These gorgeous, orange topped muffins are adapted from the signature recipe from Honey & Co. The Baking Book by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich. They appear on the front cover of the book.
They look particularly gorgeous if you can use blood orange slices to top the muffins. Blood oranges are available in the UK in the early part of the year. The muffins also look great with regular small oranges.
The original recipe was made with a 50/50 mixture of ground almonds and pistachio. I used one hundred per cent ground almonds. You could use either combination of nuts.
It helps if all the ingredients are at room temperature before you begin mixing them.
For the cake batter
250g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
zest of an orange
250g ground almonds
4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
250g self-raising flour
pinch of table salt
For the topping
120g caster sugar
1 tbsp corn flour
3-4 small oranges
Preheat the oven to 190C/Fan oven 170C/Gas 5.
Grease two large muffin tin. Mix the caster sugar and cornflour together and sprinkle a teaspoonful into each indentation in the muffin tin. Gently shake the muffin tin so you create an even coating across the indentations.
Peel the oranges with a sharp knife and slice each orange into 3 or 4 slices. Lay a slice of orange into each of the indentations in the muffin tin.
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and a little fluffy. Add the orange zest and the ground nuts. Mix until all the ingredients have come together. Gradually add the eggs and continue to stir the mixture until you have a smooth paste. Scrape down the mixture from the sides of the bowl and bottom of the bowl and add the all flour and salt. Mix again with the food mixer until the ingredients are well combined.
Take two dessert spoons and fill each section of the muffin tins half full. (The second dessert spoon helps to get the stiff mixture off the first one). Do not be tempted to overfill the muffin tins.
Place the muffin tins in the centre of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes open the oven and turn the tins round so the muffins are baked evenly. Cook for a further 10 minutes until cooked and evenly browned. You can test this by pressing down on the top of a muffin with a finger and the surface of the muffin should spring back.
Remove the muffins from the oven and flip the tins over onto a tray lined with baking parchment. Leave the muffins to cool slightly before turning them out. You may need to use a blunt knife to help get the orange slices out.
If any of the muffins have lost their shape you can use a large biscuit cutter to cut a clean circle around the muffin. This is what I had to do!
These are best eaten fresh at room temperature but can be kept in the fridge for a few days.