“Chipotle and Cheddar Corn Muffins” from “The Violet Bakery Cookbook”

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As we continue our painful slog of winter in February toward the promises of spring in March, what could be better than a big vat of chilli to warm us all up? And what could be better than some corn muffins to go with it?

Because I like this cookbook so much, I’d love to be able to say they were a huge success and everyone loved them. But that would be a lie. They went down like a lead balloon.

One of the things I like about this cookbook is how she successfully modifies traditional recipes to make them absolutely unforgettable. This was true of the butterscotch blondies and the rye brownies. But maybe in this case, it was a variation too far.

Corn muffins can be beautiful in their simplicity. In this case, though, not only was there the usual cornmeal component, but also cheddar cheese AND chipotle AND corn kernels. Perhaps we didn’t like it because there was too much going on.

I don’t know why these failed. They didn’t taste bad, we just didn’t fancy them. It just goes to show that even the best cookbooks can have off days.

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“Chipotle and Cheddar Corn Muffins” from “The Violet Bakery Cookbook”

“Blueberry muffins” from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”

Anna: These don’t look like muffins! They look a bit like deflated brown things.

Peter: They look pretty muffiny to me. They’re in a muffin case and they come over the top in a muffiny-type way. I’m identifying this suspect as a muffin.

Anna: Well they aren’t going to win any beauty contests but they are pretty healthy. There’s hardly any sugar or fat in them really.

Peter: Bran. Not a usual ingredient for a muffin. And wholemeal flour. Cheaper than a colonic Thai vacation.

Anna: And you would know that how?

Peter: Read it in a book.

Anna: I’m feeling very virtuous eating these, even if they don’t look brilliant.

Peter: They are really moist from the blueberries which are almost melting. They could take a bit more sweetness in my opinion.

Anna: I think I might make these again, though they’re so huge I have to give some of the batch away. Or make half as many.

“Blueberry muffins” from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”