Overnight Oats #3 – Roasted Strawberries

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For this week’s overnight oats episode I took a note out of Tracy Shutterbean’s book and roasted some strawberries.

Roasting strawberries intensifies their flavour, adding a cheeky splash of balsamic vinegar gives them an amazing tang and maple syrup provides just the right level of stickiness.  This method is especially effective if you’ve accidentally bought a duff batch of watery flavourless strawberries, it really perks them up.

The strawberries cut through the richness of overnight oats beautifully, but I couldn’t resist adding to the richness with a little almond butter. Any excuse!

I recommend you prepare a big batch of these strawberries as there are so many uses for them, such as Tracy’s gorgeous snack idea of popping them on graham crackers topped with ricotta. Heaven!

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Overnight Oats with Roasted Strawberries
Strawberries from Shutterbean

You can find the basic overnight oats recipe here

Ingredients:
450g strawberries, hulled and sliced in half lengthways
4 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 175C / 160C Fan / 350F and line a baking tray (with sides) with parchment paper.

Mix all of the ingredients except the strawberries in a small bowl. Pop the strawberries into a larger bowl and pour over the liquid. Toss the strawberries around to coat them thoroughly.

Remove the strawberries from the liquid and spread them out over the baking sheet, then dispose of the remaining liquid. Roast them for 40-45 minutes. They should stay fresh in the fridge for about a week.

Enjoy!

 

Nectarine Crumble Muffins

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If it wasn’t for muffins, I don’t think this blog would exist. Muffins got me into baking. More than that, they made me obsessed with baking.

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A simple Christmas (or was it birthday??) present of a muffin recipe book, a quick visit to John Lewis (the best department store in all the world) to pick up a couple of muffin tins and the course of my life was changed forever! Melodramatic? Moi? Never!

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Muffins are just so simple, any baking novice can make them, and I definitely was a bit dense when it came to the kitchen. They can also be super impressive and are always a popular choice, I don’t think anyone has ever refused one when I’ve taken a batch into the office.

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For a long time I baked muffins almost every weekend, ploughing my way through the book, always coming back to banana for obvious and delicious reasons. But man cannot live by muffin alone, the time came to branch out into biscuits, cake, tarts and cheesecake and the humble muffin became sorely neglected.

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So now it’s time for a revival! Given that summer fruit is still utterly fantastic right now, I thought I’d go with nectarines again. Sorry to be repetitive, following my nectarine frangipane tart, but I love, love, love them and always have them in the fridge in the summer time. So deal with it.

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These little guys are a cut above your average muffin. Supremely moist, with a crumbly top and occasional, insanely sweet, little bursts of nectarine. There is nothing here that couldn’t be described as utterly gorgeous.

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To make these muffins look as special as they taste I decided to dispense with the usual muffin wrappers, this helped give a nice, smooth, brown underside and avoid those ugly crinkled edges. A non-stick muffin pan will help with this, as will a good brush of melted butter.

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Nectarine Crumble Muffins
Adapted from Cupcakes and Muffins
Makes 12

Ingredients:

85g melted and cooled butter (plus a little extra for greasing your tins if you’re not using paper liners)
280g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder (yes a tablespoon, don’t be scared!)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
115g caster sugar
2 eggs
250ml natural yoghurt (I used low fat greek style)
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
2 ripe nectarines, diced

Crumble topping:
50g plain flour
35g butter
2 tbsp caster sugar

Preheat your oven to 200 C / 180 C Fan / 400 F.

Start by melting the butter for the muffin batter. Once melted, if not using liners, brush a little onto the base and sides of your muffin tins and put the rest to one side to cool.

Now put all of the ingredients for the crumble topping into a bowl and rub them together with your fingertips until they resemble chunky breadcrumbs.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. I personally don’t go in for this sifting malarky but feel free to sift it if you’re that way inclined.

In another large bowl, lightly beat the eggs and then stir in the yoghurt, vanilla and cooled butter.

Make a little well in the middle of your flour mixture, poor in the liquid mix, add the nectarines and stir it together just until the flour is no longer visible and then stop! Don’t over mix, this is the secret to a nice, light muffin!

Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins, filling them up pretty much to the top. Scatter the crumble topping over each muffin and press it down lightly.

Pop the muffins into the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until they are golden brown and firmish to the touch.

Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes until removing them and either tucking in while they’re still warm or leaving them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

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