Foodiva's Kitchen: The Super-Sized Moon and Muffin Monday: Baklava Muffins with Figs and Rose Syrup Glaze

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Super-Sized Moon and Muffin Monday: Baklava Muffins with Figs and Rose Syrup Glaze

Tell me what you feel in your room when the full moon is shining in upon you and your lamp is dying out, and I will tell you how old you are, and I shall know if you are happy.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel

I'm thrilled to be joining in Muffin Monday again after a long hiatus. Thank you, Anuradha of Baker Street blog for including me after my rather last minute plea :). Actually, I was quite excited at the thought of baking some special, festive-flavored muffins this holiday season and this week's recipe was no disappointment. Baklava Muffins! Have you ever tasted such a thing? Well, it certainly was my first time having a baklava that's not traditionally diamond shaped, with no sticky, crispy bits of dough flying all over the place upon that first bite.

Wanting to play up the baklava-ness of the muffins, I mulled over ways to incorporate rose flavor into the batter. Using rosewater would've been the obvious way to go, and while I did have it, I also remembered something else I had lying around...just begging to be noticed, eaten or used. They're these flower-shaped, pink rock candy from LadurĂ©e that are infused with natural rose flavor. Everyone else at home stayed away from these because to them the floral scent was 'kinda weird' in a candy, and there was only so much I could eat all by myself. 

I ground the candy up in my grinder and realized I'd just created a two-fer. There was no longer any need for the sugar because the rock candy essentially did the same job, and it contained flavoring too! Pistachios would have made the muffins more authentic to the Middle-Eastern style of baklavas, but alas I had none (no walnuts either) and used almonds instead. Dried figs were thrown in the batter because they reminded me of the bounties of the Mediterranean and Middle East where baklavas are often listed as part of the national cuisine. 

Cooked and glazed

For the topping, I replaced the honey with a pink glaze concocted out of confectioner's/icing sugar, rose syrup and milk. Okay, the pink won't have you instantly exclaiming "Aha, baklava!", but didn't anyone ever tell you not to judge a muffin by its color? If you're one of those who are skilled at word association, you'd probably spot the pink and think, 'Turkish delight', which in turn makes you think of 'Turkey', which then gives you flashes of (no, no, not Christmas!) 'Baklava'. A-n-y-w-a-y..., these muffins tasted pretty darn good, with a pleasantly floral note and soft, pillowy texture. Thanks An for the fab recipe!

Super-Sized Moon

How about that total lunar eclipse ending up with a sombre, reddish-colored moon last Saturday (Nov 10), did you all get to witness it where you're at? This was my second time seeing it this year (last one was in June), but I would have to wait another 2 years to see it again. I decided to stalk the moon and take pictures of the eclipse in progress.

Ever since I can remember, I've always been immensely fascinated by astronomy. If I hadn't been reincarnated as the successfully frivolous blogger that I am now, I believe I would've made an annoyingly awesome astronomer or astrophysicist. I memorize the nomenclature of the stars and constellation shapes in the same way other people memorize their home address or their first love's eye pupil color. 

Anyway, nobody else in the house was excited to join me in observing the moon being gradually covered by the earth's shadow (their reasoning - when you can see it on YouTube, why would you want to watch the real thing as it's happening? They are right of course, but still I find it so sad). So armed with my camera with a lens that only zooms up to 20 times, a large cup of hot chocolate and my faithful neck travel pillow (let's face it, there was going to be a lot of looking up involved), I set about to capture the total eclipse, seen below.

Congratulations on making it to the end of this post. You have no idea how grateful I am that you're interested in anything else here apart from these muffins. I'm off to munch on a baklava muffin now, did I already tell you they are really, good? 

Note: Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.

Baklava Muffins with Figs and Rose Syrup Glaze
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (almonds*)
1/2 cup dried figs, sliced thinly*
1/3 cup sugar (Rose-flavored candy, ground finely*)
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup + 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar (Rose-flavored candy, ground finely*)
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk (substitute: 3/4 cup plain yogurt + 1/2 cup low fat milk)

about 1/2 cup honey (I used the glaze below instead)

Rose Syrup Glaze*
1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon rose syrup (Monin brand)
2 tablespoons milk

* These are my variations.

