10 November 2012

Rhubarb Muffins

While searching through my recipes for a lemon related dessert, I came across a very old recipe in one of my notepads and based on its title, it is a recipe I got from Doctor Cutie a very, very long time ago. This was her basic muffin recipe and had some suggestions to flavourings. I remember making these with dessicated coconut, but I haven't made them in well over a decade.


Tomorrow is Lundulph's parents' sapphire wedding anniversary and we're going out for a meal to celebrate. As they are having a new kitchen installed, I thought I'd bake something nice for afters. I'd planned to bake something, but I wasn't sure what the overall plan was, so I couldn't plan anything elaborate and the good thing about Doctor Cutie's recipe is that I have all ingredients in the larder and fridge, they are part of the things I always have.

But what to use for flavouring? Well, I have lots of finely sliced rhubarb in the freezer, ready for baking. That'll do just nicely. To quickly thaw the rhubarb, I placed it in a sieve and let it stand for about an hour, then I rinsed it briefly under the cold water tap and let it drain well. I don't see a problem in using fresh rhubarb directly, as long as it's finely sliced - about 2 mm, so it can cook through during the baking.

My notes claimed that this will do 30 muffins, but this didn't seem right, the amounts seemed better for 15 pieces and I was right, I got precisely 15 from this recipe.


Basic recipe
75 g unsalted butter
1 dl semi-skimmed milk
3 dl plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 dl caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

200 g rhubarb
2 tbsp potato or corn flour


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 215 degrees C (195 degrees on a fan assisted oven) and line a couple of muffin tins with cases (5 cm diameter).
  2. Place the butter and milk in a small saucepan and warm up on low heat until the butter has melted completely.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder well.
  4. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence until they go pale and fluffy.
  5. Slowly pour in the butter and milk mixture, the whole thing will go very runny.
  6. Now add the flour mixture, a few spoons at a time, whisking in well. This will avoid stirring up a cloud of flour dust.
  7. Stir together the rhubarbs with the potato or corn flour, then add to the muffin batter and stir in well.
  8. Carefully spoon the batter into the muffin cases, filling them to about two-thirds.
  9. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, check with a toothpick for readiness.

According to my notes, alternative fillings are chocolate (cocoa powder) and nuts or coconut. For these, the amount of flour needs to be reduced. Further fillings can be raisins, apple and cinnamon or pieces of banana (however,these must also be coated with potato or corn flour). I have a vague memory trying sliced banana pieces, but I think I might have cut them too thick, because they sank down to the bottom of the muffin cases and resulted in an ugly hole in the middle and they were awkward to eat. Though thinking about it now, I could have filled the muffins with some butter cream or similar and decorated into fancy cup cakes. I suspect using different fillings will result in a different number of muffins too - the rhubarbs add quite a bit of volume to the batter, so if making coconut flavoured muffins, maybe it will result in just 12 pieces.

My final note to the recipe is that these are OK to freeze.

I was so happy when these were ready, I called Lundulph to the kitchen to have a look and his initial comment was that they looked like muffins with pieces of bacon in them... I guess they do, hi, hi.

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