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These sweet, mildly spiced cornbread muffins were inspired by a savoury recipe for swede and spring onion muffins, written by Fatima Tarkleman (@foodventures_with_fatti) for Local Greens, our fellow veg scheme in south London. Check them out: they are really good, and delicious with a veggie chilli.
The warm spiciness of the cardamom (and the half swede still lurking in my fridge) inspired me to try a sweet version. Having been a swede sceptic all my life, these two recipes have won me over. I'm actually looking forward to finding swede in my vegbag again.
1/4 tsp salt
20 green cardamom pods (or 1/4 tsp ground cardamom)
butter for greasing the muffin tray
140g plus 2 tbsp fine cornmeal (polenta)
140g plain flour
50g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
100g melted and cooled butter
1 tsp demerara sugar
Peel and grate the swede and put it in a small bowl with 35g caster sugar and 1/4tsp salt. Mix well.
Lightly toast the green cardamom pods in a dry frying pan until they start to release their aroma. Split the pods and tip the seeds into a pestle and mortar, discarding the skins. Finely grind the seeds, add to the swede and mix well. Set aside for a few minutes - or longer if you have time.
Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread the swede, including any juice that has come out, on the tray. Bake for 15 mins, stirring once half way. Leave to cool.
This excellent tip from Fatti stops the muffins from sticking and means you don't have to use cases: generously grease a 12-cupcake tray with butter. Sprinkle 2tbsp fine cornmeal into the tray, and lift, tap and rotate the tray to coat each well with cornmeal.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: the cornmeal, plain flour, caster sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: the yogurt, eggs and melted butter.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then mix in the cooled swede. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake tray.
Sprinkle each muffin with a small pinch of demerara sugar.
Bake for about 15 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
Best eaten warm, with a cup of tea (or if you have chai, event better!)