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and prepare a 12 hole muffin baking pan with liners
2. For the Filling: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, set aside
3. For the Muffins: In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.
4. For the Topping: Mix the confectioner's sugar with butter and mix. Add rose syrup and milk to make a drizzling consistency and pass through a sieve to eliminate lumps. Set aside.
5. In a small measuring jar, lightly whisk together the egg, buttermilk and butter.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the egg mixture. Stir gently. Its okay if its bumpy.
6. Fill the muffin cups one third, add the filling and then top with the muffin mixture again till the cup is two thirds full.
7. Use any remaining filling as a topping. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
Take out from the oven and transfer to a wire rack, still in the muffin liners. Let cool and drizzle with rose syrup glaze.


Baker Street said...

Ooh! That frosting is a great addition! Glad to have you back with us on Muffin Monday. :)

Shoutforfood said...

Your description and photo already have me swooning with love!

TinaRBK said...

You had me at the baklava muffins, but the addition of the rose flavor and the figs has me really wanting to taste these. Guess I need to start scouring the net for that candy if I want to taste this. Very creative recipe-well done!

Katey said...

These are pretty much all the flavours I adore in one muffin! They look gorgeous x

Kiri W. said...

So interesting! Bklava muffins sound great to me, and rose-frosting seems like a great twist :)

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Baklava muffins??? You are a wonder! Such an amazing idea and you always take things to another inventive and beautiful. And thanks for the giggle on my blog...I am the Queen of typos :) xoxo

Daisy@Nevertoosweet said...

Lovely! I've never had any dessert that baklava flavoured hehe :) love the actual baklava so i'm sure i'll love these!

You're son's so cute!!! How old is he again? ~

penny aka jeroxie said...

Amazing amazing! And love the moon too.

little macaroon. said...

Hi Foodiva! Thanks for popping by my blog - these muffins look SCRUMMY. We saw the eclipse here in Singapore too - very cool xx

Adrian (Food Rehab) said...

Great idea, love this! Huge fan of baklava and muffins so I'm so sold.

easyfoodsmith said...

Your muffins definitely caught my attention, especially with your innovative additions of rose flavour! Loved reading your post. Great post!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Not just Baklava muffins, but also figs and rose syrup glaze is amazing!!! So unique combination yet you make me want us to have a taste of it!! What a great picture of lunar eclipse!

Shu Han said...

love the sound and look of the fig and rose syrup! and great photos of the moon too (:

Evelyne CulturEatz said...

So cool, baklava muffins. Love your interpretation and the use of the rose rock candy. Ha bubbles, cool!

Asmita said...

Wow, first time heard of baklava muffins. So unusual and wonderful!

Jocie's Mom said...

I totally missed the eclipse! I read about it in my newscast the next day and was like 'DOH!' I'm glad you were happily geeking out over it for me :) And the bubbles are superstar bubbles. I'm so doing that.

Love the muffins :) I fully support pink, regardless of its authenticity!

Torviewtoronto said...

muffins look delicious
lovely pictures

Anonymous said...

What an amazing idea, I love all the ingredients here, the rose syrup glaze sounds magical!

Emily Malloy said...

These are AWESOME

Tasty Trix said...

When I was a kid I used to lay on my back in our driveway and stare up at the stars ... I imagined that I could feel the earth moving. The lights and pollution blot out much of that where I am but I still love to look up whenever I have the chance. I would have joined you for sure! As for those muffins, I love rose syrup (I put it in my yogurt sometimes) and I think these would make the best breakfast ever. And congrats for winning the cookbook!!! Yay!!!

Magic of Spice said...

I can't believe you got those shots of the fantastic is that! And the muffins are amazing as well, love that the candies provided the sugar and rose flavor...not to mention the gorgeous color :)

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts said...

Oh my muffins! Those are insane! Love the pink glaze on top!
My husband and son got up early to see the eclipse this weekend. They didn't wake me up, so I missed it :( But that is ok, I NEVER get to sleep in! Not sure which is more rare :)

Kathy said...

What an incredible looking muffin! Love all the flavors you used. Beautiful!

Beth Michelle said...

These are absolutely beautiful. I love that gorgeous looking pink glaze! Delicious sounding muffins.

the [sugar] apothecary said...

That honey glaze is the perfect rosy pink for Turkish Delight! Figs and almonds are always welcome... and so are holly muffin wrappers. Woohoo!

Man, you have the luckiest kids. Muffins every Monday and kitchen utensil bubble-making?! Definitely the best way to spend a morning with mom! I'll see what I can do about your telescope request, I might have one lying around somewhere!

Dima's Kitchen said...

Oh My! These look scrumptious, very inspiring, thank you for sharing :)
PS your photos are beautiful :))

Peggy said...

I've always thought astronomy was cool (secretly, of course) - and never manage to remember or keep myself awake long enough to see cool lunar eclipses like these!

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