Figs, honey & goat’s cheese are a classic dessert combo. In this GF recipe the cheese is barely there, but complements the sweetness well. You can make these buns with no cheese at all for a very sweet treat, or with more cheese for a more savoury tea snack.
Makes: 24 muffins (but it’s easily halved if you need fewer)
- 2 lemons, juice only
- 250ml milk, at room temperature
- 280g dried figs, chopped finely (see Tip at bottom)
- 50g ground almonds
- 175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 210g sugar (golden caster or golden granulated)
- 4 large eggs (they should total 250g – 270g when weighed in their shells)
- 100g runny honey
- 90g soft goat’s cheese
- 400g gluten-free flour
- 3 heaped teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- Two 12-hole muffin tins
- 24 muffin cases
- 1 large mixing bowl, 1 small bowl, and a measuring jug
- Electric mixer (hand-held or stand) if not creaming butter/sugar by hand
- Cooling rack
- Preheat oven to 180 C (165 C fan-assisted). Line muffin tins with paper cases.
- Add the lemon juice to the milk and set aside. Yes, it will go chunky – it will react with the gluten-free baking powder later, providing extra ‘lift’.
- Thoroughly mix the chopped figs with the ground almonds, to coat them, because coated fruit will not sink to the bottom during baking, and also to keep the fig pieces from clumping together.
- Cream together the butter and sugar; add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth (if doing this manually, pre-beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add some of it at a time). Squeeze over the honey and beat until well combined.
- Add the cheese and beat until no lumps remain. (If you prefer to taste the goat’s cheese, use 130g instead of 90g.)
- Add the flour and baking powder in thirds, alternating with the lemon milk. Remember, this is gluten-free, so you don’t have to worry about over-mixing the dry with the wet – in fact, incorporate as much air as you can with each addition.
- Fold in the fig/almond mixture and combine until the fruit is evenly distributed through the batter.
- Spoon into muffin cases no more than 3/4 full to allow for a good rise. The mixture should ‘dollop’ and not be runny, but hold its shape.
- Bake for 20 minutes or so turning trays halfway through for even baking, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven, remove muffins from tins, and cool on a cooling rack.
Dried figs are still semi-soft and quite sticky, so chopping them finely can be fiddly. Keep a hot, wet cloth handy to wipe the knife blade clean as you go.