Any Excuse to Make Muffins...

But this particular excuse is Muffin Monday 02 held by Elena at Experiments.
Muffin Monday

If you enjoy baking but find you don't always have the time, muffins (or indeed cupcakes) are the perfect thing for you. It takes no time at all to knock up a batch and - given the opportunity - they last several days in the cake tin.
Elenas theme this month is "Muffins That Make You Go Ooooh". In other words, no straightforward ingredients are allowed. This means no bog standard bran, no common chocolate chips. Basically, no mundane muffins. With that in mind, I thought I'd try a couple of recipes, one savoury and one sweet.
When I made the Rhubarb Mutton, I wanted to have something bready with it, but I had no pita bread or naan bread and white sliced just wouldn't cut the mustard. I got to thinking. What ingredients do I have in my cupboard that are sort Persian and sort of Muffiny? I came up with Chick Peas and Fresh Mint to highlight the mint in the stew. So, how about Chick Pea Muffins? Designed to be made in a Jumbo or Texas Muffin Tins, these nobbly little treats are great split and spread with butter. Rather than taste Persian though, they more resembled cornbread (the recipe had a 30/70 split of cornmeal and flour). However, they were still deliciously savoury and even better cold the next day. The unexpected bite of the chick peas is really very delicious. I have a suspicion that using hummous and/or sesame seeds would be a great variation too.
Of course, I prefer sweet muffins above all else and whilst scouring the cupboards, I found a handful of soft Werthers Originals. I had thought about making toffee chocolate muffins but I was all out of chocolate. So, what else goes really well with toffee? Paprika? No. Chicken Livers? No. Coffee? Absolutely! I grabbed Pauls secret stash of coffee beans (must try harder to hide them), ground some up in our coffee machine that was an unexpected anniversary present from my mum and inhaled their heady aroma for a while. There are some smells in the world that make things seem OK, that seem like natural mood boosters and, along with the smell of cakes or bread baking or chicken roasting, freshly ground coffee is one of those smells. The rest of the batter is straightforward, butter and sugar blended together, then eggs, then the ground coffee and flour. This coffee mixture is then dolloped into muffin cases and an unwrapped toffee (or 2!) is pressed into the centre of each. As they bake, the kitchen is filled with the scent of toffee/coffee which from here inwards will be clumsily referred to as cotoffee.
When eagerly removed from the oven, they look unassuming, almost boring. Split them open and a puddle of thick toffee spills over the moist bespeckled sponge. It is hard to restrain yourself from biting straight in but needs must and third degree burns on the lips and tongue are never pleasant. You have been warned!
(recipes to follow - bread making awaits me tonight so I'm short of time. Oh, and Dawsons Creek is on).

27 comments:

Lydia said...

Truly cannot wait for the recipe -- that oozing cotoffee looks amazing!

Sophie said...

They look very tasty - I can almost feel the scalded tongue in the rush to try them :-)

Mary said...

I love the surprise center. It looks all ooey and gooey, yum!

Little Foodie said...

These look amazing. I love runny things as a surprise in the middle of sweet things. melting middle choc puds being my favourite. Will make time to try these.

Katie said...

Yup, I would have burned lips and tongue. Would not have been able to wait...
I do agree, I think the chicken livers would have been too much....

Kelly-Jane said...

Chick pea muffins? That shows great imagination, sort of like a funky take on hummus! and of course toffee and coffee sounds wonderful, the toffees have melted really well too. They both look great :)

KJxx

T.W. Barritt said...

The chickpea muffin is inspired, and the sticky toffee muffin is quite the post modern update on the original pudding!

Ulrike said...

Yummy, that reminds me of my chocolate surprise. These muffins look soooooo good! BTW: My bread is finished and if anybody is curious, these are my muffins, they probably go well with chicken liver :-).

Brilynn said...

Mmmm coffee toffee! Great combo, I'm still stuck on what kind of muffins I want to make...

Cheryl said...

Werthers in a muffin. Oh now you are speaking my language. I bet you house smelled amazing.

Lucy said...

Fabulously gooey centres.

As Cheryl suggests, your house must have smelt wonderful!

Kristen said...

Look at that toffee... oh my!

Sylvie said...

Hummm... the center is fabulous !

valentinA said...

My goodness, the way you describe it, I can already imagine how addictive the muffins must be. And made with coffee beans?!?! geez, who can say no to that? I'd give anything to have a bite of the thich toffee that's oozing out!

Saffron said...

Can I have one of these wonderful muffins?
I can smell the scent.
I like the colour!
Have a nice week!

Lis said...

Both types sound super yummy! I really love the look of the chickpea/mint muffins - how cool is that? But the toffee/coffee muffins? *drool*

xoxo

Truffle said...

Oh what a wonderful post. It's given me the most unbelievable muffin craving! Fantastic photos too- oh so tempting!

Blame It on Paris said...

I love the idea of Werther's!

I was looking for your pistachio macarons you mentioned on my blog but could not find the post. Did you write about them? If so, could you send me the link? Pistachio were the next I was going to try & I wanted to compare what you did with what I am planning. My true love is, of course, chocolate, but pistachio have always been my second favorite from Ladurée.

Elena said...

These are GREAT! So so Wonderful! Thank you for your contribution!!

knitphomaniac said...

mmmm werther's and coffee :) nice!

I've lucked out in finding a Texas Muffin Tray - a tray that makes muffins twice the size of regular muffins! For the last month I've made a new dozen muffins, never making the same batch twice, and overloaded with mostly dried fruit and mashed fresh fruit.

My favourite though, was a batch of muffins I made using goat's milk instead of regular milk, a bit of sour cream, walnuts, cinnamon and mashed pears. Decadent!

Sarah said...

Oh my gosh, the toffee/coffee muffins look sooooo good! I know I would love them. I think I could make these without ruining them too!

gilly said...

Great muffins, both sweet and savoury! I can almost imagine cutting a chickpea muffin in half and filling it with some fresh veggies to make a muffin sandwich!

Kathryn said...

They look lovely! if a bit unusual. You are endlessly inventive; wow.

I'd never ever have imagined a Werthers original muffin!:)

Kathryn x

Linda said...

what a stellar idea!

Peabody said...

I love how those look!

sher said...

The words "a puddle of thick toffee spills over the moist bespeckled sponge" will be etched in my memory, I'll tell you! Fabulous!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Cotoffee muffin throughout the house...wow...just thinking about this aroma makes it hard for me to think about anything else. What an incredible puddle of oozzzing goodness! I love unassuming packages that break forth into gold goodness!