baking/ gluten free/ morning tea + afternoon tea/ this is life

Raspberry + Ricotta Muffins with baked honey cheesecake topping and roasted plums

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Happy new year.

Yes, it is March, and I don’t know about you, but it’s only ever in March that I feel like I get a chance to start the year properly.

In the calendar of my year, January is for family mode – my favourite kind of mode actually. As far as starting the year goes, it’s more about dreaming than doing. If I can open a new diary and write down a few wishes for the year then I’m doing well, because January is the time to live in the moment and take the pressure off – read books, do puzzles, swim and eat ice-cream – realise that life whizzes by too fast, and that a little bask in the sun is so very glorious and we should enjoy it while we can.

February, well, where does February go? It’s all starting back at school, remembering what it feels like to know which day of the week it is and getting some kind of routine down. Usually it’s deadline time for me too, so I hit the ground running as my mind does loop-de-loops keeping track of all the collective things to remember. February is the yang to January’s yin, which makes me all the more glad we took the time in January that we did.

And so it’s March, and for me the proper beginning of the year. We’re through the first flurry, and I can see that the dust is settling into the new routine. Rhythms that had been forgotten are starting to emerge again; the new shoes of the year have been broken in. It’s time to take a minute to say happy new year to you, and as good a time as any to check in with life and think about priorities. What’s this year going to be like? What wishes do we have for it, and how are we going to make these happen? Just how are we going to choose to spend our time?

Ricotta and honey

With the new year beginning for me now, I’ve been thinking about what things looked like this time last year, two years ago and five years ago. I’m not one for a 5 year plan (although I deeply admire you if you can manage it, any tips please pass them on!) – I always find my life never moves in the way I quite expect it to anyway.

And if I’m honest, I think I probably like it that way.

I feel better when I’m flexible with where I’m going, letting things unfold as they come along. There’s freedom to be found from adapting and running with whichever crazy idea happened just now, seeing what comes of it. Daily life is filled with little things and working with whatever happens, because you never know what’s going to suddenly become very important, or where a great idea might spring from. Life’s full of curve balls, and inspiration, and I’m always grateful to have a little space to deal with either of them.

Raspberry Ricotta Buckwheat muffins gluten free

Having said that, I still can’t help but think about the big goals, and wonder just how much importance I should give them.

If you’ve got goals that you haven’t ticked off yet (like I do), I’ve got an idea for you.

Don’t judge yourself for not having done the big things yet.

If examining where you are in terms of the big stuff gives you the incentive to make progress on things that are truly important to you then great! But if it just gets you down, because you’re not where you think you should be, instead take a minute to think of you 5 years ago, versus you now. Imagine yourself from back then observing the you of now. What have you learned? How are you now different?

Have a look at those differences. Notice how much you’ve done, because, actually you’ve done a lot. Maybe not everything on the list, but a whole lot nonetheless.

Feel proud of all your achievements, because even though a lot of them may feel small, over time they’ve made you, you. They are the puzzle pieces that make up your life.

Allow yourself to be a little bit amazed by who you are and what you’ve done, even if you haven’t ticked off that big goal yet – cause you’re great, and all the small stuff you’ve done, that’s great too.

Raspberry and Ricotta Muffins with honey ricotta cheesecake topping and roasted plums, if you feel.

I’ve made these muffins twice this past year, which might not sound like a lot to you, but considering I can never bake anything just how the recipe says is actually saying something for me. Okay, truth be told I put blood plums on top of one batch, and the other time just ricotta scented heavily with orange zest, so yes I did tweak it a little, but you know I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Ricotta holds great appeal in our house. It’s one of the easiest ways to add a little extra luxe to sweet or savoury dishes. Whip some into eggs and you’ve got a luscious frittata with extra lift and tenderness. Fold through a little maple syrup and vanilla paste and you’ve got the quickest dessert ever. Roll some in a crepe, pop it in to your pancake batter or bake it on top of your muffins. Add a little ricotta and things feel a little special.

For this recipe I like to use a smooth ricotta that’s not too firm. If you have a firmer style ricotta, stir a tablespoon of milk through the ricotta topping to loosen for a silky dollop. Pop sliced plum on top if you like, or otherwise zest an orange into the ricotta topping.

Raspberry and Ricotta Muffins

with a baked honey ricotta cheesecake topping

• Gluten free • Grain free • Refined sugar free •

These muffins can happily be frozen and thawed overnight in the fridge the night before you want to eat them, ready for a lunchbox tomorrow or morning or afternoon tea the next day. Let them come to room temperature before serving and nobody will be the wiser 😉

Makes 16 – 18 regular sized muffins, or 12 jumbo muffins


1 ½ cups (210g) buckwheat flour
½ cup (70g) millet flour
2 tablespoons potato starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Pinch of salt

¾ cup (180ml) ricotta
3 eggs
¾ cup (180ml) olive oil
½ cup (125ml) milk
¾ teaspoon liquid stevia
⅓ cup (80ml) honey

1 ½ cups (180g) frozen raspberries

1 cup (250ml) extra ricotta
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
1 tablespoon honey

6 blood plums, sliced or zest of one large orange


Preheat oven to 180° C fan forced. Line one and a half muffin tins with muffin papers. You can always add one more, or take one away, to fulfil your requirements when spooning the muffin mixture out.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until well combined.

In a slightly smaller bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (ricotta, eggs, oil, milk, stevia and honey) until smooth. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until completely smooth.

Fold the raspberries through, and spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, leaving a little room at the top for some ricotta topping and a few plum slices if you like.

In a small bowl, stir together the extra ricotta, vanilla and honey until smooth. Add orange zest if using.

Top each muffin with a teaspoon full of honey ricotta and a few slices of plum if using. Bake in the oven for 18 – 20 minutes for regular sized muffins or 22 – 25 minutes for large muffins, or until the ricotta is puffed up and golden and a skewer inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Plum, Raspberry & Ricotta Muffins with a baked honey ricotta cheesecake topping

Print Recipe
Serves: 12 - 16 Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (210g) buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup (70g) millet flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup (180ml) ricotta
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup (180ml) olive oil
  • ½ cup (125ml) milk
  • ¾ teaspoon liquid stevia
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) honey
  • 1 ½ cups (180g) frozen raspberries
  • 6 blood plums, sliced
  • 1 cup (250ml) extra ricotta
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 180° C fan forced. Line one and a half muffin tins with muffin papers. You can always add one more, or take one away, to fulfil your requirements when spooning the muffin mixture out.

2

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until well combined.

3

In a slightly smaller bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (ricotta, eggs, oil, milk, stevia and honey) until smooth. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until completely smooth.

4

Fold the raspberries through, and spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, leaving a little room at the top for some ricotta topping and a few plum slices.

5

In a small bowl, stir together the extra ricotta, vanilla and honey until smooth.

6

Top each muffin with a teaspoon full of honey ricotta and a few slices of plum. Bake in the oven for 18 - 20 minutes for regular sized muffins or 22 - 25 minutes for large muffins, or until the ricotta is puffed up and golden and a skewer inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Notes

• gluten free • grain free • refined sugar free •

Got a plum tree in full flight right now?! Then these Chocolate and Beetroot Muffins with roasted plums might be your thing! Or this Persian Love Cake with roasted plums which is always a favourite alongside a cup of coffee at this time of year… or if you’re looking for something nourishing and warming for breakfast this Baked Quinoa with stewed plums and pistachios looks just the thing, or for a next level weekend brunch these Buckwheat Crepes with Bourbon Vanilla Plums sound ridiculously delicious yet look completely achievable for a very special weekend morning.