Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Sticky beetroot & ginger muffins

This month, amongst a million other things, I have been developing a set of ten recipes for 'Love Beetroot', a campaign to promote English beetroot as a delicious and versatile cooking ingredient. They have specifically asked for a few baking recipes which has given me plenty of opportunity to use up quite a few of my plentiful eggs.

The girls continue to lay well, 3 or 4 eggs a day seems to be the norm. To protect the garden, they are still confined to their run and they are, rather reluctantly, getting used to the idea. And I am overjoyed that my garden is recovering. In Bristol its been a cold damp sort of week, but spring is in the air, and the shoots of daffodils and mini irises are nudging up through the cold soil. Much to my delight, the rhubarb crown I planted last year has also made an appearance though the soil. I didn't protect from the frost, and boy did we have frost, but it seems to have survived. Once it gets going and I can pick a few stems I shall treat you to a delicious recipe I conjured up last year - mini rhubarb & ginger pavlova's - a perfect treat with the first of the seasons champagne rhubarb.

But in the meantime, back to the beetroot recipes. I've devised a few that use eggs: The ultimate chocolate & beetroot cake, Beetroot & cheddar brunch bread, Beetroot, raisin & stem ginger pudding, Beetroot pancakes with smoked bacon & maple syrup, Beetroot & vanilla muffins with rose mascarpone icing, and these, Sticky beetroot & ginger muffins with lemon icing. The inspiration was the proper old fashioned sticky gingerbread we used to eat in big squidgy squares as kids.

Sticky ginger & beetroot muffins with lemon icing
Makes 12 large muffins
Preparation time:  15 minutes
Cooking time:  20 minutes
You’ll need:
For the muffins:
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
150g unsalted butter
125g dark brown sugar
100g stem ginger, cut into fine dice
4tsp ground ginger
2tsp ground cinnamon
250g pack cooked beetroot
250ml milk
2 medium eggs, beaten
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
300g plain flour

For the icing: 
Zest 1 lemon, plus 1tbs juice
150g icing sugar

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4, line a 12 hole muffin tray with cases.

In a saucepan, add the golden syrup, black treacle, butter, dark brown sugar, stem ginger and both ground spices. Warm gently until butter and sugar have melted.

Puree the beetroot in a food processor, and blend with the eggs, milk and bicarbonate of soda. Once the butter and sugar have melted, take the saucepan off the heat and add the milk, eggs & beetroot.

Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and beat in the wet ingredients until they are smooth – batter will be quite runny.

Fill the muffin cases with the batter – this is easier if you use a jug – and bake in the preheated oven until firm but springy to the touch. Be careful not to overcook the muffins, they are nice a little sticky. Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a rack.

Whilst the muffins are cooling make the icing by beating all the ingredients to a smooth paste. Drizzle over the muffins when they are completely cold. These muffins keep really well for a few days in an airtight tin. 

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