Monday, June 24, 2019

Fig and Stilton Muffins #MuffinMonday

Not quite savory and not quite sweet, these fig and Stilton muffins are the perfect marriage of fruit and cheese in a fluffy quick bread. Serve for breakfast, tea time or as an accompaniment to a light lunch.

Food Lust People Love: Not quite savory and not quite sweet, these fig and Stilton muffins are the perfect marriage of fruit and cheese in a fluffy quick bread. Serve for breakfast, tea time or as an accompaniment to a light lunch. If you don’t have access to Stilton, substitute your favorite strong flavored blue cheese that crumbles well. The sweet sticky figs are the perfect complement to a strong blue cheese.


I adore fresh figs but they are so hard to come by. My stand in, soft dried figs, can’t replace them but they are so much better than no figs at all. I always assumed that they were dehydrated to the soft state I bought them in, but for the very first time, I actually read the package as I prepared to bake these muffins.

It says, and I quote: Partially rehydrated dried figs.

Which brought up a question for me. Why dry them out completely if you are going to add moisture back at a later date? I spent a couple of days down the rabbit hole of internet research. Who knew dried fig production was such a popular subject for scholarly papers! The best explanation I came up with was that dried figs have a longer shelf life but people want to buy them soft. Hence the two-step process.

The figs are picked when at optimal ripeness then dried completely. They are gently rehydrated which plumps them up and makes them edible again. If you’ve never tried them, they have a similar texture to dried apricots, in other words, they are chewy and sticky. Not hard at all except for the very end of the stems.

Fig and Stilton Muffins

If you don’t have access to Stilton, substitute your favorite strong flavored blue cheese that crumbles well. The sweet sticky figs are the perfect complement to a strong blue cheese.

Ingredients
2 cups or 250g all purpose flour
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 180ml buttermilk
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil, plus extra for greasing pan
2 large eggs
5 1/3 oz or 150g soft dried figs (about 9-10 figs)
3 1/2 oz or 100g Stilton cheese

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C and generously grease cups and top of 12-cup muffin pan with oil. The fig and cheese make these more likely to stick than other muffins.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

Remove any hard stems on the figs with a sharp knife. Chop the figs roughly and set aside at least 12 pieces to pop on top of the muffins before baking.



Add the rest to the flour mixture and fold gently until they are coated with flour, separating any bits that are stuck together.

Trim any hard rind off of your cheese and discard. Crumble the rest with a fork.



In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, canola and eggs.

Add all the wet mixture to the dry ingredients mixing bowl.



Fold just until dry ingredients are just moistened.  You may still see some flour.

Now fold in the crumbled Stilton, saving a little bit for topping each muffin.



Divide your batter relatively evenly between the 12 muffin cups.  Top with the reserved fig and Stilton pieces.



Bake 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden.

Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before removing muffins from the pan. I suggest running a dull knife around the sides of the muffin first to aid in removal.

Food Lust People Love: Not quite savory and not quite sweet, these fig and Stilton muffins are the perfect marriage of fruit and cheese in a fluffy quick bread. Serve for breakfast, tea time or as an accompaniment to a light lunch. If you don’t have access to Stilton, substitute your favorite strong flavored blue cheese that crumbles well. The sweet sticky figs are the perfect complement to a strong blue cheese.


Enjoy!

Food Lust People Love: Not quite savory and not quite sweet, these fig and Stilton muffins are the perfect marriage of fruit and cheese in a fluffy quick bread. Serve for breakfast, tea time or as an accompaniment to a light lunch. If you don’t have access to Stilton, substitute your favorite strong flavored blue cheese that crumbles well. The sweet sticky figs are the perfect complement to a strong blue cheese.


Check out the other great muffin recipes my Muffin Monday friends are sharing today! 
Muffin Monday
#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.

Pin these Fig and Stilton Muffins! 

Food Lust People Love: Not quite savory and not quite sweet, these fig and Stilton muffins are the perfect marriage of fruit and cheese in a fluffy quick bread. Serve for breakfast, tea time or as an accompaniment to a light lunch. If you don’t have access to Stilton, substitute your favorite strong flavored blue cheese that crumbles well. The sweet sticky figs are the perfect complement to a strong blue cheese.


