For a taste of the festive, I’ve been baking these muffins. They’re a step beyond the usual and, if you catch them at just the right time are gooey and delightful. Black Forest Gateaux are supposed to be the essence of summertime in a cherry orchard, with fresh cream of course, but these work well in the cold months too.
Prepare a thick cherry syrup mix with cherries, sugar and a teaspoon of kirsch or rum if you’ve got some. You don’t need much, 1 or 2 cherries per muffin and a teaspoon of syrup is plenty. Or just open a tin of ready made cherry pie filling (it was half price and just leapt into my shopping basket…).
Once you’ve made up the muffin batter, put two large tablespoons into a muffin casing and make a well in the centre (a pair of chopsticks works well for this). Into the well, place one or two cherries and a teaspoon of the syrup, then cap it by placing another tablespoon of muffin batter on top. Repeat.
Bake in a medium oven for 15-18 minutes, leave to rest for 3-5 minutes depending upon willpower and then serve slightly broken open with the cream of your choice. Whipped cream would be traditional, I would go for either clotted cream or creme fraiche.