My latest bake has a LOT going on. It has sharp plum compote. It has sugary sweet marzipan. It has hard-hitting cinnamon. It has vibrant zesty orange. It can only be…Plum, Marzipan and Cinnamon Muffins!
These muffins were verrrrryy good :) Even though they do have lots of components, they worked together and were tasty. The compote was an absolute, total, 100% success :D . I couldn’t find a cinnamon stick so I sprinkled over 1tsp of ground cinnamon and it was lovely. The sweet sticky sauce, the soft plums and sharp cinnamon – mmm! There wasn’t quite enough and next time I would probably double it as there was hardly any in the muffins and not quite enough for the top of each muffin. I didn’t put the compote on each muffin straight away as they would go soggy, everyone just helped themselves when they had their muffin. I have since made the compote again without the muffins to have with Greek yoghurt – scrummy!
The thing I would say though, is that the method of grating the marzipan is a new one and I don’t think it really worked. The marzipan melted into the muffin and was not noticeable. Its a shame because I chopped up a few squares of marzipan and put them in the last muffin, and they were delicious! I would definitely do this next time.
The recipe comes from Ottolenghi – The Cookbook. Ottolenghi is a food shop with four different branches around London – in Kensington, Belgravia, Islington and Notting Hill. I haven’t yet been to one but from their website it looks such a gorgeous place! Each branch is slightly different, but they are famed for their patisserie and huge meringues. They also have a blog. The two men who run it: Yotam and Tami, are from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and the cookbook is totally lovely. Filled with beautiful photographs and lots of tasty recipes – I can’t believe I have never cooked from it before. A very good read too – I would strongly recommend it! Yotam and Tami also run cookery classes at Leith’s Cookery School. Now, for the recipe...
Plum, marzipan and cinnamon muffins, from Ottolenghi
for the compote: 700g ripe red plums, stoned and quartered
60g caster sugar
1cinnamon stick/ 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
for the muffins: 480g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
200g caster sugar
2 free-range eggs
110g unsalted butter, melted
grated zest of 2 oranges
icing sugar, for dusting
1. Make the plum compote first. Preheat the oven to 170’C/gas mark 3. Place the plums in a shallow baking dish, add the sugar and cinnamon stick and mix together. Place in the oven and bake for 20mins, until the plums are soft and their skin starts to separate from the flesh (the cooking time varies, depending on the ripeness of the fruit). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. Put the sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the milk and butter (make sure it is not too hot) and whisk to combine.
3. Grate the marzipan on the coarse side of a grater and add this to a the batter, together with the orange zest. Now add 80g of the plum compote (pulp and juices) and stir together. Set the rest of the compote aside for later.
4. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the wet mix until just combined – there may still be a few lumps and bits of flour, this is what you want.
5. Line your muffin tins with paper cases and spoon in the mixture, filling them all the way to the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean. When cool enough to handle, take the muffins out of the tins and leave on a wire rack until cold.
6. Just before serving, dust the tops with a little icing sugar and top with the plum compote.