Here’s another muffin recipe – I’m always experimenting with ingredients and tweaking recipes to create new taste and texture sensations.
Figs are plentiful in early autumn in Sydney, and a colleague brought me some beautiful bounty from the Southern Highlands from her very own fig tree. Lucky Ms L to have a tree bearing such luscious treats!
This recipe is based on one from Mike McKenearney’s “Kitchen by Mike” see here for details – with a bit of method thrown in from Matt Stone’s Greenhouse Muffins and my own flavour combo of fresh figs, stem ginger and frangipane.
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of sea salt
80g butter, softened
65ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
2 free-range eggs
75ml buttermilk (or ordinary milk with a good squeeze of lemon juice added)
6 fresh figs
6 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped
1/2 quantity of frangipane
A couple of teaspoonfuls of a good jam – apricot works well
Handful of flaked almonds, toasted
100g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
1 free-range egg
These quantities make 6 big muffins. You could probably get 8 or so daintier muffins from the mixture.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line a six-hole muffin tin with baking paper or paper cases.
In an electric mixer, whisk the butter, oil and sugar until smooth, and the sugar has dissolved. The mixture should look creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slowly add the buttermilk or lemon-soured milk.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into another bowl and then add 1/2 cup of the flour mixture and whisk on a low speeed until smooth. Be careful not to overmix and this will toughen the muffins.
Fold in the remaining flour mixture, again being careful not to overmix.
Chop 4 of the figs into quarters and then half each quarter. Carefully fold the chopped figs and the chopped stem ginger into the muffin mixture and then spoon evenly into the baking papers or muffin cases.
To make the frangipane, cream the butter and caster sugar in a food processor, add the egg and ground almonds and process until smooth. (You will only need 1/2 this quantity, if that).
Mix a good teaspoonful of the frangipane into each muffin. It doesn’t matter if it’s not mixed in too well – it’s nice to have an almond surprise in the centre of the muffin!
Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
When the muffins are cool, brush the top of each muffin with jam, then sprinkle on some toasted flaked almonds.
I decorated with slices of the remaining 2 figs. It would be nice too, to bake some fig slices on the top of the muffins. My track record of having baked fruit pieces stay on top of muffins and cakes is not good! They always sink. So I content myself with decorating the baked goods with fresh fruit.
Serve on their own or maybe with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt.