This month's Tea Time Treat challenge is to make fairy cakes, cupcakes or muffins, all of which are eminently suitable for any type of tea table, from feeding hordes of hungry children to a dainty afternoon tea using the best china. My problem is I don't really like making them! I can't be bothered with the fiddle of decorating fairy cakes, and don't like cupcakes which have more frosting than cake. I'm beginning to conquer my ineptitude with muffins, but for a long time I avoided making them as they got poor reviews from the family in comparison with shop bought ones.
However, if I was going to take part in this challenge, it would have to be muffins, so I started thinking about delicate seasonal flavours suitable for the tea table. I didn't want robust, heavy muffins full of oats, bran and dried fruit, which are more the sort of thing you eat to fill you at breakfast time, but something you could eat as part of a larger meal, and not feel over-stuffed. When I saw that my rhubarb was just about ready for the first stems to be harvested, the decision was made for me!
from Smitten Kitchen, also stirred a portion of the streusel crumbs into the muffin batter, which was a really effective idea.
I followed the recipe exactly, except I used all white flour to make the muffins lighter and more delicate, and I used demerara sugar in the streusel topping to give more crunch. I also rounded all the metric weights to the nearest 5g - my scales work that way, and it's more than accurate enough for most baking!
The muffins turned out really well - they were light and moist, despite the batter being quite stiff. My naturally grown, unforced rhubarb didn't stay pink when cooked, but the little cubes of fruit were still noticeable in the muffins and tasted really good. The hint of cinnamon and nutmeg in the topping went well with the rhubarb too.
Tea Time Treats is a monthly challenge co-hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage, and Kate at What Kate Baked, who chose this month's theme. It's name speaks for itself, but more details can be found here.