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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Roasted Rhubarb Upside Down Cake #BundtBakers

Orange almond cake batter is spooned onto sweet roasted rhubarb and baked to golden perfection for a beautiful dessert your whole family will adore. Drizzled with the sticky rhubarb syrup and topped with chopped pistachios for a hit of color and crunch, this roasted rhubarb upside down cake is our new favorite sweet treat.

Food Lust People Love: Orange almond cake batter is spooned onto sweet roasted rhubarb and baked to golden perfection for a beautiful dessert your whole family will adore. Drizzled with the sticky rhubarb syrup and topped with chopped pistachios for a hit of color and crunch, this roasted rhubarb upside down cake is our new favorite sweet treat.


Years ago, when I was growing up in Houston, Texas, our neighborhood by-laws didn’t permit garage sales, so a couple of times a year the civic association organized a white elephant sale in a nearby stadium parking lot. For a $10 fee, you could park your car and display your wares right behind it. For my mom and me, those sales were a highlight. We’d set up and sell stuff, but we also loved to browse for treasures, so we’d take turns manning our own “stall” and shopping.

Fast forward many years and I discovered that my favorite childhood event is a common thing in the United Kingdom. It’s called a car boot sale since car boot = car trunk. No prior registration is necessary – anyone can just rock up with a full car and pay a fee, typically £8 ($10) and sell their junk, I mean, treasures. Best of all, during the summer time, car boot sales happen Every Single Weekend!

Last weekend at the car boot sale here in Jersey, we bought two huge chancre crabs, four gorgeous hydrangeas in pots, a couple of books and a healthy bunch of homegrown rhubarb. For Father’s Day on Sunday, I wanted to make something special for my husband who adores rhubarb. This cake did not disappoint!

Roasted Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the recipe for the roasted rhubarb, I decided to publish that separately since it actually makes twice the rhubarb you need for this cake. You can follow those instructions and use half the amounts if you don’t want the extra sweet roasted rhubarb, but I promise it will be eaten, and promptly, if you do!

Ingredients
For the cake batter:
1/2 cup or 113g butter, softened, plus extra for the pan
1/2 cup or 100g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup or 125g plain flour, plus extra for the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 75g polenta or fine cornmeal, plus a little extra for the pan
1/4 cup or 30g ground almonds
2 tablespoons or 30ml fresh orange or clementine juice
2 teaspoons orange or clementine zest

To assemble: 1/2 of the roasted rhubarb from this recipe: Sweet Roasted Rhubarb
To decorate: 1 tablespoon roughly chopped pistachios

Method
Follow the link in the ingredients list for instructions to roast your rhubarb and set aside to cool while you prepare the cake batter.



Generously grease and flour a 6-cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle an additional teaspoon of fine cornmeal on the bottom. This makes a bit of a thin crust so the rhubarb doesn’t stick to the pan.



Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C. (Or turn it down if it's still hot from roasting the rhubarb.)

Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Whisk to combine.



Fold in the fine cornmeal, ground almonds, orange juice and zest until well combined.



Line the bottom of your Bundt pan with roasted rhubarb, saving any excess to serve alongside it. I chose all of the prettiest pinker bits, another reason to roast more that you actually need!



Spoon the batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top with a spatula.



Bake for 30-35 minutes until it is golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven but leave in the pan to cool for about 10 minutes. Any longer and it might end up sticking so do set a timer.

Food Lust People Love: Orange almond cake batter is spooned onto sweet roasted rhubarb and baked to golden perfection for a beautiful dessert your whole family will adore. Drizzled with the sticky rhubarb syrup and topped with chopped pistachios for a hit of color and crunch, this roasted rhubarb upside down cake is our new favorite sweet treat.


Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely. At this point, I used a dull knife to flick away some of the cornmeal "crust" on top to better reveal the beautiful rhubarb.

Drizzle or brush on some sticky syrup from the roasted rhubarb. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios with a little more syrup on top to help them stick.

