Saturday, 6 November 2010
It may be the Canadian in me but . . . my heart longs for the combination of Maple and Walnuts . . . I swear if you cut my veins . . . I bleed Maple syrup . . . tis true!
Maple is such a Canadian thing . . . we just love it . . . as syrup on our pancakes, maple poached eggs, maple flavoured sausages . . . Maple sugar Candy, Maple cream pies, etc. We just can't get enough of it's smokey sweetness! (One of these days I'll show you how to poach eggs in Maple Syrup, I promise!!)
I have fond memories of trips to the ice cream shop with my dad when I was a child and sharing crisp cones filled with Maple Walnut icecream . . . it was his favourite flavour as well as my own. Maple Walnut Icecream and my Dad . . . the two go together like peas and carrots!
You might be surprised to find out that the English Walnut isn't actually English at all. It originated in Persia, and is now the most widely cultivated Walnut in the world. Black Walnuts are native to North America and not as easy to grow, so you will find that most walnuts that you buy are of the English Variety, coz well . . . they're just easier to grow!
Did you know that toasting nuts really helps to enhance their flavour? It's really easy to do too. Just spread them out on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated (180*C/350*F/ gas mark 5) oven for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
These delightful muffins combine those two flavours that I love beautifully . . . They have a bold Maple flavour and irresistibly crunchy tops, not to mention the rich crunch of walnuts throughout.
Pure and simple . . . these are heaven. With butter or without . . .
But why not just go whole hog and have the butter too. You know you want to!
*Maple and English Walnut Muffins*
Makes 12 large
Rich with a bold maple flavour, crunchy topped and buttery good!
softened unsalted butter to butter tins
9 1/2 ounces plain flour (2 1/4 cups)
3 ounces whole wheat flour (3/4 cup)
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
12 ounces pure Maple Syrup (Grade B Amber)
12 TBS unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces whole milk (1/2 cup)
1 large free range egg, plus 1 egg yolk
4 1/2 ounces of whole English walnuts, toasted and chopped
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Butter a 12 cup muffin tin really well on the insides with the softened butter, and then all over the top. Set aside.
Whisk the flours, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Whisk the Maple Syrup, melted butter and milk together in another bowl. Beat in the egg and egg yolk. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mi together just until smooth. Stir in the walnuts and then allow to stand for about 5 minutes before proceeding.
Scoop the batter into the muffin tin, dividing it equally amongst each cup.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Continue to bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Lovely served warm with butter for spreading, as well as served cold. These are just plain lovely no matter what!