20 June 2011

Pineapple & Toasted Coconut Muffins

A sudden urge for baking and I recalled reading about these muffins...Brown Butter Pear and Myer Lemon Muffins over at Jennie's Kitchen, one of my favourite food blogs.  It really had me at brown butter.  There is something so unbelievably appealing about butter that is melted until it turns golden and releases its slightly nutty like aroma. 

And I will make these muffins one day, they are just too appealing not to.  However as I was walking around Huckleberry Farms I spotted some coconut and some pineapple and had the sudden notion for a tropical twist on some muffins.  Perhaps a little toasted coconut and pineapple chunks lightly sauteed in a little butter with a little brown sugar would do the trick.

I confess all the baking is relatively new for me so this recipe does come by way of the above.  What appealed was the mixture of flours and the use of buttermilk*.  You could just use all purpose flour but the addition of the whole wheat flour appealed and allowed me to convince myself that these were a little more virtuous than they really are.  I am also just enjoying experimenting with the veritable plethora of different flours that are now available.

*Just a note on the buttermilk, here in NZ it is cultured buttermilk which has a more yoghurt like consistency.  Here, I just thinned it a little with regular milk.  Below I have included options for both Kiwi and non Kiwi buttermilk.

Pineapple and Toasted Coconut Muffins, inspired by Jennifer Perillo

Makes 12 regular or 24 mini muffins

1 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup pineapple, diced - you can use fresh or canned, I used Ceres Organic
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 cup (125g / 4.5oz) unbleached all purpose flour
¾ cup (100g / 3.5oz) whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp coarse salt
⅓ cup (70g / 2.5oz) sugar
100g / 3.5oz very cold butter, cut in to small pieces
200ml buttermilk - that would be NZ buttermilk which is thicker than her US counterpart, if in the US you could just use 300ml of buttermilk and leave out the milk.
100ml whole milk 


Pre heat the oven to 190C / 375F
Line your regular or mini muffin tray with paper cases.

Place the coconut in a frying pan and toast for a few moments over a medium heat.  Like with most toasting keep a close eye as the transition from golden and toasted to charred and burnt can be quick!  Once the coconut is toasted place in a bowl and set aside.

In a frying pan melt the 1 tablespoon of butter and add the pineapple and the brown sugar.  Saute for a few moments to allow the sugar to melt and the pineapple to slightly caramelise.  Allow the pineapple mixture to cool.

To prepare the batter mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Add the butter and rub between your fingers until you have a coarse crumbly looking mixture.  Add the buttermilk and milk and mix with a wooden spoon, just until it all comes together and the flour is all combined.  Add the pineapple and 3/4 of the coconut and gently mix it all together.

Spoon the mixture in to the paper cases and top with the remaining toasted coconut.  Place in the over for 20-25 minutes until the muffins are golden and a skewer comes out clean.  Remove the muffins and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before serving...if you can wait that long.  Personally I have never been that patient when it comes to baking fresh out of the oven.

For me I like the mixture of the flours as it gives the muffins a little more depth and texture, though they are still light and airy.  The coconut is toasty and then the sweet, but not too sweet pineapple keep these little morsels moist and a little fruity.  The toasty coconut topping a tops it all of with a pleasant little tropical crunch. I reckon they would also be great with the addition of a few dark chocolate chips.  However as they are, they went down a treat at the office and brightened things up on a wet and grey Auckland Monday morning.

iPhone only today...not yet proficient enough with the camera on a very grey Sunday  



  1. Toasted coconut is so good, and brown butter makes EVERYTHING better :) these sound awesome - a bit of summer in the middle of winter!

  2. Yum, these sound so delicious! I love using buttermilk in baking, it makes everything so soft and perfectly moist!

  3. Thanks!

    @Laura And we are almost at the middle of winter...shortest day tomorrow & then a little more light every day!

    @Maria yes buttermilk is so good & just loving playing with all the different flours.

  4. Very tropical indeed, I was thinking the same thing myself about photographing on these grey days and hope I can recall some of Sean's tips after a month of no photography.

  5. + Again! :-) My problem would be that i would start eating the pineapple from the pan!!! I am sure that everyone was very happy at your office!!!



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