Friday, 2 May 2008

Fluffy Puffins and Sauce from the Past

Fluffy puf... excuse moi, what?? Let me explain. It all started with me wanting to bake some muffins. I browsed my lovely, little Le Cordon Bleu muffin book for inspiration and chose a recipe for pear-pecan muffins to bake, only I did not have any pecans and there was just one lonely pear in my fridge... I did not even have any unsalted butter. Actually I did not have any butter at all! What shall a girl do in situations like this? Improvise, of course! :)

I did have some apples, so I combined them with the pear. I chose to ignore the fact that I did not have any pecans. I did have 50 g less fruit than the original recipe asked for, so I thought omitting the pecans would not change the consistancy of the batter too much. I replaced the unsalted butter with olive oil, extra virgin in fact. A bit fancy for cooking, but that was all I got. And then I decided to use marshmallow fluff in my muffins.

Marshmallow fluff. Ahaa, you say, that is the fluffy part, but what on earth are the puffins?? The puffins are the solution to the story of my muffin baking life! I own a very nice muffin pan, where I can bake 12 ordinary sized muffins at one go. Ordinary sized, I say, not huge, not tiny, but ordinary. This time the original recipe was for 6 large (2,5dl) muffins. I thought that I could make maybe 8 and surely not more that 12 ca. 2 dl muffins with that, but no! There is always, well almost always, too much batter when I use a recipe that should make 6 big ones. What to do with that extra batter? Well, I baked puffins! That is, I baked muffins in small ramekins usually used to make puddings, thus "puffins".:)

See how the puffins are bathing in the warmth of my oven. :)

I wanted to serve the puffins with a nice sauce and found just the right one in a nice, little cookbook of historical recipes published by the town museum of Kankaanpää here in Finland. The cinnamon sauce should be used with a cheesecake, but it worked perfectly with my puffins. The original recipe is from the 16th or 17th century.

Pear and Apple Muffins with Marshmallow Fluff

(Original recipe from "Le Cordon Bleu muffinit". Slightly modified by myself.)

450 g wheat flour
3,5 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
0,5 teaspoon nutmeg
115 g brown (or granulated) sugar
350 g pealed fruit (apples and pears) cut into small pieces
2 eggs
3,75 dl milk (or water)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
125 unsalted butter (or olive oil)
some marshmallow fluff (=1 tablespoon per muffin)

1. Preheat the oven to 210 C.
2. Butter your muffin pan, or do as I do, instead of buttering the pan I use paper muffin cups.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the sugar, apple and pear cubes.
4. In another bowl beat together the milk or water, eggs and vanilla. Mix with the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil or butter. Mix with a spoon. Do not overmix.
5. Spoon some batter into the muffin pan. Add about a tablespoon of marshmallow fluff into each muffin. Cover with more batter.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

If baking puffins instead of muffins follow the recipe above, but use buttered and bread crumb covered ramekins to bake the puffins and add some dark chocolate with the fluff. Cover with more batter.
Cinnamon Sauce
(Original recipe from
"Makuja menneisyydestä. Ruokia ja ruoanvalmistusta 1200-luvulta 1700-luvulle" ed. Leena Sivula)

2 dl cream
1 dl sugar
1 rkl rose water
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Put all the ingredients into a small pan.
2. Let simmer until the sauce thickens.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Gorgeous! They look terribly good!



Cinnamonda said...

Hi Rosa! Yes, they were very tasty!:) And the cinnamon sauce was just the perfect addition to the puffins.


White On Rice Couple said...

What?!! No butter? That's incredible and maybe better for my cholesterol level!

I love the use of apple and pear together!

maybelles mom said...

These look wonderful--and it is good to have you healthy again and back.

anya said...

Puffins, 16th-17th century's sauce recipe, so well-set pictures...Girl, it's just such a captivating post!! :) Thank you for this!!

Priscilla said...

Yummy...this looks great. Looks like you did a great job at improvising!!

Cinnamonda said...

White on rice couple, yes, no butter at all!:) Olive oil worked very well in this recipe!

Thank you, Maybelles mom!:)

Thanks, Anya! I'm glad you liked my post. :)

Pricilla, I guess I was lucky, but yes, improvising worked very well this time! :)