Wednesday 1 September 2010

Smoky Parsnip Muffins

I had a crazy day yesterday. My day at home started with me whipping up some parsnip muffins, breaking a glass, battling with Sylvia over who would sweep up broken glass, racing to the office to finish off some work while a colleague distracted Sylvia, racing home where I had a friend and her daughter to lunch.

Kathleen had brought a lovely home made loaf of rice spelt bread. I salvaged some salad vegetables from the fridge and offered my parsnip muffins. In an ideal world I would have had more time and energy to put into making lunch but I had been so tired the night before that I had found myself trying to clean the cursor off my computer screen. Simple lunches suit children so it was an easy one to share. Anyway, Kathleen was here to catch up with me, and Rosie was just excited to play with Sylvia.

Life continues to be crazy today. We are going away for a few days tomorrow. I still haven’t started packing though I have bee preparing some food to take with us. The weather forecast is for rain the whole time we are away.

It rained cats and dogs while we rushed about today. Sylvia is in preparation for a wet holiday by getting herself as soaked as possible in our front yard with her little neighbour and partner-in-crime, but at least our washing is hung inside rather than outside. It has been such a wet winter that our succulents in the backyard are out of control. I am looking forward to a drive through some green countryside.

I have been interested in baking with parsnip for a while and was inspired by the King Island Smoked Cheddar that I bought at the Taste of Melbourne. I think the good quality smoked cheddar made a difference. I suspect the recipe would also work with regular cheddar and smoked paprika. Next time I would add the parsley if I wasn’t racing to get out the door.

I wish I had more time to tell you about these muffins. They were a bit disappointing when still slightly warm but once they cooled and the smoked cheese shone through, they were amazing. These had to have been the whitest muffins I have ever made. But they were full of flavour and excellent with tomato soup for lunch today.

I am sending these muffins to Helen Fuss Free Flavours for the Breakfast Club (#3) because the theme this month is muffins. I know I posted muffins for this event yesterday but this were the muffins I had originally intended for the event because I much prefer the idea of savoury muffins for breakfast. Now I am off to get packing and have a break from the blog while on holiday!

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year:
Spring garden and WIP pasta
This time two years ago: Choc chip and cherry cookies

Parsnip and Smoked Cheddar Muffins
Adapted from Stephanie Alexander via A Food Lover’s Journey

  • 1 largish parsnip, grated
  • 15 stalks of parsley, finely chopped (I didn’t add this but would recommend it)
  • 80g smoked cheese (I used King Island), grated
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • ½ cup wholemeal self raising flour
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (I used milk with ¾ tsp cider vinegar)
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
Mix parsnip, parsley, cheese and flours in a large mixing bowl. Mix buttermilk, oil and egg in a small bowl with a fork until mixed. Spoon into greased or lined 12 hole muffin tin. Bake at 180 C for 20-25 minutes (I baked mine for 20 minutes at 200 C). Cool on a wire rack. Best eaten when room temperature.

On the Stereo:
The Boy with the Arab Strap: Belle and Sebastian


  1. What a brilliant recipe! I've made savoury muffins once for my grandma, but never for myself. Would never have thought of using parsnips in muffins, but I adore smoked cheese, so these sound mighty tasty!

  2. I've never thought about parsnip muffins, but they seem like a wonderful idea! I imagine the texture is quite beautiful

  3. Hopefully the rain won't spoil your break.

    I've made a sweet parsnip tart,
    Totally recommend it. But never in a muffin. As proved these savoury bites would be good with a soup, albeit a day later.

    I enjoyed reading about your expereince at the Taste of Melbourne Food show and the goodies you came back have intrigued me. I especially like the look of the lavender honey.

  4. I have a a number of parsnips in my fridge at the moment and wasn't sure what do with them. Think I might give these a go! :)

  5. I love the way you cook up recipes with ingredients I wouldn't think to try. The sweet parsnip and smoked cheese sound heavenly. One to try when G is away though - parsnips are the only food on the planet on his 'banned' list!

  6. Thanks Hannah - I think the smoked cheese made these - not sure what they would be like without but would like to try

    Thanks Lisa - do try

    Thanks Jodye - I suspect the parsnips added to the soft texture of the muffins

    Thanks Mangocheeks - just back - had lots of rain but it didn't spoil the holiday - I must try sweet baking with parsnip - your tart sounds amazing - hmmm maybe it would go with lavendar honey!

    Thanks Gemma - parsnips in the fridge is a treat - hope you enjoy them in the muffins or otherwise

    Thanks Nic - shame parsnips are a secret pleasure - I love them though I do understand they have a distinctive flavour - hope you get to try these muffins

  7. Oh I remember these muffins - I agree with you that they are best served at room temperature :)

  8. I'm with you - I prefer savoury muffins for breakfast. Well I just prefer savoury muffins in general! I've never thought to put parsnip in a muffin before, love the idea. Hope you have a good vacation!

  9. Thanks Anh - I am sure the original recipe with carrot is worth a try now I have tried these with parsnips

    Thanks Ashley - savoury muffins at breakfast are great - I wish more cafes would catch on to the idea!

  10. Finally the round up for Breakfast Club Muffins is up!

    Thanks for taking part and we'd love to see you next month!

  11. Just made a double batch of these. I baked half the mixture in "Texas" muffin pans (the finished muffins are about the size of my clenched fist) and the rest in standard pans. I got better colour development on top of the muffins in the larger pans.

    I added chopped lovage to the recipe in place of parsley. I've only recently started cooking with this herb and I thought its "meaty" flavour would complement the parsnip and smoked cheese nicely - it did!

    We enjoyed the muffins wam with some sliced ham and chunks of heritage apple. I too noticed the difference in flavour on cooling but with the lovage in the mix I preferred them warm. Next time I would add a little salt to the recipe, particularly if we are going to eat them warm.


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