Apple & Pecan Muffins with Salted Caramel Pecans

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Ingredients      135g unsalted butter, softened, 60g for the muffins, 75g for the icing     210g Tate & Lyle Light Muscovado Sugar, 110g for the muffins, 75g for the icing, 25g for the salted caramel pecans     2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten     75g pecans, roughly chopped, plus 24 pecan halves for the salted caramel pecans     1 Cox apple, peeled, cored and roughly grated     150g self raising flour , sifted     1 tsp ground cinnamon     55ml maple syrup, plus one and half tbsp for the icing     110g cream cheese, full fat     1 pinch sea salt  Total time required 43 mins      Preparation time: 25 mins     Cooking time: 18 mins  Prepare Ahead  You will also need a 12-hole muffin tin lined with paper cases and a baking tray lined with parchment paper for this recipe. Instructions      Preheat the oven to 180C/160 Fan/Gas 4.     Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy for about 2 minutes. Add the egg, little by little, beating well between each addition, scraping down the sides from time to time.     Next, add the pecans and apples, then lightly stir in the flour, cinnamon and maple syrup.     Spoon the mixture into muffin cases and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 18 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.     Next, make the icing by beating the cream cheese, butter, sugar and maple syrup together in a bowl until smooth. Swirl the icing over the mufiins, then chill whilst you make the salted caramel pecans.     In a small non-stick pan combine the sugar and 1 tbsp of water over a moderate heat for 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves, stirring all the time. Increase the heat a little and cook briefly to make a dark caramel, then add the salt and pecans and toss to combine. Quickly transfer to the parchment paper and leave to harden for 10-15 minutes. Separate the pecans, decorate the muffins and serve.

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