Brown Butter, Chocolate and Hazelnut Muffins

Today I’m beyond excited to have a post from Sophie, who was one of the very first people to welcome me to this food blogging community, as well as being a great inspiration and fellow pumpkin lover. Take it away!

Brown Butter, Chocolate and Hazelnut Muffins {Guest Post from The Cake Hunter} | The Littlest Bakehouse

I’d had this recipe lying around for some time and I knew it would be perfect for anyone baking in limited space.

I love a method born out of sheer laziness. Don’t get me wrong, not all shortcuts in baking are good…it is usually better to sift your flour and ingredients do really need to be at room temperature for a good cake but the method that requires very minimal equipment is a method I can get on board with. I don’t like to make work for myself unless absolutely necessary. This includes washing up, now that we don’t have the luxury of hiding plates in a dishwasher, their constant presence in the sink serves as a reminder that they always need doing! Therefore, if I can get some baking done and only have to wash a spoon, fork, bowl and little saucepan at the end of it then I’m pretty happy.

This method is from the great Dan Lepard and I stumbled across it when hunting for inspiration for making muffins with crème fraiche – I had a tub in the fridge that absolutely needed using for baking, because putting it in regular food just wouldn’t be as much fun. Eating these muffins tastes almost like Nutella deconstructed. If Nutella contained a little bit of banana. It’s the perfect elevenses muffin – chocolate at breakfast still doesn’t feel right but at 11am it becomes much more acceptable. I love the addition of hazelnuts, I feel like it would be too dry a muffin if it were all flour so the ground nuts add a better texture. Plus, brown butter and ground hazelnuts should definitely be best friends.

Brown Butter, Chocolate and Hazelnut Muffins {Guest Post from The Cake Hunter} | The Littlest Bakehouse

Adapted from Dan Lepard/The Guardian

Makes 12


1 medium banana, peeled and sliced
175g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
75g creme fraiche
75g butter, melted
100g ground hazelnuts
200g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate, broken into chunks


1) Heat the oven to 170C/350F and line a muffin tray with cases.
2) Start by browning the butter. Melt the butter on a medium heat, keep it over the heat and stir regularly until the butter starts to turn a golden brown colour and produces an amazing nutty smell. When foam appears on the top, remove from the heat and stir until the foam dies down. Set aside.
3) Put the banana and sugar in a bowl and use the fork to mash them both together until smooth.
4) Add the eggs, whisk in with the fork then mix in the creme fraiche and brown butter.
5) Tip in the ground nuts, flour and baking powder and stir well, making sure all the dry ingredients are mixed in. Add the chocolate and mix until evenly distributed.
6) Spoon into the cases – about 3/4 full – and bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
7) Let cool in the muffin tray for 10 minutes before removing from the tray and placing on a wire rack.

Hazelnut & pumpkin flapjacks

LittlestBakehouseFlapjackI know guys, I know. I need to step away from the pumpkins and the oats. Indulge me for one last pumpkin post, and I promise* I’ll leave it alone for at least a month.

I love it because it’s creamy and adds bulk to meals, for no Weight Watchers points. It can be savoury and it can be sweet. Plus it’s orange, and orange foods are almost always brilliant: mangoes, carrots, er, oranges, squashes, sweet potatoes and orange Smarties are all delicious.

At first glance, these flapjacks look a lot like I just baked pumpkin porridge with a few nuts and that’s that. The truth is that the porridge gets a thumbs up for Weight Watchers followers, and these flapjacks, full of sugar and glorious golden syrup, most definitely do not.

But despite the sugar, they have a balanced sweetness that teams well with the warmth of the pumpkin and spices. A colleague even said it was the best flapjack he’d had “in a very long time”. Are you converted yet?

For those nuts (ba doom tsh) who, like me, still aren’t over pumpkin, check out this Pinterest board and The Cake Hunter’s pumpkin week posts. Starbucks doesn’t get to dictate when pumpkin-eating season ends.

*I totally had my fingers crossed.

Serves 18, using a 8×8 inch pan. Click recipe to enlarge. 


Chocolate hazelnut cinnamon rolls

I’m sorry guys. I’m sorry that I have to barge in on your Thursday morning just to break your heart with lust for chocolate hazelnut cinnamon rolls. It isn’t my fault. Really. You can blame this on my dad for giving me the hazelnuts in the first place. What’s a girl to do, if not mix those hazelnuts with delicious melty chocolate and sweet warm bread? But I’m only a little bit sorry – because damn, these rolls are good.

I spent ages looking for a cinnamon roll recipe. I tried Google, I tried Pinterest, I tried Waitrose. Nothing. Nada. No recipe that grabbed me. So I went back to the old faithful, cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread recipe, and tweaked. And chopped, and sprinkled, and rolled. Cooked and waited and waited and waited, and then did a little victory dance around the little kitchen. Clapped like a seal a few times. This is a victory.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can get halfway and put the dough in the fridge overnight. So, with a bit of careful time planning, you could have these for an indulgent Friday morning breakfast to help get you through the day.

If you’re good enough to have the self-restraint to stop you from eating them all in one go, they will be just as tasty the next day, heated in a microwave for about a minute.

Recipe adapted from a recipe adapted from Joy the Baker. 



2 3/4  cups plain flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope dry yeast
2 oz/50g (unsalted) butter
1/3 whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, whisked
Sprinkling of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 oz/5og (unsalted) butter, melted until brown
50g skinless roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
100g chocolate, roughly chopped (I used 75g dark, 25g milk)


1)  Mix together flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.

2)  Heat the milk with the butter in a saucepan until the butter has completely melted. Remove from heat and add the water and vanilla extract. Let it stand for a minute or so to cool.

3)  Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients, along with the eggs. This makes a very sticky mixture – just added a little more flour until its easier to handle.

4)  Transfer the dough into a greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to double in size.

5)  While that’s rising, mix together your sugar and cinnamon for the sugar filling, grease your tin (I used a Bundt-style tin), and melt the butter. Preheat oven to 180C or gas mark 4.

6)  When the dough has doubled in size, tip it out and knock it back. Cover it with a tea towel, and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Roll out the dough as big as you can on a floured surface, or if you’re refrigerating it until the morning, wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge. Be sure to take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you plan to roll it out!

7)  Slather the dough with the melted butter using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, and sprinkle the sugar mixture over it. Next, sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts and chocolate over the buttered, sugared dough, roll lengthways and cut into rolls about 2.5 inches deep. Transfer them to the tin.

8)  Put a tea towel over your tin, and leave the rolls to rise for about 30 minutes – until they’ve doubled in size.
(As my flat is pretty cold, I put a hot water bottle underneath to aid the rising. True story.)

9)  When risen, place it on the centre shelf of the oven and cook for about 30-40 minutes, until a deep golden brown.
Similar to baking a cake, if you put a knife between the individual rolls and it comes out sticky, let them have longer. This might mean putting a foil cap over the rolls to stop the top from burning.