Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Beetroot, Goats Cheese, Chocolate & Walnut Brunch Muffins

That goat, otherwise known as Ethel, has filled my head with thoughts of goats cheese and chocolate and I can hardly think of cooking with anything else. The fig and goats cheese tarts still have my mouth watering at the thought of them. At the weekend, rather than making my normal loaf for my work sandwiches, I thought I'd try something a little different to take in for lunch. Some lightly vinegared baby beetroot was in the hamper I received for the #capricornchallenge.

Beetroot and chocolate in cake form has become something of a classic in recent years, but I wanted to try a savoury version.  I am a big fan of beetroot, CT less so. I figured that he might find beetroot more palatable contained in a savoury muffin with lots of goats cheese. And if he didn't? I was very happy to eat them all by myself.

I was hoping the vinegar in the beetroot would combine with the yogurt and help the muffins to rise, but not make the muffins sour. I didn't want the chocolate to dominate, but I did want it present - the proof of the pudding would literally be in the eating.

This is what I did:
  • Put 300g flour (100g wholemeal, 200g white) in a mixing bowl.
  • Added 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda and 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Added 2 tbsp cocoa powder & whisked together to ensure all was incorporated and there were no lumps.
  • Stir in 50g of chopped walnuts.
  • In a separate bowl, mashed 250g of cooked beetroot in vinegar with a potato masher.
  • In another bowl beat 2 medium eggs with 200ml yogurt.
  • Beat in 50ml of walnut infused oil and 50ml sunflower oil.
  • Beat in 100ml milk and a good good grinding of black pepper.
  • Beat in the beetroot.
  • Divided 100g Capricorn goats cheese into three.
  • Chopped two lots into pieces and stirred into the batter.
  • Chopped the third piece into twelve equal portions.
  • Made a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and added the batter.
  • Stirred as lightly as possible until everything was just incorporated.
  • Divided between 12 silicone muffin moulds.
  • Topped each with a piece of goats cheese.
  • Baked at 200C for 20 minutes
  • Left for a few minutes in their moulds, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool.
The shocking pink of the batter was beautiful before it went into the oven and I'm rather sorry I didn't take a picture of it. It was brown by the time it came out, not in bad way, but not quite as impressive as I'd hoped.

We had some warm for breakfast on Sunday morning. Amazingly, CT thought they were good. He took some for his lunch that day and came back raving about them. I couldn't quite believe it. I took some in for my lunch on Monday and I understood just what he meant. They were beyond delicious, bordering on addictive and a very satisfying meal in themselves. Goats cheese was the first thing to kick in, followed by the flavour of walnuts and then beetroot and not a sour note to be had. The cocoa did just as I hoped and gave a supporting role in bringing out the other flavours, rather than taking the lead. The only downside was these were not the normal one bowl wonder you expect from a muffin mix; I used three. Still, the washing up was worth it.

These are versatile, portable and would make a great picnic item as well as a good lunch, brunch or filling breakfast. Incredible as it may seem, they kept well too - CT was sworn to eschew any more so I could finish them off for my lunch today.

Thank you Ethel for inspiring me to come up with another fabulous chocolate and goats cheese recipe.

As beetroot are looking good and in season right now, I am submitting this to Ren's monthly Simple & in Season. It is being hosted this month by Nazima over at her new blog Franglais Kitchen.

35 comments:

  1. I bet they pack a wallop of flavour. They look fantastic, and I love the idea of a muffin that crosses effortless from breakfast to lunch too.

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    1. What I don't understand Chele, is why I have never made anything like these before. They are far and away the best savoury muffins I've eaten and they keep really well too.

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  2. Goat cheese is delicious!!! Never tested with beetroot...looks yummy!
    thanks for sharing!
    Have a nice day

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    1. Thanks Manu, goats cheese is delicious with beetroot.

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  3. Well done for bring hubby over to the dark side, haha! They look amazing. What an inspired idea Choclette! I'm pinning them, so I don't forget :)

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    1. Well it was a bit of a coup Jac ;-)

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  4. they sounds aaaaammmmmaaaaaazing - truly inspirational! I can imagine the chocolate adds just that right bit of depth of flavour - just like soy sauce can do to chocolate in a sweet dish (yep I've done that). I actually have wanted to try some sweet chocolate goats cheese muffins for a while but never got around to it - I suspect I would prefer these - bookmarked!

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    1. You've hit the nail on the had there Johanna. I nearly described the chocolate as acting as an umami flavour. Sometimes savoury is best ;-)

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  5. Gosh this is really inventive. You do create beautiful yummy things Choclette. That's why you are a popular blogger. Well done to you! I want to try adding beetroot too.

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    1. Thank you Alida, you say such lovely things - much appreciated.

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  6. OH wow, they sound amazing. Love the idea of savoury chcoolate and beetroot muffins. Both earthy flavours os I can see your thought process. You can still see the pink purple blush too. Beautiful. Would love to try one

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    1. Thanks Katie, I was surprised at just how good these were and shall be making them again.

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  7. I love these muffins. you are getting more & more creative, especially with the savoury elements of cooking. I know these would taste good and I like a muffin that doesn't dry out after one day. So you may have invented something very special here, all with flavours I love too!

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    1. Thanks Laura, these were still pretty good on day 5 which I was quite impressed by.

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  8. What an intersting combination of ingredients, I wish I was as creative as you are. Your muffins look delicious and inviting.

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    1. Thank you Miss C, that's a very nice compliment :)

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  9. What an interesting combination. Great use of the Capricorn Goats cheese.

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    1. Thanks Janice - I have more up my sleeve yet ;-)

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  10. What a wonderful combination of flavours! And they look absolutely fantastic too! We're growing beetroot, but I've yet to use it in a cake..

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    1. Celia, you really must try beetroot and chocolate together in a cake, they make for a good combination.

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  11. now as you know i'm on a massive beetroot fix this week... this look and sound incredible... what a genius idea and I think all the combos of ingredients are simply outstanding... you are very brave with your chocolate inclusion and I'd love to see more savoury recipes... did these boarder between the sweet and savoury or more sweet? Gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Dom, these were most definitely savoury with the only sweetness coming from the beetroot. I have more savoury yet to come .......

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  12. Those flavours all sound as though they would go together wonderfully well - what delicious looking muffins!

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  13. I adore the unexpected creamy tang of goat cheese in this!---YUM!!

    XOXO
    http://TheSquishyMonster.com

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    1. Thanks, these muffins wouldn't be half as good without the cheese.

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  14. I am really fascinated by this combination of ingredients. I've always hesitated on baking with beet root but now I feel convinced by you. Those muffins look so delicious.

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    1. I've used beetroot in cakes a number of times now to great effect, but this was the first time I'd tried it in a savoury bake - do give it a go.

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  15. Look absolutely amazing and delicious!

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  16. A BRILLIANT entry and I adore savoury buns like these, as well as beetroot and goats cheese!

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    1. Thanks Karen. Using beetroot in these was a revelation.

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  17. What a wonderful idea. I like savoury muffins, perfect for lunchboxes. This looks gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks Nazima. These made a very welcome change to my normal sandwiches and were really quite delicious.

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  18. Interesting combination - would love to taste these!

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