You know, here at Mama’s Gotta Bake we’re not only about the sweet and sugary. Yes, I do dream about large chocolate cakes dripping in buttercream icing, but sometimes I like to cross over to the dark side and bake something using more savory ingredients.
I had a large bag of shallots and some fresh thyme left over from a meal I made a few days ago. I happen to love the combination of these two ingredients and remembered a dinner roll recipe I found in a very British cookbook I have. I’m obsessed with baking tins and pans of all sorts, so being the wild-and-crazy girl that I am, I decided instead of making these rolls in a standard muffin tin, that I would use the dariole molds I had just gotten a week before. Dariole molds are also called baba molds or timbales. You can find them at most cooking stores or restaurant supply stores.
Shallot & Thyme Dinner Rolls
From “The Perfect Afternoon Tea”
- 8 ounces shallots, peeled
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, for cooking shallots
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for cooking shallots
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme minced, plus additional sprigs for garnish
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
- 4 ounces soft herb and garlic cheese ( I used this)
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place oven rack in the center position. Using a pastry brush and melted butter, grease 10 dariole molds (baba molds). I used these molds because I thought they would make an interesting looking roll, but you could however, just make them in a standard size muffin tin or even in mini muffin tins.
- Drop the shallots into a medium sized saucepan of boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes and then drain. When cooled, slice the shallots into quarters.
- In a large frying pan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until they are caramelized on all sides. Stir in the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cool and set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
- In another bowl, with the mixer on medium-low, beat together the soft cheese, milk, eggs and melted butter. Pour into a well in the center of the dry ingredients and blend until incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Scrape the shallots and the liquid into the batter (reserving some to top each roll) and stir lightly.
- Divide the batter between the molds and fill 3/4 full. Place a shallot and some thyme sprigs on top.
- If using the dariole mold, bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch and lightly browned. If using a mini muffin tin, adjust the time accordingly. These are best served warm. To re-warm them, I just popped them in the microwave for about 20 seconds and they were great.
Makes 10 tall muffins
Like most batters, do not over mix the ingredients. Mix just until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Southern Californians are a funny lot. No matter how cold it gets, and for the past two weeks it has been very cold, Southern Californians will wear shorts and flip-flops no matter what. I noticed this strange phenomenon yesterday as I was shopping at an outdoor mall. Me, bundled in a winter coat and scarf, and everyone else lollygagging about in their Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirts and sundresses. I really admire their spirit, and for some folks it really is an endless summer. And why not. Maybe it’s the thin, east-coast blood that runs through my veins, but I was headed home to have a big bowl of chili and these homemade corn muffins. I was embracing the brisk winter weather with some down-home comfort food.
Anyway, son #1 had given me the Bouchon Bakery cookbook for a gift and I was anxious to try out some of the recipes. What I like most about the book is that it’s recipes are written in both cups and grams. As a gal whose obsession is baking, naturally I prefer gram measurements. Why, because baking is a science and grams are a precise measurement. When you weigh your ingredients your chances of a successful end product are almost guaranteed. Even if you’re just an occasional baker, I highly recommend you get yourself a digital food scale. You know I would never steer you wrong.
Thomas Keller explains in the book that the reason for allowing your batter to sit overnight is for the purpose of hydrating the flour. When the mixture absorbs the liquid ingredients, the result is a very moist corn muffin.
From Thomas Keller Bouchon Bakery
- 1 1/4 cups + 3 tablespoons (201 grams) all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (51 grams) cornmeal
- 2 1/2 teaspoons (12 grams) baking powder
- 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons (135 grams) sugar
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2/3 cup (168 grams) whole milk
- 2 large eggs (90 grams)
- 1/4 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons (90 grams) canola oil
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (72 grams) frozen corn kernels
* If you do not have a scale to weigh out the eggs, take your 2 large eggs and lightly beat them in a bowl and then remove about 1 teaspoon and that will be about 90 grams.
- Place the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sift in the cornmeal and baking powder. Add the sugar and salt and mix on the lowest setting for about 15 seconds to combine. Add the milk and eggs and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, just until combined. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the oil, then increase the speed to medium-low and mix for about 30 seconds to combine.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate all the dry ingredients that may be stuck to the bottom. Fold in the corn. For best results, transfer the batter to a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with liners. Lightly spray the liners with nonstick spray. Spoon the batter into the cups about 3/4 full.