Food Lust People Love: Orange almond cake batter is spooned onto sweet roasted rhubarb and baked to golden perfection for a beautiful dessert your whole family will adore. Drizzled with the sticky rhubarb syrup and topped with chopped pistachios for a hit of color and crunch, this roasted rhubarb upside down cake is our new favorite sweet treat.


Enjoy!

Food Lust People Love: Orange almond cake batter is spooned onto sweet roasted rhubarb and baked to golden perfection for a beautiful dessert your whole family will adore. Drizzled with the sticky rhubarb syrup and topped with chopped pistachios for a hit of color and crunch, this roasted rhubarb upside down cake is our new favorite sweet treat.


Many thanks to this month’s Bundt Bakers host, Sue from Palatable Pastime. We are sharing cakes that are perfect for picnics! Along with my little 6-cup Bundt which travels well, check out all the other great cakes we've baked for you.

BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

Pin this Roasted Rhubarb Upside Down Cake! 

Food Lust People Love: Orange almond cake batter is spooned onto sweet roasted rhubarb and baked to golden perfection for a beautiful dessert your whole family will adore. Drizzled with the sticky rhubarb syrup and topped with chopped pistachios for a hit of color and crunch, this roasted rhubarb upside down cake is our new favorite sweet treat.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Sweet Roasted Rhubarb

Sweet roasted rhubarb with a hint of orange and vanilla makes the perfect accompaniment to ice cream, cake or yogurt. We also love it topped with double cream or baked in an upside down cake.

Food Lust People Love: Sweet roasted rhubarb with a hint of orange and vanilla makes the perfect accompaniment to ice cream, cake or yogurt. We also love it topped with double cream or baked in an upside down cake.


Tomorrow I’ll be sharing a small orange almond Bundt cake recipe that uses half of this recipe of sweet roasted rhubarb but the more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that the rhubarb deserved its own post.

It is super simple to make, keeps well for several days in the refrigerator and it can be eaten so many ways. Even though I was roasting the rhubarb specifically to make the cake, I roasted twice the amount needed because my husband is a huge rhubarb fan and I knew he’d love leftovers. Also, I must confess, I had another more selfish motive as well. I wanted to be able to choose the prettiest dark pink bits for the cake.

Sweet Roasted Rhubarb

I make vanilla sugar by adding 2-3 vanilla pods to about 2 cups or 400g white sugar in airtight container and setting it aside for a couple of weeks in a cool cupboard. The sugar takes on the vanilla flavor and is wonderful in all sorts of recipes, or even just in a cup of warm milk before bed. If you don’t have vanilla sugar, substitute normal sugar and add one teaspoon of vanilla extract to the orange juice instead.

Ingredients
14 oz or 400g rhubarb, cut into 2 in or 5cm lengths
1/4 cup or 50g vanilla sugar vanilla extract
2 tablespoons or 30ml fresh orange or clementine juice
Good pinch flakey sea salt

Method
Preheat the oven temperature to 400°F or 200°C. Trim the dried ends and brown bits off of the rhubarb. Cut it into 2 in or 5cm pieces.



Pile the rhubarb on a baking tray. Pour on the juice, add the vanilla sugar and toss to coat.



Spread the pieces of rhubarb out so they aren’t touching.

Food Lust People Love: Sweet roasted rhubarb with a hint of orange and vanilla makes the perfect accompaniment to ice cream, cake or yogurt. We also love it topped with double cream or baked in an upside down cake.


Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the rhubarb is fork tender. Set aside to cool.

Food Lust People Love: Sweet roasted rhubarb with a hint of orange and vanilla makes the perfect accompaniment to ice cream, cake or yogurt. We also love it topped with double cream or baked in an upside down cake.



Store the rhubarb and the syrupy juice in a covered container in the refrigerator. Serve cold or warmed with something creamy like yogurt, ice cream or cream. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of rhubarb, you might also enjoy these recipes:



Pin this Sweet Roasted Rhubarb! 

Food Lust People Love: Sweet roasted rhubarb with a hint of orange and vanilla makes the perfect accompaniment to ice cream, cake or yogurt. We also love it topped with double cream or baked in an upside down cake.
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