In which I discover a new-to-me market in Melbourne, and bring home zucchinis and limes to bake muffins with cream cheese icing.
My favourite thing about traveling from Bendigo to Melbourne for a weekend is to seek out a little pocket of the city that I’ve never been to before. To be honest I was enticed to South Melbourne because of an amazing brunch spot posted on Instagram. As serendipity would have it, South Melbourne Market was a mere block away…and with my “recipes to make” file bulging…it was the perfect chance to explore.
I love the “you never know what’s around the corner” feeling of a market. The main thoroughfares…the little internal laneways created by how the stalls fit together…it completely justifies wandering and taking your time to make sure you cover it all. When a stall-holder catches your eye with a smile and waves you over to sample their wares (ie the tasting plate)…this is where the fun begins. Are you spontaneous and buy the first chance you get? Do you take an initial lap and make careful decisions about how to fill your market bags until the seams are stretching? Choose fresh ingredients and take them back for a home cooked meal? Indulge in the famous dim sims or a bowl of your own from the steaming paella pans? Everyone has their own approach to experiencing the market.
I made my decision early as I was on the lookout for limes and zucchinis for my muffins. After that, I took my time cheese tasting and people watching. I love the enthusiasm (and noise!) of the fishmongers…customers swapping banter with their favourite barista whilst waiting to warm their hands on a take away coffee. Allow yourself to be caught up in the movement of the crowds, or stand to the side and appreciate the quiet contemplation of an elderly gentleman rugged up in tweed…watching market-goers ebb and flow around his seat. Watch the dogs tied up out the front wiggle with anticipation as their owners return.
As I headed back to the car, fruit and veg in hand, rain started to fall and I pressed my scarf a little closer to my chest. Markets have a way of making you feel warm and connected. I know now that South Melbourne is a pocket of the city I will definitely be coming back to explore more.
This recipe was found on Decor8, written by Jillian. I tweaked it a little bit, loved the result, may still tweak a bit more.
Zucchini & Lime Pecan Muffins
275g grated zucchini, grated and dried on absorbent paper towels
5 eggs, separated
250g caster sugar
2 limes, rind grated
250g ground toasted pecans (I pulsed in a small food processor until similar to breadcrumbs)
100g almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon lime juice
Preheat oven to 190c (fan forced). Whisk eggs yolks, sugar and rind in a large bowl until thickened & a bit fluffy, should at least double in volume. Mix the blended pecans, almond meal and baking powder in a different bowl. Stir through grated zucchini then gently fold the above egg yolk mixture through the dry ingredients, and add lime. In a clean dry bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites through the zucchini mixture. Pour batter into muffin papers and cook for approx 15 mins or until skewer is removed cleanly. Remember that batter will rise, but fall slightly when removed from the oven, so fill muffin papers accordingly. Allow to cool well before icing...even better if left in fridge overnight before icing.
45g unsalted butter
90g cream cheese
1 tsp grated lime rind
1 1/2 cups icing sugar (or to taste/texture)
1-2 tsp lime juice
sprinkle of chopped pecans/lime rind to decorate
Cream together butter, cream cheese and grated ring. Add icing sugar and enough lime juice to form soft icing. Beat for about 3 minutes. Decorate
Would love to find out your favourite thing/s about visiting markets?