Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lovely sounding watermelon muffins with white chocolate, rosewater and lemon zest

I had high hopes for these muffins. We had some watermelon left in the fridge which needed using up, and what do I find paging through the new Good Food? Watermelon and white chocolate chip muffins. Doesn't that sound lovely? I love recipes using what you have in the fridge, and turn out to be fabulous too. So out came the flour and my cute new babuschka measuring cups, and I started baking.

Of course I had to make them special. I had some Green and Blacks white chocolate in the pantry which I thought I'll use. When I opened the packet I saw the chocolate flecked with tiny pieces of black, and lo and behold, another look at the packet revealed that the chocolate contained Madagascar vanilla. This was so beautiful, I thought long and hard about not putting it in at all, and saving it for something a bit more special than muffins, like sharing with the Fabulous Man. But as I had no other chocolate, and the watermelon was starting to look at me reproachfully from the fridge, I started chopping.

I also added some lemon zest and rosewater for a romantic twist, and it looked wonderful, the pink dough studded with little black-speckled pieces of white chocolate, and some swirls of lemon in between.

To top it all off, I used my ultra gorgeous cupcake liners. Aren't these just the the prettiest little things you've ever seen?

Into the oven they went, and I rubbed my hands in gleeful anticipation. Boy, was I disappointed. Out came muffins that can only be described as a very synthetic looking orange, and my heart broke. Where were the pretty pink rose-scented muffins I pictured having with my afternoon cup of Earl Grey?

Then there was the taste. Do you know what watermelon muffins taste like? Nothing. It was just this bland piece of dough, apart from the absolutely wonderful pockets of melted white chocolate and vanilla (defenitely using these again!).

I turned to my trusted old friend when things go wrong, the internet. Turns out that the recipes that contained real watermelon were very much like the one I used, and not getting rave reviews either. Most recipes ask for watermelon flavouring to be added, or are just pink coloured muffins with raisins or dark chocolate chips to resemble seeds.

I'll give you the recipe I used anyway, in case you have more success than I had. If anybody has a recipe they know and love, please pass it on. In the meantime I'll have my watermelon as nature intended: straight from the fridge, infused with some vodka (once the Little Girl has grown up a bit).

Watermelon and white chocolate muffins
Makes 12

400g watermelon, peeled and chopped
5ml rosewater or to taste
1 1/2 cup (225g) self-raising flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
50g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
zest of one lemon
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
icing sugar, to dust

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.

Place watermelon in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain into a jug, discarding any seeds and pulp. Flavour with rose water.

Sift flour, sugar and baking powder into a bowl. Add melted butter, egg, watermelon juice and lemon zest, and stir until just combined. Fold through the chocolate.

Spoon into paper cases, and bake for 20-25 min until done. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

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