Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Plum and hazelnuts muffins and cake

I had been given some more plums this time from a new plotholder who has been allocated Pear Tree Wullies plot. The Victoria plums where just falling off the tree, so she said to me to help myself. I took a punnets worth, not too many as I had enough of my own fruit and veg to be getting on with.
I made this plum and hazelnut cake which turned out quite nice with a cuppa tea, so D says. The following day I decided to experiment making some plum and hazelnut muffins. Instead of chopping the plums to pieces. I decided to poach some of the small whole plum inside the muffin batter. I think they turned out well. The poached plums are what keeps the muffin moist. I do think these are best eaten warm though.
I adapted a muffin recipe from the Joy of Muffins, that’s why the recipe (below) is in American cups.

Muffins are not the easiest to photograph as the fruit and goodness is really in the filling, for example look at my strawberry cheesecake muffins, as delicious as it was, it did not come over in the photography, which in itself is an art. The other thing I have noticed in relation to photography of muffins in cookery books is that there seems to be a lot of props around them. Go on, go and check out one of your cookbooks, to see if I am right or not, which may be the case.
Plum and hazelnut muffins
Makes 9
1/3 cup of softened butter
½ cup sugar
2 cups plain flour
2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
50g hazelnuts, freshly ground
12 small plums or 6 large plums, cut in half. I did a mixture of both
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, stir in the sugar and walnuts. Whisk together egg, milk and melted butter. Make a well in the dry ingredients and ad the wet ingredients, mixing lightly but quickly. Fill muffin cases one-half full. Add the plum, covering lightly with batter. Bake until golden brown and tester comes out clean. Bake at Gas mark 5 for 30 – 35 minutes or until golden.
Plum and hazelnut cake
Serves 6 - 8
85g softened butter
85g sugar
150g organic white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoon milk
50g hazelnuts, chopped
About 6 plums
Grease a 9 inch cake tin. Preheat oven to gas mark 4.
Beat the softened butter and sugar together well until light and creamy. Sift the flour, baking powder and pinch of salt into a bowl. Add the hazelnuts. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl, and beat them into the flour mixture. Spoon into the cake tin. Halve and stone the plums, and arrange them cut side up in a concentric circle.Bake in oven for about an hour, test with a skewer, it should come out clean in the middle. Allow to cool before serving.


  1. I agree, muffin photos dont always look as fabulous as they taste. But theres nothing better than a muffin with a good cup of coffee :)
    The cake sounds great too, im sure the hazlenut went well with the pear flavour.
    We have quite a big backyard, and actually have an empty veggie patch after our unsuccessfullness, reading about all your harvesting from your plot makes me think we should try growing some things again, perhaps it was not the right soil.


  2. did you marinate the plums in advance, or just put the fresh juicy plum into the batter and it 'poached' in its own liquid inside the muffin as it cooked?

    either way seems incredibly yummy. I wonder if it would work with peaches too?

    p.s. it looks like your plums were really nice!

  3. The pictures of the plum and hazelnut cake are making my mouth water....YUM! And to have fresh plums to use, how lovely!

  4. Rose,
    True muffins always go well with a warm drink: )

    Maybe think about adding some shop bought compost to the vegetable patch. You need to find out what kind of soil you have, once you know, you can plant the right vegetatable, some veg like damp soil, other like dry.

    Hi There Leah,
    No didn't marinate the plums. I just put small fresh 'juicy' plums into the batter and it 'poached' in its own liquid inside the muffin as it cooked.

    Mmm Peaches, I think they would work, why not? other than their size!

    Hello Annie and Welcome,
    Thank you so much for commenting.
    I have to confess, the plum and hazelnut cake was in the oven perhaps a few minutes too long, but it did not harm the taste.

    And guess what, one of the plot holders permitted me to pick a load more plums this afternoon. Fortunate me.

  5. Sadly I don't know many people in the USA that have gardens anymore. When I was a kid almost everyone I knew grew a huge garden...and if something produced exceptionally well, those vegetables were shared among family, friends and those in need. My DHs hospice volunteer has brought us tomatoes and cantaloupe from her DHs garden....I felt very blessed to have fresh veggies. I want to do more in my little garden, keeping it to a size that I can take care of. I'm going to try one of your recipes...I'll be eating it for awhile since my DH is no longer able to eat food that hasn't been pulverized. I could do soups and blend them but there are so many vegetables he doesn't like.

  6. Hello Annie,
    It's quite similar here. I live in a flat and only have a tiny garden, that backs onto a railway track. I was only able to grow salads and herbs in my home plot and pots, then I got my allotment plot.
    I would love to be able to have a large garden where I could do all my growing at home.

    I know what you mean when you write 'feel blessed to have fresh vegetables'. The taste is so different than those that have been imported or sitting around for awhile. I do hope you enjoy some of the recipes, and are able to adapt some of them for DH to enjoy. For me part of eating should be about sharing too, but it's not always easy when we have fussy vegetable eaters. Warmest of wishes

  7. I don't usually like plum recipes, but this looks really good.

  8. I'm not a big fan of plums either, but this way they were not too bad.


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