I must take pause, and thank everyone who has left comments on my last few posts both here and through other channels. I am a truly fortunate woman to have family and friends who helped me through that difficult time in my life. To write about it here feels like a different weight is being lifted from my shoulders: the weight of painful memories. I will return to the final few posts in the next few days, but first I had to share this recipe as a thank you for your kindness. I wish I could send you all some muffins, and a big hug.
Sunrise this morning, trooping through the grass with Molly, thunderstorm-scent lending a salty tang to the air: I sensed potential. The energy built up behind the bulkheads in the sky and unleashed this afternoon. Safely tucked away in the house Molly rested and I danced in the kitchen filling the air with musky roasted hazelnuts and spicy batter. A beautiful way to spend a rainy afternoon.
Some of my pleasantest hours were during the long rain-storms in the spring or fall, which confined me to the house for the afternoon as well as the forenoon, soothed by their ceaseless roar and pelting; when an early twilight ushered in a long evening in which many thoughts had time to take root and unfold themselves.
– David Henry Thoreau, Walden.
Roasted Hazelnut and Pear Muffins
Makes 12 large muffins.
- 100 grams raw hazelnuts
- 175 grams plain flour
- 50 grams hazelnut meal
- 100 grams golden caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 200mL milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons rice bran oil (or other flavourless oil)
- 1 pear, peeled, cored, and diced
- Preheat your oven to 200°C (390°F) and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
- Spread hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Once the nuts are cool fold them in a clean tea towel and gently rub them to remove the skins. Pick nuts out of the skins, chop them roughly, and set aside.
- Into a large mixing bowl weigh flour, hazelnut meal, and sugar. Sprinkle in salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and cardamom. Whisk all the ingredients together.
- Into a separate bowl measure the milk, eggs, vanilla, and rice bran oil. Whisk to combine.
- Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Measure out 75 grams of the chopped hazelnuts and add to the batter along with the diced pear. Fold through the batter gently.
- Distribute muffin mixture between the paper cases. Sprinkle remaining chopped hazelnuts over the top.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove and cool.
Enjoy these muffins on your own rainy afternoon, or treat yourself to a delicious breakfast muffin. I believe these would be beautiful with some blackberry jam…