I finally managed to bake muffins with a crunchy topping!
I usually base my decisions about what to bake on the ingredients I have in the cupboard and need to use up. Last week I made oat and pecan squares and, after the first tray vanished rather quickly, I wanted to make another batch. But this time I decided to vary the recipe to use hazelnuts instead of pecans. I had the hazelnuts weighed and chopped, ready to go. And then my toddler distracted me and the oat squares went into the oven without any nuts in the mix at all.
And so, this week I’m pleased to give you hazelnut muffins! 🙂
I got the basic muffin mix recipe here (although it’s for choc chip muffins) and then introduced my own variations.
Ingredients (makes 12 muffins)
- 100 g / 3.5 oz caster sugar
- 250 g / 9 oz plain flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 175 ml milk
- 75 ml vegetable oil
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 100g / 3.5 oz crushed/chopped hazelnuts
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar (dark or light brown, you choose. I chose light because it’s what I had available!)
Put twelve muffin cases into a muffin tray. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C / Gas Mark 6 / 390 degrees F.
Put the flour, 100 g caster sugar, chopped nuts, salt and baking powder in a bowl and mix well.
Put the milk, oil and egg in a bowl and mix together well. Add these wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir through. The resulting mixture will be lumpy – don’t panic! That’s how it should look.
Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin cases. To make the muffin tops crunchy, mix together 3 tbsp caster sugar and 2 tbsp brown sugar in a small bowl, and sprinkle this sugar mix over the top of the uncooked hazelnut muffins. I found this method through extensive
Googling on how to make muffin tops crunchy culinary research and I’m so pleased it worked 🙂 You can shake off the extra sugar once the muffins are baked.
Bake the hazelnut muffins for 20 – 25 minutes until well-risen and golden brown.
After 5 minutes in the tin, turn the hazelnut muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
You can enjoy your hazelnut muffins just like this, but they’re a little dry for my taste. So now it’s time for the chocolate hazelnut filling!
The most well-known chocolate hazelnut spread out there is Nutella. I used a supermarket’s own version of Nutella because it’s basically the same thing and is about half the price. I put two large dessertspoonfuls of chocolate hazelnut spread in a bowl and added a little milk to make it thinner. Mix together the spread and the milk until you have a smooth cream which can be spooned into a piping bag.
Use a sharp knife to cut a small, shallow section out of the middle of each muffin (first picture on the left below) and put the “top” you’ve cut off to one side. Now use the knife to dig out more of the muffin underneath the top you’ve removed but don’t go as far as the bottom of the case (see second picture from the left). Pipe some of your chocolate hazelnut cream into the well you’ve made in the hazelnut muffin (see third picture from the left). Finally, pop the “top” back onto the muffin on top of the chocolate hazelnut cream (picture on far right below).
The result is a lovely, gooey, chocolate centre to the muffin, as you can see in the following picture:
These were a bit of an experiment, but overall they were a great success! I’m so happy I’ve finally found one way to get a crunchy muffin topping 🙂
Looking for some other muffin recipes? Try these!
Snickers muffins with two colour buttercream swirl.
Foolproof mint chocolate muffins.
Claire Huston / Art and Soul