Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Baking Sunday: Beetroot and Walnut Muffins by My Custard Pie

I absolutely love beetroot and I was thrilled to read Sally from My Custard Pie's latest blog about this humble but delicious veg.  Beetroot is still in season now and it's great to cook with.  There's an understated, earthy sweetness to beetroot which means it can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes and with it's beautiful vibrant colour can liven up most dishes.  In summer I'll often add chopped beetroot to salad and it's mild flavour works particularly well with anything tart or peppery, like oranges or horseradish. Beetroot coleslaw is another favourite.  Now that it's practically winter in Scotland, I'm thinking about roasting it in a red wine sauce as a side dish for roast pork and maybe making some beetroot and goats cheese tarts.  I'll definitely be making beetroot soup, flavoured with lime and ginger and I know I'll be making these beetroot and walnut muffins again.  

They're utterly delicious and have only a slightly sweet flavour which is tempered with the smoky thyme and walnuts.  I had some pomegranate molasses that I added a dash of as well - the molasses isn't sweet like you'd expect but has more of a tart flavour and is used in a lot of Middle Eastern cooking.  It was an interesting counterpoint to the beetroot and really brought out the flavour of the thyme.  I also didn't have enough walnuts so subbed in some pine nuts to make up the numbers which was a happy accident as I think I preferred the creamy crunch of the pine nuts over the walnuts.  Sally suggests adding in some feta or goats cheese for a creamy texture which also sounds lovely.  These muffins look amazing - they have a beautiful vivid pink colour.  If you love beetroot too you should go make these muffins and read about ten other beetroot suggestions on My Custard Pie. 

Beetroot and Walnut muffins
(Adapted from My Custard Pie)
Makes 12 muffins

300g beetroot, finely grated (about 4-5 small beetroot) Wear gloves to grate these or have bright red hands!
320g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
40 g chopped walnuts plus 12 whole ones or pine nuts
1/2 level teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses (optional)
2 large eggs
240 ml buttermilk or natural yoghurt
90 ml vegetable oil or melted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line it with paper liners.

2. Lightly beat the eggs together in a small bowl, then beat in the buttermilk/yoghurt, vegetable oil and pomegranate molasses (if using). 
3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the grated beetroot, thyme and chopped walnuts (keeping the whole walnuts in reserve).

4. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the liquid ingredients to the dry. Stir gently until just combined; don’t over-stir, a lumpy batter is best for muffins.

4. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pan and place a walnut on the top of each one. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes. Cool in the pan before serving. Best eaten on the same day of baking or you can also freeze them. 


Sally - My Custard Pie said...

I'm delighted you made these and loved them. I think it is a taste that will divide people (beetroot is like Marmite I think!). Use of pomegranate molasses is inspired. Really relevant to where I live too (always in the supermarket in Dubai). The pink colour is quite shocking isn't it?!

Katey said...

Thanks Sally, it's a great recipe. I love how they look, practically technicolour!

Choclette said...

I just spotted these over on Sally's blog and have bookmarked them. I love beetroot, both the flavour and the colour so will be giving them a try.

Victoria said...

these look great! I love beetroot...nigel slater has a beetroot cake i am waiting to try! :)

Katey said...

@Choclette I'd definitely recommend making these, such an unusual flavour combination that really works well.

@Victoria Beetroot cake sounds fab! Looking forward to reading about it. I've had chocolate beetroot cake at Porto & Fi which was lovely!

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