However I really really like Hot Cross Buns, so I felt it necessary to bake them again this year. To me it feels a little like Christmas baking. You know with the oven on, baking, cinnamon, mixed spice, sultanas etc. Admittedly in previous years at Easter it wasn’t so cold that it actually felt like Christmas!
Last summer I was growing a whole host of different veggies in my garden, but in the end I never got much of anything. Unless 3 cherry tomatoes counts as a glut.
Towards the middle of last summer my Mum brought me up a rhubarb plant, by this point I had very low expectations of anything in my garden.
However I planted it, not really believing that it would last the winter. (With new rhubarbs you are meant to leave them a year to bed in before picking).
Surprisingly not only did it survive but it’s doing amazingly well!
With my homegrown rhubarb I knew I wanted to something a bit different – not something I could buy in the shops like a pie or crumble and something so good I would have to blog about it.
It’s been a while since I have made the staple of this blog – the muffin – so the decision was easy.
I also have plans for Rhubarb Vodka and Rhubarb Ice Cream.
I haven’t been baking or cooking very much this month or last. Blogging has gone much the same way. My weekends have been spent almost entirely outside soaking up the first of the good weather, and in reality gutting our new garden.
However I decided it would be wrong to let Easter pass without at least baking something, so I opted for Simnel Cake.
Yesterday in the UK the weather seemed to really turn a corner, there were blue skies, and you could feel the warmth from the sun. It was perfect and long past overdue!
I have been meaning to try these muffins for a while, originally because I thought they might give me a shot of sunshine despite there not being any really sun to speak of. However for once the recipe and the weather aligned and I got a perfect Spring muffins.
Recently I have fallen in love with ginger all over again. It all started on a cold blustery day, it was dark, and my head was all stuffed up. Instead of making myself the usual cup of coffee and choccy biccy to cheer myself up, I decided to try something a bit different and made ginger and lemon tea. It really cheered me up, it was so wonderfully strong and spicy. The next day I bought the biggest ginger root I could find and began to scour the internet for ginger related recipes.
There are lots of things I could have done with the last of my fresh cranberries, and fighting the temptation to just make Chicken and Cranberry Sauce again, I decided that it was time for another post on muffins.
With the last of my pumpkin I decided to make muffins, as although I love muffins I only have one blog post on them, the eponymous Coffee Muffin Recipe post.
Recently I have been hearing about the US canned pumpkin shortage but American’s don’t know how easy they’ve got it – I can’t find canned pumpkin anywhere! This makes it more difficult to follow the dozens of Pumpkin recipes out there on the interwebs, so I have had to adapt this Pumpkin Muffin Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
The brown butter adaption is something that has been running about in the back of head for some time, I loved the idea of a nuttier buttery taste. This recipe like most muffin recipes use oil instead of butter, but I figured that substituting melted butter would work just the same.
The links in the recipe below, take you to subsequent pages of this post that explain how to make each ingredient from scratch.
Brown Butter Pumpkin Muffins
~ makes 12.
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree (or 1 cup of canned solid-pack pumpkin)
- 1/4 cup of brown butter (or 1/3 cup vegetable oil)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice or make your own pumpkin-pie spice
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 180oC or 350oF. Line a tin with muffin cups, or in my case fairy cake liners.
Add the pumpkin, brown butter, spices, sugar, baking soda and salt (if using), from reading the recipe Smitten Kitchen suggests mixing with a whisk as makes it much harder to over mix.
In another bowl mix the flour and the baking powder. Whisk the flour mixture into the pumpkin batter, until mixed through.
Pour the mixture into the liners making sure each one is around 3/4 full, although I had some extra batter left at the end so I just topped them all up.
Sprinkle on top of each muffin the cinnamon sugar.
Pop the tray into the oven for around 25 to 30 minutes, until they are golden and puffed up. Leave them to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then allow them to cool further on a wire rack.
When the muffins were ready I was astounded by the wonderful orange colour, so vivid but so natural. It was a beautiful moist muffin, and the spices were just perfect.
I am not sure if on top of the different spices and the pumpkin I could really taste the brown butter in the final muffin, but I could definitely smell it when they were cooking!
This is definitely our favourite muffin recipe in a while, definitely a keeper.