Tag: buttermilk

Plum, Cinnamon & Buttermilk Muffins

Plum & Cinnamon Muffins

More plums and more muffins!

On Wednesday, I mentioned my unstoppable appetite for plums. I turned the sweet and sour fruit into a caramelized topping for a rich cheese omelette and made a heavenly ciabatta sandwich. Today I turned them into muffins, fluffy muffins, refined with lots of cinnamon and pretty plums on top. I need my sweet dose of homemade cake at least once a week and there’s no better day to indulge in this treat than on a Sunday. And if I don’t have much time, I go for muffins. A batch of 12 is just enough for the two of us for breakfast and tea time, and the last nibbles are reserved for dessert.

I like to use German plums for baking, also known as Damson plums, but feel free to use Italian plums or any variety you can find. Apples, pears, or blueberry work just as well, I’d even give some late summer peaches or figs a go.

More muffin inspiration:

Carrot and Pineapple Muffins with Hazelnuts

Bittersweet Chocolate Muffins filled with Peanut Butter

Chocolate and Orange Muffins

Fig, Ricotta and Olive Oil Muffins

Banana Muffins with White and Dark Chocolate

Cherry and Chocolate Muffins

Plum & Cinnamon Muffins

 

Plum & Cinnamon Muffins

Plum, Cinnamon & Buttermilk Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

plain flour 200g / 1 1/2 cups
granulated sugar 70g / 1/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons for the topping
baking powder 2 1/2 teaspoons
baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
a pinch of salt
ground cinnamon 1 1/2 teaspoons, plus 1/2 teaspoon for the topping
buttermilk 190ml / 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon
butter, melted and cooled, 90g / 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon
organic egg 1
large plums 8, cut into thin wedges

paper baking cups 12

Set the oven to 200°C / 400°F (preferably convection setting) and line the 12 molds of a muffin tray with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

For the topping, combine the sugar and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, buttermilk, and egg, then pour into the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until you have a lumpy dough, with a bit of flour left here and there. Keep in mind, the more you mix it, the more it will lose its light texture. Divide the dough between the muffin cups and arrange the plum wedges on top. For the topping, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and bake for about 15 minutes (slightly longer if using a conventional oven) or until the muffins are golden and firm on top. Let them cool for 1-2 minutes before you take them out of the tray.

Plum & Cinnamon Muffins

 

Plum & Cinnamon Muffins

 

Plum & Cinnamon Muffins

 

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Clementine and Saffron Cake

Clementine and Saffron Cake

In the past few days, my oven hardly stopped working – I baked, and baked, and baked. I wanted to give some recipes from my book a final test run, which meant we ended up with three cakes, a bowl of cookies, and a huge pot of soup on the table. We couldn’t cope, so a bunch of friends came over yesterday – my happy helpers when there’s more food in my kitchen than two people can possibly eat. We started with mulled wine in the late afternoon, had an extensive cake and cookie tasting session, enjoyed the soup to balance our sugar shock, and finished the night with even more mulled wine. The dishes were all received with great enthusiasm (and with different favourites, which is fantastic), and this morning I woke up without a headache. It’s a good weekend!

Before I jumped into my test baking, I put a new creation in my oven, a fragrant clementine and saffron loaf cake inspired by Marilena’s Milk Pan di Campobasso – a traditional cake from the Molise region, in Italy. Marilena’s cake is infused with saffron threads and Strega liqueur (an Italian saffron spirit), and covered with a crunchy hazelnut chocolate icing. It was the first time that I used this sumptuous spice for sweets and I learned that it’s absolutely delicious when used moderately. It’s been almost two years since I mixed saffron into a cake batter so I thought it’s time to take it out of the spice box again. I added the sweet juices of clementines, a little zest, and some buttermilk, and turned it into a juicy teatime cake.

Clementine and Saffron Cake

 

Clementine and Saffron Cake

Clementine and Saffron Cake

For a 24cm x 10,5cm / 9.5″ x 4″  loaf tin you need

buttermilk 90ml / 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon
saffron threads 1/3 teaspoon
plain flour 210g / 1  2/3 cups
cornstarch 70g / 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon
baking powder 3 teaspoons
salt 1/4 teaspoon
butter, soft, 180g / 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon
granulated sugar 180g / 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
organic eggs 3
freshly grated clementine zest 2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed clementine juice 3 tablespoons

For the clementine syrup

icing sugar 2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed clementine juice 3 tablespoons

For the topping

freshly grated clementine zest

Set the oven to 160°C / 320°F (preferably convection setting) and butter a 24 x 10 1/2-cm / 9 1/2 x 4-inch loaf pan.

In a small bowl, add the buttermilk and saffron and stir to combine.

Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, add the sugar and continue mixing until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between. When the mixture is light and creamy mix in the zest and juice. Fold in the flour-cornstarch mixture with a wooden spoon in batches, alternating with the saffron-buttermilk (about 1/3 of each at a time). Pour the dough into the buttered pan and bake for about 52 minutes or until golden on top (slightly longer if using a conventional oven). Check with a skewer, it should come out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for a few minutes before you transfer it to a wire rack.

For the syrup, whisk the icing sugar and clementine juice until combined. Prick the warm cake. Slowly pour the clementine syrup over the cake, sprinkle with a little clementine zest, and enjoy!

Clementine and Saffron Cake

 

Clementine and Saffron Cake

 

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