A Quirky Main . . . Corn Muffins with Chili Con Carne

Friday, 28 November 2014

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I want to tell you today about one of the most innovative products which I have been sent in recent months,  Quirky Bake Shapes.  Muffin tins with colourful silicone toppers that you fill with muffin batter, top with the toppers and bake.  I was so excited to get these!

The set consists of six non stick metal muffin cups and 2 each of three different topper designs. They have been designed specifically to add indentations to the tops of muffins during the baking process. These beautiful cavities can then be filled with delicious fruits, preserves, strudels, nuts, and any other combination of things to create a truly decadent treat!

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The creator, Hadar Ferris, boasts +3092 influences in her endeavor to invent the perfect muffin bake ware and has successfully achieved her goal. The silicone "caps" as well as the tins are dishwasher safe and the "caps" are oven safe up to 250*C/475*F.   To see other "Quirky" products, visit their website at: www.quirky.com.  In North America, here.

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They worked beautifully.  If I had any complaint at all it would be that there were no actual instructions on the package to tell me how to use them.

But I found this online, which was quite helpful.

1. Fill muffin tins to the rim with your batter

2. Place Bake Shapes on top of tins.  (This was so much easier than I thought it would be! The caps snap right into the outer rim of the tins without excessive pressure.)

3. Pop'em in the oven - the longer the crispier.

4. When ready, let cool before removing Bake Shapes. (My muffins were cooked perfectly and nicely golden brown.  The silicone tops came off with ease.)

5. Fill muffins with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

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I chose to bake corn muffins and top them with some chili con carne for my experiment.   As you can see my corn muffins came out golden brown with lovely indentations to fill.  Just perfect!   I used my ex MIL's Corn Cake recipe.  The muffins baked perfectly in 20 minutes.

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*Mother In Law's Corncake*
Makes one 9 inch round or square pan,
or 12 small muffins
Printable Recipe

My ex mother in law's simple, no fail recipe for a tasty cornbread that comes out perfect every time.  Quick, easy and oh so tasty.

7/8 cup of plain flour (I don't know how many ounces this is in British measurements,
Just measure out 3.5 ounces and take about a TBS out)
1.7 ounces sugar (1/4 cup)
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 ounces polenta (1 cup cornmeal)
1 large free range egg, beaten
225ml of whole milk (1 cup)
60ml of vegetable oil (1/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Grease and lightly flour a 9 inch round or square baking tin.  (Or 12 small muffin cups).  Set aside.

Measure the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and polenta into a bowl.  Beat together the egg, milk and vegetable oil.  Add all at once to the dry ingredients and mix quickly  just to combine.  Pour into the prepared pan(s).  Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until well risen and lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Serve warm, cut into wedges or squares.

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It worked really well.   We like cornbread with our chili con carne and it was just lovely spooned into the corn muffins and dripping down the sides . . .  with some cheese on top of course!

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The shaped muffins made for a lovely presentation as well.  I used my old faithful recipe for a simple chili.

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 *A Simple Chili*
Serves 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

Hearty, filling, tasty and low fat.  Makes a wonderful weeknight supper.

low fat cooking spray
1 pound extra lean minced steak
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and pulverized with a mortar and pestle
1 TBS mild Chili powder
1 tsp ancho chili paste
1 tsp oregano flakes
1 tsp coriander flakes
1 (400g) tin of black beans, drained and rinsed (2 cups)
1 (400g) tin of spicy mixed bean salad, undrained
( 2 cups, this is a mixture of cooked beans and corn in a spicy sauce)
2 (400g) tins of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice (about 4 cups), undrained
225 ml of beef broth, lager or strong coffee (1 cup)
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 (100g) bar of lindt chili chocolate broken up into bits (1 3/4 ounces)
the juice of 1/2 lime

To serve:
grated strong cheddar cheese
chopped spring onions
sour cream

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Heat a large deep non stick skillet over medium heat.  Spray with some low fat nonstick cooking spray.  Crumble in the beef and cook, stirring to break it apart, until lightly browned, adding the onion and garlic in the last few minutes.  Add the cumin, chili powder, chili paste, oregano flakes and coriander flakes.  Cook and stir until very fragrant.  Add the beef broth, beans (both tins) and the tomatoes.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper.  Break up the chocolate and stir it in until melted.  Add the lime juice and stir again. 

Ladle into heated bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream, some grated cheese and chopped spring onions for sprinkling on top, along with some crusty rolls or cornbread on the side to mop up all those delicious juices!

Many thanks to the people at Quirky for sending me these neat muffin tins to try out.  I really liked them and I think you would too.  They are a bit pricy, but would make an excellent gift for the foodie in your life that you are racking your brains trying to think of a gift to buy for them.

Note:  Although I was sent product to review, any and all opinions are totally my own.


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