Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Pumpkin and Goats Cheese Muffins

A few weeks back I had my first swim since Sylvia was born. I’ve missed swimming. I love the smell of chlorine. I love being in the water. And I realised I have come to love the peaceful time while tootling up and down the lap lanes when I can think about recipes.

During this swim I thought about pumpkin and goats cheese muffins. I have not been a big fan of goats cheese (ever since encountering some distastefully strong goats cheese in a café some years back). Then my mum recently brought me some delicious goats cheese that I used to top my mushroom and lentil ragout.

I envisioned chunky savoury muffins with fresh herbs from the garden. Almost a meal in themselves. Just like the ones at Arcadia Café in Gertrude Street Fitzroy. I thought the web would be littered with this sort of recipe but I couldn’t find any such thing. All the pumpkin muffin recipes I came across were sweet. So I looked at some recipes and cobbled together the muffins I had dreamt of.

I love the depth of flavours that roasting imparts to pumpkin (and all vegetables). On the day before baking my muffins, I roasted the pumpkin with seasoning and olive oil for 30 minutes at 200 C and left it in the oven while it cooled. The pumpkin was stirred into the muffin batter in chunks.

I baked in a rush to make the muffins before feeding Sylvia. In my hurry I used white flour instead of the wholemeal flour I had intended and I forgot to add oil. So I found the mixture a little stiff and just added a bit more milk. I was surprised at how soft and moist they were without oil. Everything tastes fantastic straight out of the oven but they also tasted great cold the next day.

E told me the muffins were too wet with pumpkin chunks. He would only eat them warm out of the oven or heated up in the microwave. I thought the pumpkin imparted a wonderful flavour to the muffins. We both enjoyed them as an accompaniment to broccoli soup. In fact, I can recommend them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Pumpkin and Goats Cheese Muffins
Makes 9-10 muffins

2 cups self raising flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1¼ cup milk*
8 semi-sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
120g goats cheese, chopped
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 heaped cup of roast pumpkin cubes

*Or you can substitute ¼ cup oil for ¼ cup of milk which was what I originally intended.

Place paper muffin cups in a muffin tray. Preheat oven to 200 C. Lightly mix all ingredients in a medium-large bowl, except the flour. Gently stir in the flour till it is just combined. Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

On the stereo:
Legend and Lore: Dark Folklore and European Myths - Various Artists

14 comments:

  1. They look wonderful, Johanna!

    Ah, the magic that happens when veg is roasted...especially pumpkin.

    Hope the water was heated at your pool. It's been so cold of late.

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  2. Oh my. I am making these. Yes, I am. Soon. The roasted pumpkin is perfect. No fresh pumpkin here, but I have some pumpkin puree in the freezer, some delightful goat cheese in the fridge and my staple supply of sun-dried tomatoes.

    An inspired creation indeed.

    Sylvia can look forward to culinary bliss as she grows.

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  3. These do sound good! What kind of pumpkin do you use? I always get confused about the difference between your pumpkin and ours--I think pumpkin over there is what we call squashes?

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  4. Savoury muffins with soup? That's a perfect idea for this time of year. :-)

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  5. Thanks Lucy - it has cooled hasn't it - the pool is usually too hot rather than too cold so is nice in winter (and indoors)

    Thanks Lisa - I wondered how these would be with pumpkin puree - might need a bit less liquid?

    Thanks Ricki - I use kent or Jap pumpkin mostly - I think it might be like kabocha squash - butternut could be used

    Thanks Cindy - I am really in soup mode at the moment now the weather has cooled

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  6. I love how you were thinking of recipes while you were swimming! The goat's cheese and pumpkin combination sounds wonderful! :D

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  7. Oooh spooky - I've just been thinking about savoury muffins as well. The pumpkin sounds like an inspired base - what isn't improved for adding roast squashes?

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  8. These muffins sound awesome! I love the idea of chunks of pumpkin. I've always used pumpkin puree in baking.

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  9. Me too ... I love the thinking solitude of swimming! The muffins look grand. How wonderful to be able to change our minds about things we thought we didn't like.

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  10. Lovely recipe Johanna. I haven't ventured into savoury muffin territory yet but really should do. Pumpkin and goats cheese sound wonderful together, and a much more imaginative side to soup than just bread.

    Nice to hear about your swimming adventures too. Exercise is such a good way to get a bit of peace and quiet isn't it?

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  11. Pumpkin and goat's cheese go so well together. It's awesome that your muffins worked out without any oil!

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  12. These muffins sounds really nice and with whole wheat flour would make a nutritious breakfast ! I just popped in the dough for a pumpkin bread into the oven and then saw this here !!

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  13. Thanks Lorraine - thinking of recipes is like a meditation for me :-)

    Thanks Vegetation - they were

    Thanks Lysy - I agree with you about roasted pumpkin - in fact sometimes I roast some just because I know I will use it somehow

    Thanks Ashley - I usually use mashed pumpkin in baking but I buy my pumpkin fresh so roasting it is always an option (because we don't have pumpkin puree sold in shops here)

    Thanks Tanna - it is nice to have the prerogative of changing our minds - like a little flower opening up :-)

    Thanks Sophie - I liked the idea of these muffins with soup because they add a little more vegetable to the meal - and yes love the peace and quiet of swimming when the lap lanes are not busy (I can get cranky when there are too many people and it is like swimming in peak hour traffic!)

    Thanks Arwen - I was really pleased they worked so well without oil

    Thanks Archie - your bread sounds yum - I tried making yeast bread with chunks of pumpkin last year and it was a nightmare to knead so I prefer the chunks in a quick bread but I love pumpkin in anything

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