Caramelised Almond, Honey and Olive Oil Muffins

I am really taken with these little muffins, they are beautifully lemon and orange scented, not overly sweet and have a wonderful cornbread quality to them.  

I scatter each delicious little muffin with caramelised almonds before baking and serve them with a liberal dusting of icing sugar. These two little touches transform these beautifully simple muffins into something really special.

Start by making your caramelised nuts and allow them to cool completely before chopping into a chunky rubble.

Caramelised Nuts

85g roasted almonds
50g icing sugar
11/2 tsp vodka

Combine the nuts, icing sugar and vodka in a heavy based saucepan, place over a medium heat and stir continuously until the sugar crystallises around the nuts and begins to caramelise.  The sugar will turn golden brown. 

Remove the pan from the heat and spread the nuts out on a sheet of greaseproof paper to cool.

Once cool, roughly chop the nuts and set aside until needed.

Caramelised Almond, Honey and Olive Oil Muffins

170g plain flour
45g cornmeal
30g ground almonds
60g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp salt
225ml whole milk
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
60ml honey
60ml extra-virgin olive oil

85g caramelised almonds, chopped
icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin cases.

Sift together the flour, cornmeal, ground almonds, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, orange zest and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, egg yolk, honey and olive oil.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Do not over mix. 

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cases and sprinkle the top of each muffin liberally with chopped caramelised nuts.  Bake the muffins for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and well risen.

Remove from the oven and place the muffins on a wire rack to cool completely before dusting with icing sugar to serve.





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