As we drove back from the gym this morning we caught a glimpse of the snow, low down on the nearby ranges. No wonder we are experiencing such cold weather. Given we have a top temperature forecast today of 8°C, strong gusting winds and intermittent rain there was only one thing I could do – bake comfort food!
Muffins. I already had some tempting ingredients to include. My friend had given me a bag of tangellos from her tree a week ago and I had also bought some freshly harvested walnuts from the Farmer’s Market yesterday.
I checked through my collected recipes and found one that looked adaptable. The original recipe for Pistachio, Yoghurt and Cardamon Cake, is from Leanne Kitchen’s book Growers Market. This is a great recipe in itself, but Leanne also gives an alternate version where two cooked oranges are substituted for the yoghurt, so that was my entree. Away I went, substituting walnuts for pistachios and tangellos for the oranges.
Now I had intended to cook these muffins yesterday, but I soon realised that the eggs I needed to add to the recipe had just been tucked away to infuse with a fresh truffle, (more of that in another post), so there were no eggs from our ‘girls’ left over for the muffins. OK, I needed to go to the shops for eggs (oh the shame). In the interim I decided to at least cook the tangellos for the recipe. To do this you cover the tangellos (or oranges or lemons depending on what fruit you are using) with water and bring them to the boil. Keep simmering the fruit for an hour – you will need to top up the water from time to time. And don’t forget to enjoy the scent of cooking citrus wafting around the kitchen. After an hour’s cooking the fruit should be completely soft. Take the fruit out of the water and let them cool down completely. Once cool cut the fruit open to remove the seeds. Take the whole fruit, including skin and pith and pulse in a food processor until chopped up.
I also like to toast the walnuts before using them which I do by putting them in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. I often put the nuts in the oven when I heating the oven ready to bake.
It turned out that I didn’t get the eggs until quite late in the day so I put off cooking until this morning. So here is the recipe:
Walnut and Tangello Muffins (makes approx. 15 regular size muffins)
150 grams of walnuts, or whatever unsalted nut you can get your hands on, toasted for preference
150 grams of unsalted butter
185 grams of Self Raising flour, feel free to substitute some portion of wholemeal self raising flour, into the mix
185 grams of sugar
2 tangellos, or oranges or lemons cooked as per instructions above
1/2 a teaspoon of ground cardamon.
Oven temperature 160°C for muffins ( If you want to cook the mix as a whole cake raise the oven temperature to 180°C).
Put the nuts and cardamon in a food processor and pulse until they are roughly chopped. Then add the butter, flour and sugar and pulse again until the mix is in small crumbs.
I then turned the mix out into a larger bowl so I could easily add the remaining ingredients. Beat the eggs and add to the mix along with the chopped up tangellos. Mix till the ingredients are just combined – don’t mix it to death.
Put the mix into separate muffin cases and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until cooked through. (If you want to cook this mix as a cake, expect to cook for 45 to 50 minutes). Here’s the finished product. I don’t usually ice my muffins but obviously you can if that’s your thing. Enjoy!