- Place the pan in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F, and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until muffins are lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When done, place the pan on a cooling rack and cool muffins completely.
Makes 12 standard size muffins
It’s an absolutely beautiful day today in Los Angeles. The sun is shining (yes, again), the air is balmy, and I’ve decided to stay in and bake Lemon Muffins. I know, I know. I should go out and get some exercise, get that heart rate up and breathe some fresh air. But I can’t help myself, I just want to stay in and bake. I’m really not kidding when I say Mama’s Gotta Bake. But it’s okay, this is LA and it will be sunny again tomorrow. I promise, I’ll get out there tomorrow.
I still have half a bag of these Meyer lemons sitting on my countertop. They won’t last forever, so I’m foraging through the recipe file looking for a tasty way to use this beautiful citrus fruit. I found a recipe from The Los Angeles Times for Meyer Lemon Muffins. You could still make these muffins with regular lemons if you don’t have the Meyers, it’s just that they won’t be as sweet. But they’ll still be good. Anyway, what I like about these particular muffin tops is that the cinnamon and sugar sweetly caramelize the edges of the muffins and the lemon slice gives it a tart tang.
From The Los Angeles Times
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 Meyer lemons (or regular lemons)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin with melted butter using a pastry brush.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, and set aside.
- Cut two of your lemons into one-inch pieces (rind and all). Put them in a blender and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the milk, butter and the chopped lemons and stir.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the lemon mixture in. Fold the ingredients together just until they are incorporated and all the ingredients are moistened.
- Spoon the batter into the tins, about 2/3 full. I use an ice cream scoop so that I get an equal amount of batter in each well.
- I baked one tin with muffin liners and one without. I prefer the muffins baked without liners much more as they got golden brown and a little crispy on the outside. Just make sure to brush each compartment thoroughly with melted butter, (use a pastry brush).
- Stir together in a small bowl the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon. I used Vietnamese cinnamon just because I prefer the flavor. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of each muffin. Cut the remaining lemon into paper thin slices, and then cut each slice in half. Top each muffin with a half slice of lemon.
- Bake for about 20-22 minutes until golden brown, and when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in tin for about 5 minutes.
You can make these muffins with muffin liners or without. I preferred the look of the muffins without the liners as they got a beautiful, golden brown. Either way, you’ll be pleased with the results.
Do you love summer as much as I do? This summer I got the chance to take several mini-vacations, had lots of out-of-town company come and visit, and of course our Sunday, family barbeques. It’s a time of year when the pace of your life seems to move a little slower and you get to spend some quality time with the people around you.
I also love summer food; hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, corn from the farmer’s market and lots of summer berries. As the season is quickly drawing to a close, I wanted to take the opportunity to bake these muffins while I was still able to get the blueberries fresh. This is a tried and true, no-fail, comfort food to the max, blueberry muffin recipe. I love it because the muffins are light, filled with fresh berries, and has lots of crunchy streusel topping.
Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, softened
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups pecan halves, toasted and cooled
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
For the Streusel: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Process flour, sugar, brown sugar, butter and salt in food processor until mixture resembles coarse sand, 4 to 5 pulses. Add pecans and process until pecans are coarsely chopped, about 4 pulses. Transfer to small bowl and set aside.
For the Muffins:
1. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with baking spray (the kind with flour). Whisk flour, baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt together in bowl; set aside.
2. Process toasted pecans and sugar until mixture resembles coarse sand, 10-15 seconds. Transfer to large bowl and whisk in eggs, butter, and milk until combined. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture until just moistened and no streaks of flour remain. Set batter aside for 30 minutes to thicken.
3. Using rubber spatula, gently fold the blueberries into the batter. use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Evenly sprinkle streusel topping over muffins, gently pressing into batter to adhere. Bake until muffin tops are golden and firm, 17-18 minutes, rotating tin from front to back halfway through baking. Cool muffins in tin on wire rack for 10 minutes. remove muffins from tin and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.