We have been making maple syrup for the past 30 years and every year it seems to be a different season. I am finding out nature has its own agenda!!!
The last few years in baking and cooking I have been replacing white and brown sugar with either maple syrup, honey and sometimes date or coconut sugar. My favourite is maple syrup and yes, it creates different magic in baking. When substituting, especially in baking, replace the 1 cup of white sugar with 3/4 cup of maple syrup and reduce by 3 Tbsp the other liquid content in the recipe (I ignore the 3 Tbsp).
Because maple syrup is brown and granulated sugar is white, this replacement will darken your baked goods. A white cake will become beige in colour.
Browned Butter Blueberry Maple Muffins
Browning the butter is an important step because it adds an extra layer of flavour in the muffins. I left out the brown sugar added extra blueberries. I also switched around the flours—more spelt instead of white.
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup spelt or whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar (optional)
Rind of one lemon zested
1 cup to 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt (if you are using unsalted butter omit if using salted butter)
1/4 cup maple syrup, for brushing over tops
Preheat oven to 375°F and line your muffin pan with paper cups or lightly grease.
Melt the butter in a small pan (it will start to foam) and keep it on the burner WATCHING it until it starts to brown and smells a bit nutty. Stop before it becomes a deep brown! Set aside to cool a bit.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and sugar (if using).
In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, maple syrup, eggs and zested lemon rind.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mix gently and then fold in the blueberries.
Fill the muffin cups and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool, remove to a cooling rack and brush the tops with maple syrup.
Goat Cheese Salad with Maple Dressing
This is a simple but elegant salad. A great starter for Easter dinner. The dressing is very simple and it is my go to for most of my salads. The amount of cheese and lettuce equals the number of people. You decide.
*A trick to slice up the goat cheese is make sure the cheese is cold and then use dental floss to make each slice.
Goat cheese log
Fresh bread crumbs mixed with black pepper
Fresh sliced zucchini
2 parts maple syrup
1 part balsamic vinegar
1.5 part lemon juice
1 part olive oil
Salt and pepper
Slice up the goat cheese into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. If the slices are too thin they are impossible to work with!
Whip the egg white. Lightly press the goat cheese slice with your hands and dip them in egg white first, then bread crumbs. Press again gently to make sure the bread crumbs don’t fall off.
Lightly brown the goat cheese either in a frying pan with some oil or on a baking sheet in the oven.
Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together.
Place some greens on a plate, add sliced zucchini, sprinkle walnuts, drizzle dressing overtop and then place warm goat cheese on top.