I think it's time for a little more baking comfort and these muffins feature an ingredient that, depending on where you are in the world, you may or may not have heard of. Brunost (Norwegian brown cheese) is an ingredient that is unique in the cheese world and you can't help but want to taste it twice, just to be sure that the flavour exists. It's not really a cheese in the strictest sense of the word. It's slowly caramelised whey traditionally made from goats milk, but for the milder taste now uses cow's milk as well. The flavour is sweet, slightly salty and fairly intense with a creamy, caramelised texture similar to fudge. It really does have to be tasted to be believed.
My first introduction to brunost was oddly enough at a cheesemongers in Liverpool Street Station in London and it was my aunt who insisted it was something that I had to try (she's a huge fan and we try to keep her stash of brunost topped up as much as possible). I instantly loved it and since moving to Norway it is a staple in my fridge. It is much easier to get hold of outside Scandinavia now compared to those days when I had to make a pilgrimage to that cheesemongers, and you will probably find it in your supermarket.
Brunost is mostly enjoyed sliced on bread (often accompanied by jam), but I love to add it to casseroles and baking. This recipe marries together two ingredients that Norwegians adore - brunost and raspberries. Even my brunost hating son can't get enough of these muffins!
If you can't get hold of brunost, you can use caramel chips or small cubes of fudge.
Raspberry and Brunost Muffins (makes 15 large muffins)
175g / 6 oz sugar
175g / 6 oz butter or margarine
2 tsp baking powder
175g / 6 oz plain flour
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
100g / 3.5 oz brunost (Norwegian brown cheese) cut into cubes about the size of a small chocolate chip
130g /4 oz frozen or fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light fluffy and pale in colour. Beat the eggs and slowly add to the butter and sugar , beating well between each addition. If it looks like it's not holding together you can add a spoonful of flour. Sift the flour and baking powder together and gently fold into the egg and butter mixture. Fold in the cubed brunost and raspberries. Spoon into muffin or cupcake cases. Fill them about 3/4 full. Cook in the centre of the oven until they are a light golden brown and rebound to a light touch. Cool on a rack.
I would love to hear how your muffins go and if you enjoyed baking with brunost.
Vær så god!
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