Miso Muffins with Kale, Carrot and Courgette
If you haven’t heard of the baking challenge Alpha Bakes, you may have had less of a headache than I did this month. A random letter is generated each month and we have to find something to bake where a main ingredient or name begins with that letter. When it happens to be C there is no problem for me – everything I bake has chocolate in it, but when it’s something a little more obscure such as Z, it becomes difficult. This month’s letter is K. Although kiwi fruit came to mind initially and when I looked in my recipe books I found a few obscurely named recipes beginning with K, I ended up going with kale. Despite the pigeons, kale is one of the few crops we’ve managed to grow this year and having initially dismissed this as an ingredient, I decided I really wanted to use some in a bake. Once I’d decided that, it was easy. I resorted to my trusty savoury brunch muffin recipe and adapted it to suit.
It just so happens (and in a timely manner for #OrganicSeptember), that I was sent a jar of Yutaka organic classic miso paste to try out. Miso is no stranger in this household and we have been using it for more years than I care to remember. We make miso soup, use it instead of stock in our other soups and sometimes just drink it with hot water in a mug. It’s meant to be incredibly good for you. However, other than soup, I’ve not been very adventurous with it. So why not try it out in muffins I thought? As soon as the idea crossed my mind, I knew it was a good one and I was right. The umami flavour it gave to the muffins was perfect. Miso has this uncanny ability to bring out the flavours of other ingredients and that’s exactly what it did here.
For those not in the know, miso originates from Japan and is a paste made from fermented soy beans and grains. It’s full of umami flavours and is a fabulous ingredient for all, but especially vegetarians and vegans. It’s quite salty so a little goes a long way. We always buy an unpasturised version so we get a dose of the beneficial enzymes which are destroyed by the pasturisation process. We add it to soup after it has been taken off the heat and has stopped bubbling. This jar of Yutaka organic miso paste has no information regarding pasteurisation, so I have to assume it has been treated. As I was baking with it, this didn’t really matter. The strap line on the jar reading “good food made Japan-easy” made me laugh. It is available via Sainsbury’s and costs £2.99.
With the miso, I really didn’t need to add any cheese. But I had some goat’s cheese in the fridge which was crying out to be used, so I sliced that on top to give a nice crusty surface and it did make for an extra level of yumminess. I probably didn’t need to add the cocoa either, but these just wouldn’t be my signature brunch muffins without it.
- 300g flour (half wholemeal spelt, half white)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 4 kale leaves – finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot – grated
- 1 medium courgette – grated
- 1 clove garlic – finely chopped
- 2 eggs – large (I used duck eggs)
- 100ml olive oil
- 100ml yogurt
- 80ml milk
- 1 rounded tsp miso
- 100g goat’s cheese
- Mix the miso with a little of the yogurt, then mix in the rest along with the oil and milk.
- Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir in the kale, carrot, courgette and garlic. Make a well in the centre.
- Break in the eggs and stir from the middle outwards, gradually adding in the yogurt and miso mixture until everything is just incorporated.
- Divide the mixture between 12 large silicone muffin moulds.
- Cut the cheese first into 12 and then each piece into three or four. Lay these pieces on top of the muffins.
- Bake at 180℃ for 30 to 35 minutes when the muffins should be well risen and the cheese golden. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Due to the goats cheese nearly running out of the fridge, I am entering these into the No Food Waste challenge over at Chef Mireille’s East West Realm. This is a monthly event coordinated by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.
Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary is also hosting Extra Veg this month on behalf of Fuss Free Flavour and Utterly Scrummy Food for Families. Stuffed full of veg, these muffins are a great way of getting extra veg into the diet.
In addition to the cheese that needed using up, the kale, carrot, courgette and garlic used were all grown by us, making them even tastier as well as suitable for Credit Crunch Munch. Hosted by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours, you’ll find it this month over at Maison Cupcake.