Muffins a favourite at bakery
PASTRY CHEF Nadine Ingram has worked in highprofile establishments around the world. In 2011 she realised her vision of a bakery that served classic inspired pastries with Flour and Stone, her first bricks and mortar store. She shows her passion for baking with a book of the same name, FlourandStone.
The book is a collection of favourite recipes people keep coming back to.
It’s a mouth-watering nod to the golden era of home-baked scones with dollops of jam and cream and hand-iced biscuits.
Following is a recipe from her book.
Bran Muffins with Blood Plums
Whenever we’re asked which is the healthiest option on the counter at Flour and Stone, these bran muffins put their hand up.
200g dried raisins, dates or sultanas, boiling water, to cover Roasted plums:
12 blood plums, cut in half and stones removed
1 orange, juice and finely grated zest
100g caster sugar
125g natural bran Muffins:
100g plain flour
100g wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1⁄ tsp salt 2
100g light brown sugar
140ml sunflower oil
200g fresh ricotta
Raisin pure´e: Put dried fruit in a small heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes, then drain water off completely and pure´e the fruit in a food processor or with a stick blender. Set the pure´e aside to cool. Roasted plums: Preheat the oven to 160C. Arrange the plums, cut side up, in a baking dish. Rub the orange zest into the sugar so it is evenly distributed, then sprinkle the sugar over the plums, followed by orange juice. Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes or until the plums are soft and almost falling apart. Remove and set aside.
Bran: Reduce oven temperature to 150C. Spread the bran over a baking tray and toast for 30 minutes, opening oven door every 10 minutes to turn the bran over with a palette knife to toast it evenly. The darker you toast the bran, the more flavoursome it will be (providing you don’t burn it of course). Once the bran is a dark caramel colour, remove it from oven. It is not necessary to cool it. Muffins: Increase oven temperature to 160C and line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
Place bran, flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together with a hand whisk. Make a well in the centre and add the water, buttermilk, oil, eggs and raisin pure´e all at once, then use the whisk to gently fold everything together until it is roughly incorporated. The secret with muffins is to not overmix the batter, so don’t worry about the lumps.
Using a tablespoon, half fill the muffin cases with batter, then place half a plum and a heaped teaspoon of ricotta in the centre of each one. Cover with the remaining batter and pop another plum half on the top of each muffin. Finish with another heaped teaspoon of the remaining ricotta.
Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 150C and bake for a further 20 minutes to make sure the centres are cooked. Gently press muffins in the middle and if the top bounces back, they’re ready. Remove muffins from oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing from tray.
The muffins will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You can freeze them.
Note: These muffins can be made with pears. Peel, halve and core six pears and roast as instructed, increasing cooking time to 40 minutes. The halves can then be cut in half again so you have enough fruit for the middle and top of each muffin.
From Flour and Stone by Nadine Ingram, published by Simon & Schuster Australia, RRP $65.