These muffins were inspired by Nigel Slater’s Cake of Roasted Hazelnuts, Muscovado, and Coffee. Wrap any leftover muffins in plastic; you can keep them on the countertop for up to 3 days. In fact, I thought the muffins were more moist and settled into themselves the morning after. —Cristina Sciarra
about 15 muffins
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more to grease the tin
Pour the hazelnuts onto a baking sheet. When the oven is warm, move the baking sheet into the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven, and let them cool until you can easily handle them without burning your fingers. Remove the skins from the hazelnuts; don’t go crazy, if some part of the skins are left on, it’s not the end of the world. Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor until they are reduced to dust. Measure out 1 cup of hazelnut dust; set the remaining 1-2 tablespoons aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter with the golden sugar and the muscovado sugar in a large mixing bowl for about 5 minutes, until both sugars are truly blended into the butter, and the combination is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, until they are incorporated into the batter. Mix in the hazelnut dust.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, the baking powder, and the salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix on low speed, just until the batter comes together and is smooth. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling each cup about 2/3 of the way to the top.
Slice each fig into thin slices, 6-8 slices per fig. Divide the fig slices evenly between the muffins, 4-6 slices per muffin. Sprinkle the demerara sugar on top of the figs, again, evenly dividing between each muffin. Finish the muffins with any leftover hazelnut dust.
Bake the muffins for 30 minutes, or until they are golden on top. Allow the muffins to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing them from the tin.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.