Friday, 3 May 2013

RHUBARB MUFFINS

Rhubarb is one of my favourite things, and being a Yorkshire boy, I do get the good stuff. I’m always trying to think of things to do with it, and this recipe makes a great feature of it. With a combination of grainy wholemeal flour, as well as plain, the chopped rhubarb, brown butter, a hint of vanilla and a subtly sweet rhubarb juice to combine the ingredients (made from the unusable parts) these muffins are quite special. Plus any leftover rhubarb juice can be mixed into some soda water for a sweet, summery beverage.

1 stick of rhubarb, about 150g
1 tbsp sugar
75g butter
1 egg, beaten in a bowl with ½ tsp of vanilla extract
50g wholemeal flour
100g plain flour
85g unrefined sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to fan180/200c/6

Line and grease a 6 holed muffin tin and either line with muffin cases or small squares of greaseproof paper pushed into the holes.

Chop the rhubarb into chocolate-chip size chunks. Put the bulb like end, which can’t really be used into a small sauce pan, along with any bits of bright pink skin that may have shed when chopping. Add 200ml water and the tablespoon of sugar. Gently bring to boil and stew until the water is lightly tinted with pink and has a sweet yet subtle rhubarb fragrance. Pass the liquid through a sieve and set to one side to cool.

Around the same time, add the butter to another small pan to brown. Heat for a couple of minutes until it picks up a nutty aroma and the colour gets darker. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
Mix together the dry ingredients. Add 75ml of the cooled rhubarb juice and the brown melted butter to the egg and mix well. To these wet ingredients, add the chopped rhubarb. Pour this into the dry ingredients and stir in until only just incorporated. You don’t want to over mix.

Spoon the batter into each lined muffin hole right to the top. Bake at the bottom of the oven for around 25 minutes, or until golden brown and they spring back when touched lightly. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, before transferring onto wire rack to cool completely.

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