Baking with Olive Oil
Baking doesn’t always have to be super-sweet, even when there are sweet components. These Goat Cheese Raspberry Muffins with Walnuts & Olive Oil are a perfect example. They include brown sugar, orange zest and raspberries, but these ingredients are balanced with olive oil, white whole-wheat flour, goat cheese and walnuts. These just might be the perfect breakfast or brunch muffin. As with most muffins, these are best enjoyed as close to baking time as possible. While warm, the goat cheese hidden inside is soft and melty. We like to use a tiny scoop to place the goat cheese in the center of the batter; it helps situate it perfectly in the center of the muffins so that it can be enclosed completely.
- 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk, preferably low fat not nonfat, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably choose one with a lighter flavor
- 1 teaspoon orange zest, prepared with a Microplane
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen raspberries
- ⅓ cup finely chopped walnuts
- ½ cup crumbled soft goat cheese (about 4 ounces), such as Montrachet
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar or sparkling coarse sugar, optional
- Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or coat with nonstick spray.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and set aside.
- Whisk together eggs and brown sugar until combined. Add buttermilk, olive oil, orange zest and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a large silicone spatula until just combined. Fold in berries and walnuts.
- Spoon about half the batter into the prepared muffin cups (you can do this by eye). Place about 2 teaspoons of the goat cheese filling in the center of each muffin, and top with the remaining batter to enclose the goat cheese. Sprinkle turbinado or coarse sugar on top of muffins, if using. (You don’t need it for sweetness but it adds a sparkle and a bit of crunch).
- Bake the muffins for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the tops spring back when gently pressed. The edges will be golden brown and will just be starting to come away from the pan. Cool in pan on rack for about 3 minutes, then unmold to rack to cool further, placing the muffins upright. Muffins are wonderful slightly warm and best served the day they are made.
- I like to bake these muffins either “naked”, with no paper liner, or use a fancy tulip paper as seen in the rear of the image. Note that these papers hold a larger volume than your muffin pan wells so you might end up with fewer muffins and the baking time might be a tad longer.
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