This recipe comes from “Madame Benoit Cooks at Home,” Paper Jacks Ltd. Markham Canada 1980. I found this much loved, dog-eared, and stained edition a art event in Port Dover. It was under a bunch of other books and was mostly ignored by other book pickers.
Something about this women’s face screamed “Canadian Grand-Mère,” reminding me of my own grandma’s picture. I didn’t know who she was but I wanted her for my collection because of the number of Canadian and turn of the 20th century recipes in her book. After a bit of research I’ve discovered that Madame Jehane Benoit (March 21 1904 – November 24, 1987) is actually one of Canada’s first celebrity chefs! She was born in Quebec, educated at the Cordon Bleu and opened the Fumet de la Vieille France culinary school in Montreal in 1973. She even opened one of Canada’s first vegetarian restaurants in 1935. Benoit wrote over 30 cookbooks and appeared on Take Thirty, a CBC TV show that ran from the 1960s through to the 1980s. She was a popular cook and was a feature in many kitchens across the country either in her cookbooks, TV appearances, or her letters to her fans. Maureen Haddock details in her blog about her first-hand experience writing Benoit.
Madame Benoit states in her forward for this recipe that a 10 year-old girl created this and submitted it to a Manitoba honey contest that Benoit was judging.
Does it hold up?
These muffins use 1/2 cup of honey as the main sweetener and as such are significantly less sweet than most commercial muffins. If you like Timmies, Costco, or McCafe muffins… you might not like this muffin. They are subtly spiced with mace and only mace! I think these muffins are lovely warmed with a bit honey and a cup of tea. They do lack a certain wow factor, though.
This recipe is easy to follow and I think a great recipe for people how are fans of honey as you can definitely pick up the floral flavour of it. It does take a bit of time because of the oat-soaking, but pretty worth it.
Honey Oatmeal MuffinsPrint This
- 1 1/2 cups (400 mL) sour milk or buttermilk
- 1 cup (250 mL) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 4 tbsp. (60 mL) melted butter
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) honey or light brown sugar
- pinch of mace
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1tsp. (5 mL) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. (1 mL) salt
Pour the milk over the oats and let stand 30 minutes (don’t use instant or quick cooking oats- they make a tasteless muffin.) Mix butter, honey or sugar, mace and egg in a bowl; then add oatmeal and mix again. Sift remaining ingredients together, add and stir just enough to blend – the less stirring, the better the muffins. Grease 1 1/2 in. (3.75- 5 cm) muffin cups, fill 2/3 full with batter and bake in a 400°F (200°C) oven 12-15 minutes.
For the second batch of muffins I added a pinch of cinnamon along with the mace. It kicked it up a bit more, and I personally like the addition a bit better.