St Galler Klostermuffins
Last week, my friend Carmen consulted me on one of her ongoing baking projects:
(She is currently in the midst of another baking project, a baby, due any second...)
The muffins sounded great. You make a hazelnutty batter and then hide a secret blob of raspberry jam inside. Yum.
But Switzerland has its own version of Linzer, the St Galler Klostertorte (recipe here) which adds chocolate to the mix. So I thought I'd make a batch and swissify these muffins by adding some cocoa powder.
I also got caught up in a few tangential Wikipedia sprees related to the Kloster St Gallen itself, the 8th century monastery in the centre of St Gallen (and namesake of the Klostertorte).
Its library is a treasure trove of medieval rarities including the Plan of St Gall, which is the only existing architectural plan from the Middle Ages. A document on five pieces of parchment sewn together, it's a description of a monastery, complete with church, gardens, dormitories, industrial buildings, bake and brew houses, etc. It was never carried out, nor does it seem to actually correspond to the terrain of St Gallen, so instead it's interpreted as an example of an ideal monastic complex (digital copies of the plan and 2D and 3D renderings here).
There was also this excellent 9th century Irish poem about Vikings, written in the margins of a Latin grammar book (you can see a digitized copy of the book here).
The perfect combo, delicious facts and interesting muffins.
An update on Carmen's baking projects: the muffins were a hit at work. And this very morning her other baking project was finally at its end and her new baby boy was welcomed into the world!
150 g butter, soft
150 g sugar
100 g flour
50 g cocoa powder
10 g baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
200 g ground nuts
Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F / gas mark 6.
Line a muffin tin with paper muffin liners.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Whisk together the eggs in a small dish, then add them to the butter mixture, beating until smooth.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and ground nuts.
Fold the dry ingredients gently into the wet.
Fill the paper muffin liners with about half the batter. Use the back of a spoon (or your finger) dipped in water to make a small indent, then fill this with a blob of raspberry jam.
Cover the muffins with the rest of the batter.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until you can smell them and the tops look dry.
- If the batter looks split after you mix in the eggs, don't worry. Just add the dry ingredients and it should even itself out.
- Traditionally, hazelnuts are used, but you could use almonds, or a mix.
- Other jams would also work as well, especially apricot.