Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cinnamon Pear Surprise Muffins

I came back from a brisk early autumn morning running session yesterday and had a craving for a warm moist muffin (or 2!).  So, these were born from a mix of muffin recipes, cafe inspiration and a need to make them interesting enough for the kids to want to try them. The latter being the reason for the "surprise" and the fact that I again have many an Easter egg left over from the chocolate excesses of Easter (see my previous  Easter posts on Chocolate Prune Muffins and Double Chocolate Muffins).

Ingredients
100g raw sugar
3 medium pears (giving about 300g peeled and cored pear - doesn't have to be exact)
1 egg
60g canola oil (or vegetable/sunflower oil)
180g milk
120g Self Raising Flour
100g Wholemeal Flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp cinnamon
2 tblspn extra raw sugar
1/2 tspn extra cinnamon
12 mini Easter eggs (unwrapped)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Grease or line a 12 cup muffin tin.
3. Add sugar to TM bowl. Grind for 3 seconds on speed 9 to make caster sugar. Set aside.
4. Add pears to TM bowl. Chop for 3 seconds on speed 5. Set aside.
5. Add egg, oil and milk to TM bowl. Mix for 10 seconds on speed 5.
6. Add flours, baking powder, cinnamon and caster sugar to TM bowl. Mix for 5 seconds on speed 4. Scrape down sides with spatula.
7. Add chopped pears to TM bowl. Mix for 10 seconds on reverse speed 2 with aid of spatula.
8. Spoon two tablespoons of mixture into each muffin hole. Then place an Easter egg into the middle of each. Spoon remaining batter over the eggs to cover them.
9. Combine extra sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle over the top of the muffins.
10. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until tops spring back when you touch them.
11. Leave to cool for 5 minutes or until you can safely remove them from the tin.
12. Place on baking rack to cool or enjoy them warm with a hot cup of tea!

Variation: Instead of having one chocolate egg in the middle, you could just add chocolate chips throughout the muffin, by adding 50-100g milk chocolate buds (or broken easter eggs) when adding the pear. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mango Lime Tart

To me, nothing tastes more like summer sunshine than a beautiful luscious juicy mango.  Combine this with a silky lime custard on a crisp short crust pastry and you have a great summer afternoon sweet treat.

I found the original recipe at Good Housekeeping.  A geometrically stunning dessert which was so easy to re-create.  

Here's my Thermotalk version:

Ingredients - short crust pastry
50g raw sugar  
190g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
110g cold butter cut into 2cm cubes
3 tablespoons ice water

Ingredients - lime pastry cream
1tsp lime rind
65g raw sugar
250g milk
2tbs corn flour
25g butter

Decoration
2 mangoes (peeled and sliced 1/2cm thick into long boat shaped pieces - see pic).
1 kiwi fruit (peel and slice middle into a 1/2cm thick circle/oval)

To make short crust pastry:
1. Add raw sugar to TM bowl. Grind for 10 seconds on speed 9.
2. Add flour, salt and butter. Mix for about 10 seconds on speed 6 until mixture resembles bread crumbs.
3. Set dial to closed lid position. Add water gradually and knead for 20-40 seconds on interval speed until it comes together to form a dough. (Add more water if necessary).
4. Empty out onto a Thermomat or glad wrap. Flatten into a disc, wrap and place into the fridge for about an hour to rest and firm up.
5. While dough is resting make the lime pastry cream (see below).
6. After dough has rested, preheat oven to 200C.
7. On a lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 28cm circle.
8. Transfer it to a 23cm x 2.5cm round tart pan with removable bottom.
9. Press dough into bottom and up the side of the pan and trim until level with rim of the pan.
10. Freeze shell 10 mins to firm the dough slightly.
11. Line tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dry beans (make sure the lining goes over the side so that the edges are protected). Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights, and bake about 15 minutes longer or until golden. (Recover rim with foil if browning too quickly).
12. Cool in pan on wire rack.

To make lime pastry cream:
1. Place lime rind in TM bowl. Add sugar. Grind for 10 seconds on speed 9.
2. Add milk, cornflour and butter. Cook at 90c for 5 mins on speed 4. 
3. Remove from TM and place in a bowl to cool with clingwrap on its surface to prevent a skin forming.  Refrigerate until cold (at least 1 hour).

Putting it together:
1. Spoon cooled pastry cream into cooled tart shell and spread evenly.
2. Arrange mango slices on top with kiwifruit slice in the centre.
3. Remove tart from pan and place on serving plate.
4. If not serving straight away, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Tip: Only slice it up when ready to serve  as the custard is quite soft (which adds to the lusciousness of the dessert) but which means it will run a bit once sliced.