Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Rhubarb and Polenta Muffins

Last week I felt really old.
After being responsible adults and making sure that my bottle of Chase Gin (soo nice!!!) hadn't gone off, Verena and I spent the evening listening to 1980s music on youtube and looking at cookbooks.
And while I'm still slightly worried about my music taste I came across this lovely recipe for a Rhubarb and Cornflour Cake in Nigella Lawson's 'How to be a domestic goddess' which just sounded divine.
And compared to the other recipes in the book it's actually not that unhealthy (ok, still not healthy but you know what I mean....) :)
Sooo, since I've been trying to find something to do with all this rhubarb I've been hoarding in the freezer this was my chance.
I felt like making something slightly more girly than a loaf cake (something has to balance out the bad music...) These muffins/cupcakes (I think muffins sounds nice in the name but they feel a bit more like cupcakes) are super easy and reallyreally nice and if you're looking for something to bring to a birthday party you can feel all Stepford without the effort by making the yoghurt cream to go with it (which takes like 2 seconds).

Rhubarb and Polenta Muffins (makes 24)
700g Rhubarb
300g Sugar
150g Flour
150g Polenta
1tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
A pinch of Salt
1tsp Cinnamon
1tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
125g Butter
250g Plain Yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line two muffin trays.
If you haven't already washed and trimmed the rhubarb now's the time :)
Cut the rhubarb into 1cm pieces, then mix with 100g of the sugar and set aside in a bowl.
In a bowl, mix the flour, polenta, bicarb, salt, and cinnamon.
Cream the butter and the remaining sugar. In case you haven't heard me drone on about creaming butter and sugar, it takes time :) give it about 5 minutes with a handheld mixer. I know, it's annoying, but it's really worth it. Listen to some embarrassing music on you ipod if you get bored.
Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla extract.
Add the dry mix and the yoghurt alternating as you go along. Since we're making faux-muffins, don't worry about everything being properly mixed, otherwise they can get a bit chewy.
Now add the rhubarb (including the juices), give it one last stir and then have fun trying to get similar amounts of rhubarb into each muffin paper.
Bake for about 20 minutes.
You can either eat them as they are, but if you're looking for something slightly more fancy, add some of the boozy yoghurt cream below.

Boozy Yoghurt Cream
200ml Whipping Cream
150g 0% Greek Yoghurt
1tbsp Sugar
2tbsp Desert Wine

Whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form (gosh I love writing this!), mix the greek yoghurt and the wine, then fold into the whipped cream.
Done :)

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