Tag: muffins

Orange, Chocolate & Buckwheat Muffins

Orange, Chocolate & Buckwheat Muffins

What a week!

The German Eat In My Kitchen book is out and my English book will follow next week, on the 4th October. Just 2 more nights!

The New York Times included the Eat In My Kitchen book in their list of ‘The Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016’. NY Times’ editor Florence Fabricant wrote a very nice review and also shared one of my recipes from the book. To call me excited would be a complete understatement – I feel insanely happy!

I had my first book launch event in my hometown Berlin, on the gorgeous roof terrace of the stunning Hotel de Rome. It was a golden afternoon, literally, we had blue skies and a slow sunset that wrapped the whole scene in magical light! There were so many wonderful people, fantastic wine from Meridiana Wine Estate in Malta, I offered my first food tastings – and saw many happy faces – and I held my first talk about my book, with dear Cynthia Barcomi. It was an unforgettable event and the best start possible for my book tour (you can see the pictures of the event here). Here’s a picture of me at my launch, taken after I gave one of my cookbooks to tennis legend Boris Becker and his wife – the lunching family had to move table due to our event. I still feel a little bad because of that. Lots of nice pictures from the event are waiting on my computer to be shared on the blog, but I guess they’ll have to wait a few more weeks, Malta is the next stop on my book tour. More adventures, book talks, and travels to come! To be continued …

Here’s a muffin recipe that I came up with – by request – a few months ago. Although oranges are a typical winter fruit, you can find them on the large fruit plate in my kitchen all year round. I can’t live without their fragrant zest, especially in my baking. Pair it with bittersweet chocolate and you end up with one of the best combinations that the sweet world can offer (see last week’s recipe from my cookbook). My quick and easy Sunday muffin is gluten free, made with buckwheat flour and ground almonds. It adds a nutty flavour, the texture is a little less dainty compared to plain flour, but the result is wonderful. Give me a cup of cappuccino and a few of these breakfast treats and I’m in heaven, especially when I can move straight to my sofa after a week of so much excitement.

Orange, Chocolate & Buckwheat Muffins

 

Orange, Chocolate & Buckwheat Muffins

Orange, Chocolate, and Buckwheat Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

buckwheat flour 200 g / 1 1/3 cups
ground hazelnuts or almonds 170 g / 1 1/2 cups
granulated sugar 100 g / 1/2 cup
freshly grated orange zest 3 tablespoons, plus more for topping
baking powder 3 teaspoons
baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
fine sea salt 1/4 teaspoon
freshly squeezed orange juice 120 ml / 1/2 cup
whole milk 120 ml / 1/2 cup
organic eggs 3
unsalted butter, melted and cooled, 125 g / 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon
bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped, 100 g / 3 1/2 ounces

paper muffin pan liners 12

Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F (preferably convection setting). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, hazelnuts, sugar, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice, milk, eggs, and butter. Add to the flour-mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just until a lumpy batter forms. Gently fold in the chocolate. Mind that if you mix the batter too much, the muffins will lose their light texture.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 16 minutes (slightly longer if using a conventional oven) or until golden. Take the muffins out of the pan and let them cool on a wire rack for 2 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the tops with a little orange zest.

Orange, Chocolate & Buckwheat Muffins

 

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Orange, Chocolate & Buckwheat Muffins

 

orangechocolatebuckwheatmuffins8

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

 

plummuffinsPlum & Cinnamon Muffins8

Grape and Olive Oil Friands with Caramelized Rosemary

Grape and Friands with Caramelized Rosemary

I don’t know what drove me to come up with a grape-recipe in April, but it must have had something to do with the fact that I desperately felt like baking with fruits and there was nothing else in sight that sparked my interest. I went to the shop around the corner to find some inspiration, but there were just a few tiny baskets of unripe strawberries, I spotted plump blueberries, which seem to have become available all year round, and some very delicate – and artificial – looking raspberries. I didn’t get excited by any of them.

I usually try to follow the (local) seasons, but there was a bag full of South African grapes that seemed to fit perfectly to the bunch of rosemary that I had already picked. So they became the main flavours for my French olive oil friands. If we leave out the fact that it’s not the fruit’s season in the northern hemisphere where I live, it’s a cozy sweet treat that is just right when the weather is too moody to go outside, or there’s too much work on the desk, and you’re forced to stay inside. A nibble of this aromatic beauty and the world looks much nicer again.

In case you’ve never heard of friands before – I must admit I was one of them – they are sumptuous small cakes, a patisserie classic. They look similar to muffins but the texture is actually more fine and delicate. They are made with ground almonds and just a little flour, and a generous amount of beaten egg white that helps the batter to rise instead of baking powder or baking soda. Traditionally made with melted butter, I just followed my mood and replaced the dairy product with mild olive oil. It was a good choice, especially in combination with the sweet fruit and fragrant herb.

