Saturday, November 03, 2012

Plum & Hazelnut Coffee Cake Muffins

Frosted Prune Plums by Ayala Moriel
Frosted Prune Plums, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.
These muffins are made coffee-cake style, with the fruit on top. Spelt flour gives it a nutty texture, which greatly complements the roasted hazelnut meal that is incorporated into the recipe. The result is a moist, melt-in-your-mouth muffin that's not too sweet and is delicious with your morning coffee, or with a slice of cheese on the side for a light lunch or snack. What I like doing is prepare all the ingredients the night before - keep the dry ingredients covered on the counter, and the wet ingredients refrigerated. When I wake up at 6:30am, all I need to do is preheat the oven, mix the ingredients and pop it in the oven. By the time everyone in the house is dressed up and ready to start their day (usually shortly after 7am), the muffins are out of the oven and breakfast can be served!
You may say it's only the kind of thing someone who works from home can muster, but I've been doing this when I was working at an office job in my early twenties that started at 7am. Of course then I would wake up at 5:30...

2 cups spelt flour*
1/2 cup ground roasted hazelnuts
1/4 cup grapeseed oil

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon    
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs 
1tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
6 fresh and ripe Italian prune plums, pitted and cut into small chunks**

-Preheat oven to 375F.
- Beat eggs in a bowl. Add oil and buttermilk.
- Combine flour, ground hazeulnuts, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a bowl.- Gently fold the milk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Avoid over-stirring.
- Spoonfuls of the mixture into greased or buttered muffin tins.
- Spread plum pieces on top and gently press them down.
- Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with cinnamon and sugar.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick or a cake tester comes out clean.

These muffins are best served warm. If you can't gobble up all 12 muffins you can keep them for up to 3 days, but I do recommend cutting them into half lengthwise and warming them up in the oven for 5 minutes before serving. 

* You can also use whole wheat or white flour, but of course the texture would be different. 
** you can also use frozen ones; I had mine for about a year in an airtight container and they were as good as fresh!

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