Every week my fellow Muffin Monday baker, Anuradha and I have an email discussion about which ingredient we should feature. Sometimes we are organized and decide a month of ingredients in advance (rarely) and sometimes we are scrambling on Thursday or Friday to make a decision (more often) for the next Monday. This week we chose Nutella, that wonderful cocoa and hazelnut spread, and since it’s an ingredient we’ve both used before, I knew I had to do something different with it. So I piped the Nutella into the raspberries and froze them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet! Then I folded them gently into a lovely batter with lemon zest, vanilla sugar and Greek yogurt. I am pleased to report that the Nutella-filled raspberries held their shape (and Nutella) beautifully through the baking and the flavor combination was fabulous.
N.B. The only drawback if that you do have to fill your raspberries and allow plenty of time for them to freeze before making the muffin batter. Several hours might do but I left mine overnight to be sure.
|I make my own vanilla sugar by adding a couple of split pods to|
fine sugar and letting it stand for a few weeks.
2 cups or 250g flour
3⁄4 cup or 170g vanilla sugar (or substitute normal sugar and add 1 teaspoon vanilla to the wet ingredients)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Zest of one medium lemon
1 1⁄4 cups or 300g plain Greek-style yogurt
1⁄2 cup or 120ml canola oil
6 oz or 170g raspberries
About 1/4 cup Nutella plus more for decorating, if desired
Powdered sugar for decorating, if desired
Start several hours or even one day ahead by putting your Nutella in a piping bag with a small hole decorating tip (Wilton 3, 4 or 5) and then filling all of the raspberries. Lay them out on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper and put them in the freezer until frozen solid.
When you are ready to make the muffins, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your muffin pan by greasing it or lining it paper muffin cups.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, vanilla sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Grate in the zest of one lemon.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, Greek yogurt, canola and vanilla extract, if using.
Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.
Remove the Nutella-filled raspberries from the freezer and fold all but 12 of them into the batter.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Top each muffin cup with a filled raspberry. I put some up and some down because I rather thought the Nutella would ooze out and possibly make a mess. As you can see, my fears were unfounded! So put them all with the Nutella showing if you’d like.
Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to cool completely.
Top with some extra Nutella or a sprinkle of icing sugar to decorate.
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