Pistachio and orange – Yum! Doesn’t that sound an amazing combination for muffins?!! Add semolina to that and it makes these an even healthier treat…to that add the fact that these lovelies are with out butter or oil in them…AWESOME! Well, that is how I felt when I first saw these muffins on a cookery show.
Though I was initially a bit apprehensive about making these muffins; since my daughter and husband are not very enthusiastic about nuts in their food (not that they don’t like nuts but they can’t appreciate their presence in savouries & sweets and rather prefer to munch on them as such) but the wonderful flavours in these muffins were reason enough for me to go ahead undeterred! But one bite into these goodies and my daughter’s thumb went up!! J
I had been planning to make them ever since I saw oranges make their entry in the market. They were in abundance during winters and I thought I could make them any time around. But a lot had been happening in personal life which led these muffins getting lost in some remote recess of my memory. I generally tend to plan out the recipe schedule for a particular month; though I don’t always stick to the calendar, it helps me plan my schedule better. Yesterday while sifting through my file, I realised that these muffins were still there on my ‘to-try’ list. Winters are long over in Bombay and the oranges will be soon making an exit too. This realisation jolted me back to the fact that I needed to make these beauties asap.
You will need:
5 medium eggs, separated
1 tbs plus a pinch of sugar
Zest of 1 orange (I used grated rind finely chopped)
50g fine semolina
50g plain flour
100g ground pistachio nuts
600ml fresh orange juice
Zest of 1 orange, extra (I used grated rind)
2 oranges, peeled and cut into segments
Preheat oven to 180 degree C. Grease a large muffin tray with 6 holes.
Beat egg whites with pinch of sugar until stiff and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks with the remaining sugar and orange rind/ or zest until pale.
Add semolina, flour and ground pistachios to the egg whites and partly mix through. Then add egg yolks and fold through until combined.
Spoon mixture evenly into the muffin holes. Bake for 30 minutes.
Place orange juice, zest or rind and sugar into a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, then simmer for 10 minutes until reduced by half and syrupy.
Ladle the syrup over the hot cakes while they are still in the muffin mould and set aside for at least 10 minutes (or longer if for a softer cake; which I would happily do).
Serve the cakes with a little extra syrup, whipped cream mixture and orange segments.
Note: For me there was still batter left after filling 6 muffins holes
Note: I would use a few drops of orange essence next time I bake these coz I could feel a mild taste of eggs in them.
Note: Lack of oil means that the muffins would tend to be dry; use the syrup generously and you can increase the amount of soaking.
Note: I didn’t use whipped cream to serve these coz that would mean lowering the health quotient. You can use 500g sugar, 300ml cream, 300ml Greek style yoghurt. Whip the cream until thick and stir in the yoghurt.
Adapted from SBS
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