Grape and Friands with Caramelized Rosemary

 

Grape and Friands with Caramelized Rosemary

Grape and Olive Oil Friands with Caramelized Rosemary

Makes 12 friands (in a muffin pan)

For the friands

organic egg whites 6
fine sea salt 1/8 teaspoon
granulated sugar 180g / 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
ground almonds (or hazelnuts) 200g / 1 2/3 cups
plain flour 80g / 2/3 cup
freshly grated orange zest 2 teaspoons
mild olive oil 140ml / 2/3 cup
small dark grapes, preferably seedless (or seeds removed), 36 (3 grapes for each friand)
icing sugar, for the topping

For the caramelized rosemary

granulated sugar 3 tablespoons
water 2 tablespoons
the ends of 12 sprigs of rosemary (with about 4-5 needles each)

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F (conventional setting). Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with olive oil, dust with a little flour, and place in the fridge. Cut 12 circles of parchment paper, large enough for the bottom of each muffin cup; set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar for about 1 minute until it forms soft peaks.

In a second, large bowl, combine the remaining sugar, ground almonds, flour, and orange zest. In alternating batches, fold in the beaten egg whites and the olive oil, about 1/3 at a time. Stir gently until just combined.

Take the muffin pan out of the fridge, lay 1 parchment circle into each muffin cup, and divide the batter between the cups. Place 3 grapes on top of the batter in each muffin cup and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean. Let the friands cool for a few minutes, then, using a small sharp knife, cut along the sides of the muffin cups and lift the friands out of the muffin pan. Remove the parchment paper.

For the caramelized rosemary, place a piece of parchment paper on the counter top. In a small, heavy pan, heat the sugar and water on high heat, without stirring. When the sugar is golden and caramelized, stir in the rosemary until coated in caramel and transfer to the parchment paper. Let it cool for a few minutes before you peel it off the parchment paper.

Dust the friands with icing sugar and garnish with the caramelized rosemary. They taste best on the first day.

Grape and Friands with Caramelized Rosemary

 

Grape and Friands with Caramelized Rosemary

 

Grape and Friands with Caramelized Rosemary

 

Grape and Friands with Caramelized Rosemary

 

Grape and Friands with Caramelized Rosemary

 

oliveoilgrapefriands12

 

oliveoilgrapefriands8

Banana Muffins with White and Dark Chocolate Chunks

White and Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

We had a muffin feast in my kitchen this week, it started off with my marmalade muffins which I made with my tangerine jam instead of the blood orange spread that I normally use. They were fantastic, sweet and christmassy! The golden citrus muffins filled the air with a wonderful smell that only muffins can create after only a few minutes in the oven. It’s so good I could have it in the kitchen all the time! Inspired by this sweet aroma, I had an idea for another recipe, banana muffins with lots of chunky white and dark chocolate. Luckily I bought too many bananas (again), they started to get darker and darker and seemed to say “you had better decide what you’re going to do with us”. When they are deep yellow with some brown patches they have just the right texture to be turned into a fruity purée for juices or muffins, honey sweet and velvety. I added milky white chocolate and its bittersweet counterpart to the dough and while I stirred the chunks in I could already smell that this would lead to a satisfying result. The two kinds of chocolate are a great match to the ripe fruit!

When I took pictures of these muffins, Emma from Malta was still here with us. She joined me in the kitchen which was freezing cold at that point as I had to leave the window wide open to have better light for my photos. Emma watched me impatiently like a hungry little squirrel, asking me once in a while how it was going. It looked quite funny, both of us in winter jackets, taking pictures of the most tempting sweets right in front of our noses as red as Rudolph’s!

White and Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

 

White and Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

 White and Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

For a muffin tray with 12 molds you need

ripe bananas, 2 (about 200g/ 7 ounces)
plain flour 200g / 7 ounces
baking powder 2 1/2 teaspoons
baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
salt 1/4 teaspoon
butter, melted, 80g / 3 ounces
organic egg 1
maple syrup 2 tablespoons
vanilla bean, scraped, 1/4
white chocolate, roughly chopped, 70g / 2.5 ounces
bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped, 70g / 2.5 ounces

Set your oven to 190°C / 375°F (fan-assisted oven) and put paper baking cups into the 12 molds of the muffin tray.

Purée the bananas in a food processor.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the melted butter, the egg, maple syrup and vanilla in another bowl and pour into the dry mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until you have a lumpy dough (with a bit of flour left here and there). Gently fold in the chopped chocolate, and keep in mind, the more you mix it the more it will lose its light texture.

Fill the muffin tray with the dough and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

White and Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

 

White and Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

 

White and Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

 

White and Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

 

White and Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

 

White and Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

Fruity Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Muffins! Spongy, sugar coated and full of big, juicy blueberries that pop open in your mouth when you take the first bite, that’s the perfect muffin to me! After my wintery blood orange marmalade muffin and my drunken Irish Coffee Muffin, the time was ripe for a fresh and fruity weekend muffin. I make the dough with buttermilk which gives them a light and fluffy texture, it’s so light that you can empty half a tray without noticing!

