Puffin Going On Here!

While going through one of the supermarket magazines they give away at the checkout, I found a recipe for a baked delight, that is a cross between a pancake and a muffin, called a “puffin”. As you may know, I am crazy about puffin birds so I couldn’t wait to research a recipe named after these adorable birds.

Knowing that puffin birds are on the menu in some countries, I was very careful in how I went about researching this particular recipe. I made sure to add muffin, pancake and baked pancake to the search. I thought I had done a good job until I skimmed through a recipe with instructions saying to process one cup of puffins before adding them to the batter. Thankfully I remembered that puffins are also a brand of cereal. It was with great relief that I slowly reread the recipe and yes they were talking about adding puffin cereal to the pancake batter!

The recipe below should give you enough batter to make about sixteen 1-scoop puffins or about eight 2-scoop puffins. I chose a combination so I could compare them. The 1-scoop puffins were like puffed pancakes while the 2-scoop puffins were like mini-muffins. They were both delicious and I’d definitely make them again. 🙂

Berry Puffins

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
fresh berries (I used a combination of raspberries and blackberries)
maple syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 200C / 400F.
Generously grease a 12-hole muffin tin (or tins) with oil.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla extract until just combined.
Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is thick and smooth.
Using a mini ice-cream scoop (also called a cookie scoop) dollop one or two spoonfuls of batter into each hole.
Top each puffin with two or three berries.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.
Eat warm with lots of maple syrup.
Refrigerate any leftover puffins and enjoy cold with a slather of butter if desired.

A Very Full Moon

This week’s coming Full Moon is going to be a big one. It’s being called a Super Blue Blood Moon and, depending on which part of the world you are in, you may experience it all!

The main event is the total lunar eclipse. During a total lunar eclipse the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon and covers the Moon with its shadow. During this time the Moon can appear red which has led to the term Blood Moon. This eclipse will be fully visible in
Melbourne, Australia from around 10pm January 31st to around 3am February 1st.

A Super Moon is when a Full or New Moon occurs when the Moon is in its closest orbit to the Earth, making it look larger. While it won’t be the closest orbit, the Moon will be very close to the Earth making it almost a Super Moon.

In some parts of the world it is also a Blue Moon which is the second Full Moon in a month. It’s not a Blue Moon in Melbourne so we won’t be experiencing a Super Blue Blood Moon, we’ll be having a Super Blood Moon instead. Our Blue Moon will be at the end of March and will coincide with Easter.

If you follow a seasonal calendar, this Full Moon also coincides with a major festival – Imbolg in the northern hemisphere and Lammas in the southern hemisphere. Lammas is the mid point between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox and is the first harvest festival of the year. Lammas is also known as Lughnasadh. The name Lughnasadh is derived from the name of the Celtic God Lugh whereas Lammas is derived from an Old English term for “loaf mass.” Traditional foods for Lammas/Lughnasadh are breads baked from new crops.

Inspired by my recent visit to America, I just had to bake cornmeal muffins flavoured with pecans and maple syrup. These sweet delights are perfect fare for a powerful harvest Full Moon.

Pecan and Maple Cornmeal Muffins


1 cup flour, sifted
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup finely ground pecans
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda (bicarbonate)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 eggs, beaten
125g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

Preheat oven to 200C / 400F.
Line a 12-hole muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
Mix together the flour, cornmeal, pecans, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat together the milk, maple syrup, egg and melted butter. (Don’t worry if it looks curdled. It should come together when you add it to the flour.)
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Stir gently until just combined. Do not over mix, as the muffins will turn out tough.
Spoon batter evenly into the paper cases.
Bake for 10 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
Place on a wire rack to cool.