It’s Pete’s dad’s birthday tomorrow and I wanted to make something special. I loved the look of these muffins the first time I saw them – the cases in the picture look so cute, plus the pieces of rhubarb sticking out tickled me. And custard inside a muffin? It’s like a Kinder Egg for grownups!
This recipe is taken from the Australian Women’s Weekly Complete Book of Cupcakes and Baking.
2 cups self-raising flour
½ cup plain flour
¾ cup caster sugar
100g butter, melted
1 cup milk
3 cups finely chopped rhubarb
1 tbsp demerara sugar
For the custard
2 tbsp custard powder
¼ cup caster sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Method (makes 12):
1. Make custard. (Combine custard powder and sugar in a small saucepan; gradually stir in milk. Stir over medium heat until custard boils and thickens. Stir in extract. Cool.)
2. Preheat oven to 200 oC. Line 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.
3. Sift flours and caster sugar into large bowl. Stir in the combined butter, milk and egg. Do not over mix; mixture should be lumpy. Stir in half the rhubarb.
4. Divide half the mixture among paper cases; top with custard. Divide remaining mixture over custard. Sprinkle with remaining Demerara sugar.
5. Bake about 25 minutes.
Unfortunately, I can’t read the word “rhubarb” without thinking of this picture and hearing it in Russell Brand’s voice.
And now you can’t either.
All hail the Bird’s custard tin. It’s like the Ronseal of food. “You make it special” it says there on the tin. As I am soon to find out, “You make it badly” would be more accurate. Perhaps Bird’s decided that “you made it lumpy, you idiot” was too long for the packaging.
Rhubarb – you’ve got to love the ‘barb. However, don’t do as I did and absentmindedly munch on a piece of raw chopped rhubarb. It’s not as pleasant as it appears.
Believe it or not, it took me 17 minutes to chop 9 stalks of rhubarb into teeny tiny pieces. No, I wasn’t using a spoon; it was just very fiddly.
Noooo! I’d forgotten how much I hate custard powder. One minute you’re happily stirring away at some yellow-tinged milk, and then bam…
… Destination: Lump City. Black Eyed Peas take note – When it comes to custard, there’s no such thing as lovely lady lumps.
Melting 100g butter. Best not to look if you’re squeamish/calorie counting. It’s like an abbatoir for cakes. So that’s how it’s done.
Bleugh. Delicious, non? It’s alright. The recipe says it’s supposed to be lumpy! No really!
Mix in the rhubarb. There, that ought to neutralise some of that butter.
It’s at this stage I realise I’ve forgotten to add the plain flour. Bugger bugger bugger. I sift it in quickly and hope the recipe doesn’t notice.
That custard sure is yellow. And thick. *Panic rises*. Gather.
Let’s just hide the yellow blobs under another layer of mixture and rhubarb. Out of sight…
And some brown sugar. Makes everything better.
Aaannd, a slightly underwhelming exit from the oven. While they don’t look a-may-zing, they haven’t exploded, so I’m claiming it as a victory.
The sweetness of the custard has blended well with the tartness of the rhubarb. The sharper rhubarb cuts through the fluffy cake dough.
It’s a fiddly process, especially the custard part. The fact that I had to start with that got me off on the wrong foot and left me flustered. (Flustered Over Custard? Yeah, I know.) Also, the custard gravitated to one part of the muffin a bit like the marzipan in a Simnel Cake.
It’s one of the more exciting recipes I’ve tried, and it doesn’t look half bad.