You could also replace the blueberries with raspberries or strawberries which are at the peak of their season here at the moment. Peaches are nice too although I think it’s still a bit early for them. I’ve spotted them at the markets already, from Italy mainly, but they don’t look ripe and juicy yet, more pale and hard as a rock. I’d rather wait another month or two for a satisfying peach experience.

Frozen fruits work as well but keep in mind that they will soak the dough a bit more as they are a bit soggy when they have been defrosted. The muffins may need a little longer in the oven and won’t give you the full berry aroma, so if possible, throw in the fresh ones!

Blueberry Muffins

 Blueberry Muffins

You need a muffin tray with 12 molds and paper baking cups

Set your oven to 200°C / 390°F

plain flour 200g / 7 ounces
sugar 70g / 2.5 ounces plus 1 teaspoon for the topping
baking powder 2 1/2 teaspoons
baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
a pinch of salt
buttermilk 190ml / 6.5 ounces
butter, melted, 90g / 3 ounces
organic egg 1
a pinch of fresh vanilla
blueberries 180g / 6.5 ounces

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl (except the vanilla). Whisk the melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla and egg in another bowl. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, stir with a wooden spoon until you have a lumpy dough and gently fold in the blueberries. The more you mix it the more it will lose its light texture so don’t mix it too long.

Fill the muffin tray, sprinkle some sugar on top and bake for 14 minutes or until golden.

Blueberry Muffins

 

Blueberry Muffins

 

Blueberry Muffins

 

Blueberry Muffins

Irish Coffee Muffins

Irish Coffee Muffins

Saint Patrick’s Day is close and although it is a religious feast to praise the patron saint of Ireland, it reminds me of a rather profane culinary pleasure, Irish Coffee. It’s one of my favourite hot drinks! Sitting at a fireplace, cosy and relaxed, with a glass of warming Irish Coffee in my hands is unbeatable! I like it so much that I decided to put it in my muffins as well.

I mix some Irish whiskey, coffee and cream into the dough to be rewarded with the most delicious and fluffy muffins, but they are for adults only as I also topped them with whiskey infused whipped cream. I wanted strong spirit and coffee flavours and I got it! After cleaning the last drops of dough off the bowl with my fingers I already felt a bit tipsy!

If you like muffins as much as I do you can also try my Blood Orange Cinnamon Muffin recipe.

Irish Coffee Muffins

 Irish Coffee Muffins

You need a muffin tray with 12 molds and paper baking cups.

Set your oven to 180°C / 355°F

plain flour 270g / 9.5 ounces
sugar 150g / 5.5 ounces
baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons
baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
salt 1/2 teaspoon
whiskey 50ml
strong espresso 50ml
heavy cream 100ml
butter, melted, 100g / 3.5 ounces
organic eggs 2

For the topping

whipping cream 200ml
whiskey 1 tablespoon
a pinch of fresh vanilla

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk the cream, espresso and whiskey and add the melted butter and eggs. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a lumpy dough. The more you mix it the more it will lose its light texture so don’t mix it too long.

Fill the muffin tray and bake the muffins for 15 minutes or until golden. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean.

Beat the whipping cream with the vanilla and stir in the whiskey.

Cut the tops off the muffins, dollop a spoonful of cream on and put the tops on again.

Irish Coffee Muffins

 

Irish Coffee Muffins

 

Irish Coffee Muffins

 

Irish Coffee Muffins

Wintery Sunday Morning Muffins with Blood Orange Marmalade

Sunday Morning Muffin

Sunday morning is made for muffins. They combine the spongy feeling of  a cake with the handiness of a cookie and they don’t take much longer to make than pancakes. You don’t even need an electric mixer. You combine everything with a spoon to a lumpy dough, fill the tray and within 12 minutes you’ll have warm little muffins on your breakfast table. It can’t get any better on a Sunday morning!

This recipe doesn’t need many ingredients, you might already have them at home if you like baking. I mix some of my blood orange marmalade into the dough which you can easily replace with bitter orange marmalade (that’s what I normally do) or with plum jam or any other jam that fits to cinnamon and nutmeg as I add these two spices as well. These muffins are light and fluffy, I love them warm, tear them in half and let their wintery aroma fill the air!

Sunday Morning Muffin

Sunday Morning Muffins with Marmalade and Cinnamon

You need a muffin tray with 12 molds and paper baking cups

Set your oven to 200°C / 390°F

plain flour 200g / 7 ounces
sugar 70g / 2.5 ounces plus 1 teaspoon for the topping
baking powder 2 1/2 teaspoons
baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon for the topping
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of salt
milk 160ml
butter, melted, 50g / 2 ounces
organic egg 1
blood orange marmalade 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons
(or bitter orange marmalade or plum jam)

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the melted butter, the milk, egg and marmalade. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a lumpy dough. The more you mix it the more it will lose its light texture so don’t mix it too long.

Fill the muffin tray. Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping, sprinkle on top and bake for 12 minutes or until golden.

Sunday Morning Muffin