Messing around with cherries

>> June is cherry time! Thanks to friends who brought loads of them to brunch on Sunday, I found myself wondering what to do with the ones I didn’t gobble up right away (an alarming amount, to be honest!) So this afternoon after pitting a kilo of Royal Annes, I invented a recipe using what I had at hand. They’re tasty, easy to make, and as most of the ingredients are organic, quite healthy. At least until you ice them!

Chocolate Cherry Spelt Muffins/Cupcakes

Makes about 12 muffins in larger tins

Ingredients:

1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup honey
3 eggs, beaten
1/3-1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups spelt flour (you can use wheat if you prefer, but spelt makes them nice and chewy)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, and a dash or two black pepper
100 g (4 oz.) finely grated baking chocolate
1 1/3 cups cherries, pitted & halved

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit.) In a medium to large-sized mixing bowl, whip butter and honey together with a whisk until creamy. Mix in eggs, one at a time, then the milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together all the rest of the ingredients except cherries. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, just until blended (add a little more milk if it seems too dry.) Fold in the cherries. Put paper muffin cases in muffin tins and spoon in mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden on top and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing, if you want to ice them. I used royal icing, but feel free to make your own and even decorate them if you are so inclined…

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