Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kumquat and White Chocolate Muffins

We Should Cocoa #41: New Year New Ingredient - Kumquat & White Chocolate Muffins

January's 'We Should Cocoa' Challenge run by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog, and this month hosted by Linzi at  Lancashire Food, was to combine chocolate with a new ingredient. That is an ingredient you have not combined with chocolate before, not so tough as having to find a 'never used it before' item.

 I also wanted to work with something seasonal, and after pondering a few combinations of chocolate with pink grapefruit I finally went with kumquats. Earlier in the month I had seen a lovely post from blogger London Bakes for roasted kumquat and buttermilk scones but as I already had quite a few scones in the freezer I decided to take the basic idea and work it into a muffin recipe.

I started with  a 150g pack of kumquats, but I think closer to 200g of fruit would have givne a more pronounced fruit flavour. These were cut in half, pips removed and then roasted in a moderate oven, (160-170c) with a tablespoon of butter for 20 minutes. The kumquat skin should be soft but you do not want to get much caramel colouration. This part can be done in advance if that helps.

For the basic muffin mix I started with a recipe from Roger Pizey's book 'Small Cakes'. I  do think this is quite a strange title for a book that has two chapters of  'large cakes' in it with titles of 'Cakes for Sharing' and 'Cakes for Slicing'. That is no criticism of the recipes, just the title.

Before you make up your muffins a quick read of this  muffin clinic  post by Dan Lepard could set you on the path to perfection; lots of hints on how to avoid less than perfect muffins.

So to make 12 large muffins:

75g unsalted butter
3 eggs lightly whisked together
225 ml of buttermilk or a 50:50 mix of yogurt and milk
450g  self raising flour
50g caster sugar
pinch of salt
200g white chocolate chips
150-200g previously roasted and cooled kumquats, chopped coarsely
extra caster sugar for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 180c and put paper muffin cases into a 12 hole muffin/bun tin

  • Melt the butter in a pan or microwave on a low setting.
  • Add the whisked eggs and buttermilk (or yogurt/milk mix) to the butter and whisk together.
  • Stir in the chopped roasted kumquats.
  • In another bowl mix together the flour, salt, and 50g caster sugar.
  • Gently stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture adding the white chocolate chips in about three batches. You want to work the batter as little as possible.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cases and once all the mixture is in sprinkle the tops generously with caster sugar.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Leave the muffins for a few minutes in the tin before lifting each muffin onto a cooling rack.

Best eaten whilst still a little warm!

This week my first home grown freesia flowered and although the plant is quite scruffy the blossom is quite beautiful. I sat admiring it as I munched through my muffin.

Happy January!


  1. Ooh lovely freesia and lovely muffins Jill. Happy New Year to you too. Not sure I've ever had kumquats - they're not the same as persimmons are they? Roasting them first has rather grabbed my attention. I guess this gives them a greater depth of flavour. Thanks for entering these into We Should Cocoa.

    1. Hi Choclette, kumquats are tiny oranges with quite sweet tasting skins and apart from a few annoying pips you can eat them whole. I bought a plant last year in the hope of growing my own fruit but I am not sure it is very happy in my house. Has been dropping lots of leaves.

  2. What a delicious sounding combination and lovely light fluffy muffins, thanks for your entry to we should cocoa and the freesia is stunning, I had them in my wedding bouquet as I love scented flowers and married in January