Flavour Pairings

I got a second hand copy of The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit this weekend. I've always been fascinated by classic and unusual flavour combinations since my days selling wine and this is what the book explores. Food is split into categoires such as floral fruity, woodland, green and grassy, brine and salt etc and then each chapter looks at different pairings. The style of writing isn't at all stuffy and has made me laugh out loud at times.

For example, I decided to make some Coffee and Walnut Muffins and here's what the author had to say about that classic flavour pairing

"I've always thought that walnuts had a slightly nicotine character, which might explain why coffee and walnut is such a natural combination. Barring a ban on eating walnuts in public places - someone with a nut allergy might be nearby, after all - a partial substitute for a cigarette and coffee is a large slice of coffee and walnut cake."

So there you go, anyone trying to give up smoking, give these a whirl!

Coffee and Walnut Muffins

Makes 12

1 ½ cups of plain flour
¾ cup of caster sugar
2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinammon
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of soya milk
1 teaspoon of cider vinegar
4 teaspoons of instant coffee (regular or decaf) dissolved in 2 tablespoons of boiling water
½ cup of sunflower oil
1 cup of chopped walnuts

Pre-heat the oven to 375F/ 180C/ Gas 4

Put the soya milk in a small bowl, stir in the cider vinegar and leave to one side. Dissolve the instant coffee in the boiling water in a cup and leave to one side.

In a large bowl sieve the plain flour, caster sugar, baking powder, cinammon and salt and mix well.

In another bowl whisk together the soy milk mixture with the dissolved coffee and the sunflower oil.

Add the liquid mix to the dry ingredients. Stir lightly whilst folding in the chopped walnuts until just mixed.

Distribute the batter to the muffin wrappers and bake for 18-20 mins until a toothpick comes out clean.


  1. Those look great, such a classic flavour combo!

  2. I just saw this book mentioned on another blog and I really like the sound of it.

    Those muffins look yummo too!

  3. I love anything with coffee in - definite thumbs up!

  4. That book sounds amazing! As do these muffins. I'm not a big fan of coffee though, it makes me mental. Hey, I just discovered a really easy recipe for home made wine. I'm going to give it a go later today. Hope you're well.

  5. I love this book and really find it's a great read - more like a memoir - I even read it in bed before dropping off!


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