I love figs, particularly fresh ones. But I thought that fresh, ripe, figs might be a little too wet, so I opted for the lovely soft dried ones that are available in most supermarkets in the UK. Soft goat's cheese, so that it is easy to mix was the choice, rather than the firmer type that you can buy.
The process is a little convoluted, but not so much so that it makes it a real chore. So I set about making them, and I must say the results certainly look very good. The proof will be in the tasting, but since I am not a lover of goat's cheese I am not the best person to say how good they are. I am sure my family will love them, and that is the point of the exercise. But as they cooled I just couldn't resist and am happy to report that they taste wonderful.
I based my recipe on one from Eating Well but I made some minor changes.
Fig and Goat's Cheese MuffinsIngredients:
150g soft goat's cheese
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
256g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 medium eggs
1 medium egg - white only
165g soft brown sugar
240 ml buttermilk
60 ml olive oil
180g soft dried figs, chopped
sugar for sprinkling.
Preheat the oven to 220c/200c Fan/425f
Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cups, or grease the insides of the muffin cups
In a bowl beat the goat's cheese, golden syrup, 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract and the lemon zest until combined.
Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into a bowl and whisk to make sure they are evenly combined.
In another bowl place the egg, whites, buttermilk and oil and whisk together until combined
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until barely combined.
Add the chopped figs and gently stir in.
Divide half the mixture between the muffin cases.
Spoon a heaped teaspoon of the goat's cheese mixture, gently, into the middle of each muffin case.
Carefully spoon the remaining muffin mixture over and around the goat's cheese mixture.
Sprinkle to tops with some granulated sugar.
Place in the oven to bake for 14 minutes, until the muffins have risen and are brown on top and firm enough so that pressing gently allows them to spring back.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes in the tin before transferring to a cooling rack.
They will be best eaten warm, and within a couple of days, unless wrapped tightly and frozen.
If they are cool you can remove the paper case and wrap in paper towel and a few seconds in the microwave will warm them through.