Showing posts with label #MuffinMonday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #MuffinMonday. Show all posts

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pecan Caramel Chocolate Muffins #MuffinMonday

The second in my candy bar series, made with Frey’s Caramel and Pecan milk chocolate, this sweet muffin has big dollops of caramel, just folded through the batter, leaving sweet golden streaks, and more than its fair share of toasted pecans. 

So I’m baking with my chocolate bar stash again. I take them out of the storage box and fan them out like playing cards, then choose one to recreate in muffin form, adding more of the key ingredients.  I almost did maple-walnut but my walnut supply is low. So now you have that one to look forward to, if I don’t get to white chocolate-lemon first. Or dark chocolate with chili. I know, I know. But I’m having fun!

Ingredients
Also contains hazelnuts. Why?
1 cup or 115g whole pecans, toasted
1 Frey Pecan & Caramel bar (3 1/2 oz or 100g)
2 cups or 250g flour
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup or 80ml caramel - plus extra for drizzling on baked muffins, optional

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and either grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line it with paper muffin cups.

Chop your chocolate bar with a knife and put aside 12 chunks for decorating the tops of the muffins. Set aside 12 of the prettiest pecans and chop the rest up to add into the muffin batter.



In a large bowl, stir together your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.



In another smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Fold your wet ingredients into your dry ones.  Stop when there is still quite a bit of flour still unmixed.

Fold in the larger pile of the chopped chocolate bar and the chopped pile of pecans.



Drop the caramel in spoonfuls all over the top of the batter.

Fold it in, trying not to stir too hard. You want to see big golden streaks of caramel in the batter still.



Divide the batter between your prepared muffin cups.

Top each with a piece of chocolate and a pecan.



Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.



Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool, drizzle on a little more caramel if desired.



Enjoy!



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Monday, February 16, 2015

Blood Orange Ricotta Muffins #MuffinMonday

Fresh ricotta, scented with blood orange zest and mixed with brown sugar is a softly sweet filling for these lovely blood orange muffins.

Yesterday I popped into my local grocery store, which in the spirit of full disclosure, I should tell you is actually part of a large French chain, and I came across blood oranges. They were part of a great big display of citrus of all kinds from many countries. The sign said they were red oranges from Spain, but the fruit itself bore this sticker.


I must have wasted the better part of half an hour on the internet, trying to determine if they were indeed Spanish or, perhaps, Italian. Because, if you were a Spanish company, would you choose the Mona Lisa for your logo? Seems odd. Anyway, here I am, none the wiser about the provenance of my citrus, but I do have a lovely muffin to share.

I’d be delighted to hear from anyone who knows more about the Mona Lisa oranges. Enigmatic, they are. Just like her smile.

Ingredients
For ricotta filling:
3/4 cup or 180g fresh whole-milk ricotta
1/4 cup or 50g dark brown sugar
1 large egg white (Save the yolk for the muffin batter.)
1 tablespoon blood orange juice
Zest of one half blood orange
Pinch of salt

For the muffin batter:
2 cups or 250g flour
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest of one half blood orange
1/2 cup or 120ml canola oil
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
1/4 cup or 60ml blood orange juice
1 large egg
1 egg yolk (Because what else are you going to do with one yolk?)

Optional for decorating: 2-3 teaspoons pearl sugar

Method
Zest your blood orange and divide the zest into two small piles.

Put one pile in a small bowl with all of the other ricotta filling ingredients and mix well.

The blood orange juice is a gorgeous red, isn't it?


Put the filling in the refrigerator to keep cold.

Not the prettiest filling but so rich and delicious.
Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare a 12-cup muffin pan by greasing well or lining it with muffin papers.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the other small pile of zest.



In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together your oil, milk, juice, whole egg and yolk.

Pour your liquids into your dry ingredients and fold until just combined. There should still be a little flour showing.



Spoon or scoop a generous tablespoon of batter into your prepared muffin pan.

Top the batter with another good tablespoon of the ricotta filling.

Finish by dividing the remainder of the batter between the muffin cups.



Use a sharp knife to cut two or three ways through the batter to mix it up a little bit with the filling.



Sprinkle with a few pieces of pearl sugar, if desired. I like pearl sugar because it makes plain things pretty. This muffin is pretty special on the inside but fairly plain on the outside otherwise.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the muffins are golden.



Cool the whole pan on a wire rack for a few minutes then remove the muffins and continuing cooling them on the rack.



Enjoy!

See what I mean about the filling? You'll have to trust me that it tastes good!



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Monday, February 9, 2015

Dark Chocolate Toasted Sesame Muffins #MuffinMonday


Toasted sesame seeds and toasted sesame seed oil boost and complement the dark chocolate roasted sesame Lindt bar in this fragrant chocolate muffin. Plus, look how pretty the sesame seeds look! 

I have a small collection of Lindt and Frey Swiss chocolate bars that I have been amassing for a number of months because they come in such wonderful and unusual flavor combinations. Chocolate, of course, with orange, mint, sea salt, black currant, crunchy caramel, salted caramel, blueberry, passionfruit, cherry, chili, coconut, dark lemon and pepper, just to name a few! My master plan is to do a muffin series based on the chocolates. Doesn't that sounds like a fun idea? I finally got around to baking the first one today. And, before you ask, let me say that I have no affiliation with Lindt or Frey and I have bought all the chocolates myself.

