Well, we can certainly not have it go to waste, so we shall turn it into a delicious chocolate cake. People who like red wine love this cake; people who hate red wine love this cake. It’s a very good cake: moist and intensely double-chocolatey.


I make this in a 9” x 5” loaf pan as that’s what I happen to have, but as you can see, the cake is on the flat side; I think an 8” x 4” would be a better fit.


Chocolate & Red Wine Cake


1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

115 g butter

½ cup caster sugar

¼ cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup dry red wine

100 g dark chocolate, chopped


Preheat oven to 170 C. Butter and flour a loaf pan (9”x 5” or 8” x 4”).

In a bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat butter with the sugars until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla and beat well.

Alternately fold in the dry ingredients and the wine, until just incorporated.

Stir in chopped chocolate.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.

Dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar for a prettier presentation – and a dollop of whipped cream would not go amiss.


*I never contribute to these rare sightings, myself. If I open a bottle of wine, I will consume a bottle of wine. It’s a point of honour for me. Quite frankly, VLSO’s inability to consume a whole bottle of red within a week of its opening in my opinion indicates that red wine really is pretty bad. Indisputable evidence.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email