Barbie doll food: beet and rosemary muffins

When G. and I were in New Zealand last year, I bought a very expensive, very good cookbook. G. thought I was out of my mind. It cost $50, which is about $41.50 in U.S. dollars, and it was thick and heavy _ not something you want to lug around during weeks of traveling. But it spoke to me, and I shelled out the cash. I’ve never regretted it. Every recipe I’ve tried so far has been good.

With our abundance of beets, I’ve been looking for ever more novel things to make with them. I turned to the New Zealand cookbook and found a recipe for savory beet and rosemary muffins. They appealed to me because I love to bake, they don’t contain sugar and it’s yet another way to use our beets.

The only thing that turned me off was the color of the batter. It was bright pink, like something Barbie would whip up in her pink kitchen. But maybe this would appeal to little girls?

G. didn’t like the muffins, but then he was hoping for something more along the lines of chocolate beet cake. I found them delicious for breakfast. But, do yourself a favor and don’t make the mistake I did. Don’t use paper muffin cups. They stick to the muffins. Greasing the pan is definitely the way to go.

Also, because the recipe is from New Zealand, it uses metric weight measures, rather than the English volume measures common in the U.S. The easiest way to deal with this is by using a kitchen scale that’s set to metric measures. Then you can just zero it as you add each new ingredient. I resisted buying a scale for a long time, but now I have one in each home. It has made baking much easier, and my second one wasn’t that expensive — only about $40.

Beetroot and Rosemary Muffins

200 grams beetroot, coarsely chopped

250 grams flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

50 gram golden raisins

1 egg

300 millilitres milk

50 grams butter, melted

50 grams Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

Grease muffin tin.

Grate beetroot and leave in sieve for at least 15 minutes to drain.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and raisins in bowl. Fold in beetroot.

Beat egg in separate bowl and add milk and butter.

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Stir for a dozen strokes and them stop. Don’t over-mix.

Sprinkle 1/3 of Parmesan into muffin holes. Spoon in batter. Mix remaining Parmesan and rosemary and sprinkle on top of muffins.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

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