I was extremely pleased with this first batch, using Lindt Dark Chocolate Roasted Sesame and my usual Monday morning taste testers enjoyed them too.

Ingredients 

1/2 cup or 70g sesame seeds
2 cups or 250g flour
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
1/4 cup or 25g cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup or 240ml milk
1/4 cup or 60ml toasted pure sesame oil
1 Lindt dark chocolate and roasted sesame bar (3 1/2 oz or 100g)

Method
Toast your sesame seeds in a nonstick skillet over a medium flame. Stir or toss them often to keep them from scorching. This takes just a few minutes. Set them aside to cool.

Chop your chocolate bar with a knife and put aside a small handful for decorating the tops of the muffins.



Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and either grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line it with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, stir together your flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and half of the toasted sesame seeds. No need to measure. Just eyeball it.



In another smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, milk, and toasted sesame oil.

The toasted sesame oil is a rich, golden brown.



Fold your wet ingredients into your dry ones.  Stop when there is still quite a bit of flour still unmixed.

Add in the larger pile of the chopped chocolate bar and stir again until the batter is just mixed.



Divide the batter between your prepared muffin cups.



Sprinkle on the remainder of the toasted sesame seeds then add a few little pieces of the reserved chocolate bar to each muffin.



Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.




Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.



Enjoy!



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Monday, February 2, 2015

Beans on Buttery Marmite Toast Muffins #MuffinMonday


Heinz Beans baked in a buttery white flour muffin subtly spiked with Marmite makes a great breakfast, snack or dinner. Add a fried egg or two to complete the meal. And more baked beans on the side, if you'd like. 

Beans on toast is a classic British meal, served up morning, noon or night, whenever something easy, cheap, hot and delicious is needed. I am reliably informed that it’s a great hangover cure but I cannot verify that from personal experience. It is certainly a favorite childhood dish and is still eaten with relish by many a Brit, of every age. Some butter the toast, some add the Heinz beans directly. A third group will butter, spread Marmite and then heap on the beans. But, always, always, it’s meant to be made with Heinz beans in the blue tin.

Here, I give you, beans on toast, with Marmite, muffin-style. They got the "These are delicious!" stamp of approval from my Scottish mother-in-law.

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups or 315g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 240ml milk
1/2 cup or 115g unsalted butter, melted then cooled
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Marmite, plus extra for garnish, if desired.
Generous 1/2 cup or 170g Heinz baked beans (Or Heinz Beanz as the blue can now reads)

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by generously greasing with butter, oil or non-stick spray.

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a large mixing bowl.



In another bowl, whisk together milk, melted butter, Marmite and eggs.



Add all the milk mixture to flour mixture.

Gently fold just until dry ingredients are moistened.



Divide a little more than half your batter relatively evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Make a little well with your tomato sauce dipped tablespoon and add in a scant tablespoon of Heinz Baked Beans.



Top with the remaining batter.



Add a few baked beans and a drizzle of the tomato sauce to the top.

Depending on your crowd, another little drizzle of Marmite can also be added. I wasn’t sure who would go for it so I did a few with extra Marmite and the rest without. Folks can always add more once they are baked as well.



Bake 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden.

Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before removing muffins from the pan.



Enjoy!



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Monday, January 26, 2015

Cream Cheese Banana Pecan Muffins #MuffinMonday


Sweet ripe bananas and soft cream cheese combine to make the best muffins! Add in a goodly number of toasted pecans and these are the perfect breakfast or snack. 

If you’ve ever had a look at my blog roll in the left hand column (assuming you aren’t on a mobile device, and then I don’t know where it goes!) you’ve likely noticed one link called Kelli’s Kitchen. That’s my friend, Kelli’s blog. She was blessed with a grandmother who loved to cook and bake and who was delighted to have little hands helping her in the kitchen as she concocted her culinary magic. Kelli often shares her Nana’s best-loved recipes but just last week, she published one for an Old-Fashioned Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread that she adapted from Southern Living Magazine. I love that Southern Living tried to make the banana nut bread healthier, using some whole wheat and reduced fat cream cheese, but Kelli did Kelli and made it more delicious. Even as I read her post, I knew that I would have to recreate that old-fashioned banana bread in muffin form.

Those sweet bananas and cream cheese may sounds like an unusual combination, but let me assure you that they are divine together. This may be my favorite sweet muffin so far in all my years of Muffin Monday.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cup or 190g flour
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium-sized bananas (Peeled, mine weighed a little more than 8oz or 230g together)
4 oz or 115g cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1/3 cup or 75g butter, melted then cooled
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups or 140g pecans, toasted

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Fill the muffin pan with liners or grease it really well with butter or non-stick spray. In case you are coveting them, my pretty liners were a gift from my elder daughter. They came from Crate & Barrel.

Measure your flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and give them a good stir to mix.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mash your bananas and softened cream cheese together with fork.



Add in the egg, butter, milk and vanilla and mix well.

Complete the batter by pouring the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and fold until they are just combined. You should still see a lot of dry flour.



Chop your pecans roughly and put aside a generous handful for topping. Fold the rest of the pecans into the batter.



Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups.



Sprinkle the tops with the reserved chopped pecans.



Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.



Allow to cool for a few minutes in the muffin pan and then remove to a rack to cool completely.



Enjoy!








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