I thought that I would downsize my bakes and revisit muffins. It has been years and years since I last made a muffin, but they make perfect sense: great for a packed lunch, no waste and no opportunity to accidentally eat the whole of a big cake. Not that I would ever do that you understand…
My fabulous team at Wigan gave me an equally fabulous hamper when I left them (love you guys 😚) and it included my first ever jar of hibiscus syrup. I’ve had hibiscus in things before but never cooked with it. This jar has ginger and pepper in it to give it some zing, but weirdly the aroma makes me think of cola. Does anyone know why that is? It’s good though, and I am having fun experimenting with sweet and savoury dishes using it. Yep savoury, I will report back on that experiment soon.
I used a rose syrup from Calyx in Lancashire*. It’s low in sugar and can be used in drinks, cocktails, baking etc. It’s less pungent than rose water, although that would work in this recipe as well, so it is good for people who are a little scared of rose water.
Rose, cardamon and pistachio is a well travelled road these days, for good reason. So I thought that I would drizzle with hibiscus syrup, to add a little va va voom. They aren’t over sweet but there is lots of flavour and texture going on.
Fragrant muffins for a lunchtime treat.
- 100 g caster sugar
- 100 g light brown sugar
- 125 g unsalted butter (or Stork) cut in to small cubes
- 2 large eggs gently beaten
- 80 ml buttermilk
- 200 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 80 g pistachios roughly chopped
- 3 tsp rose syrup
- 2-3 cardamon spice drops
- 4-5 tbsp hibiscus syrup
- Edible dried rose petals to decorate optional
Preheat oven to 200c. Bring butter, buttermilk and eggs to room temperature.
Line a muffin tin with 10 muffin cases.
In a stand mixer or using an electric whisk, beat together the butter and sugars until well mixed and light in colour. I always let it run for at least two minutes.
On a low speed, add the eggs, buttermilk and rose syrup.
Add flour, baking powder, nuts and cardamon drops. Mix on low speed until all combined.
Drop the mixture into the muffin tins. I use an ice cream scoop to keep them relatively uniform in size. Smooth any peaks off the tops and cook for 20 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out almost clean.
When you remove from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack. Prick holes in the tops and, using a pastry brush, cover with hibiscus syrup. I do one layer, let it sink in and then do another.
Allow to cool and sprinkle with dried rose leaves before serving.
Store in an airtight container. Do not refrigerate.
- Rose water can be used in place of rose syrup. Use 1/2 tsp and taste - all brands are different. If needed, add upto 1/2 tsp more.
- Cardamon Spice Drops are really easy to use. I always use Holy Lama Spice Drops. If you can't get them, grind seeds from 2 cardamon pods to fine dust and add with the flour.