Maple syrup and pecan nuts are a classic combination and a match made in heaven. Both ingredients have been in existence for thousands of years, indeed the pecan nut started growing in America long before the first settlers arrived. The syrup in these muffins helps to keep them lovely and moist which means they keep well in the tin for several days.
I made these muffins, which are from the Hummingbird Bakery, a few weeks ago now and chose them because I haven't made them before. I wanted to make something that I knew we would all love and which didn't include chocolate or bananas! We'd had pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast one Sunday recently so I think it was them that really inspired me to have a go at these. We all agreed that that they were extremely delicious and the best thing about them, for me anyway, was biting the nut off the top of the cake before devouring the rest of it, and the gooey syrupy bit that could be found at the bottom of the muffin case. A perfect excuse to pick it up and lick it!
350g plain flour
160g caster sugar
three quarters tsp salt
1 and a half tsps baking powder
half tsp bicarb
half tsp vanilla extract
70g butter, melted
240g shelled pecan nuts, chopped, plus 12 halves to decorate
200ml maple syrup
Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degs C/gas mark 3.
2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb in a large bowl and mix until well combined.
3. Put the buttermilk, egg and vanilla in a jug and combine together. Slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat on a slow speed until all the ingredients are incorporated.
4. Pour in the melted butter and beat until incorporated. With a wooden spoon, stir in 100ml of the maple syrup and the chopped pecan nuts until evenly dispersed.
5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and drizzle the remaining syrup over the tops. Finish with a pecan half in the centre of each one.
6. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the muffins to cool for a while in the tin before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
This recipe can be found in The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook