Archive for muffin

A: Orange you glad I bought some Amaretto?

Posted in Muffins with tags , , , on August 17, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

I can never slip through duty free without maximising my alcohol allowance. Having nearly completed my collection of Absolut vodkas (just have pepper and pear to go, I think!), I decided to get something a little different this time and landed on a bottle of Amaretto instead.

We love this stuff, and could probably finish most of it drunk neat. However man decided to have it with orange juice last night, which set me on a boozy cake mission!

I found a recipe for Bermudian Rum Cake in my Greyston Bakery Cookbook and this morning set about making Italian Amaretto Muffins!

Ingredients:

1/2 C finely chopped pecans

1 C plain flour + pinch of salt

3/4 C caster sugar

11/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 milk

1/4 orange juice (we had orange and mango juice)

1/4 vegetable oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp grated orange zest

3 tbsp Amaretto

Method:

Heat oven to 180C, line 9 muffin cups and fill the empty muffin-holes with hot water.

Whisk together flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.

Combine wet ingredients with orange zest and mix into the flour mixture.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and top with finely chopped pecans.

Bake for 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in tin then remove muffins from tin and place on a wire rack over newspaper/plate. Prick holes in muffins and pour 2 tbsp glaze on each muffin (letting muffin absorb glaze bit by bit, or it’ll just run over the muffin and your beautiful Amaretto will go to waste!).

Glaze:

Melt 3 tbsp butter in a pan, add 1/4 C brown sugar and 1 tbsp water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer while stirring continuously for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp Amaretto and set aside.

These muffins rise beautifully and are really quite nice eaten warm, and man will proudly attest to that having just given it the thumbs up. I imagine a little shot of Amaretto or spiced rum on the side wouldn’t go amiss either. Perhaps a dollop of cream spiked with Cointreau or rum, as suggested by the original recipe? Mmm…

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A: How do I love thee? Lemon count the ways…

Posted in Muffins with tags , , on August 16, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

Don’t you think for one second that I have forgotten my beloved citrus delights. If anything, the house if bursting at the seams with all manner of lemon wonders. (Man is still adamant that his life is made no better by this seasonal barrage of sunburst-yellow.)

One of my all-time favourite muffin combinations has got to be lemon-raspberry. Actually, I suspect this has more to do with the raspberry and less to do with the lemon. Regardless, decided to make a batch of minis with my growing bounty of lemons.

Have bastardized a number of lemon-cake/muffin recipes over the years and I currently am quite happy with this one.

Lemon and raspberry muffins

Ingredients:

115g butter, softened

225g sugar

4 eggs, beaten

225g plain flour, whisked with 2 1/2 tsp baking powder

130ml milk

1tsp vanilla essence

juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 cup of frozen raspberries (I tend to add more)

Method:

Heat the over to 180C, line 12 muffin cups or 24 mini-muffin cups.

Combine the lemon juice with the milk and leave for 10 minutes (or just use 150ml buttermilk plus lemon zest).

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs gradually, beating well after each addition.

Add flour mixture and fold in using a spatula.

Fold in milk, zest, vanilla and frozen raspberries.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes.

I would include a photo of the finished product but a large proportion of the muffins mysterious disappeared while they were cooling and I was so caught up in saving the rest from my ravenous manrat (who claims to abhor the dreaded lemon) that I forgot to take a snap. 😦

A: Eggcellent environmentally-friendly idea #1

Posted in Muffins with tags , , , on July 18, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

At the risk of sounding a little too pleased with myself, I am so very proud of this particular stroke of genius!

Firstly, I do believe I have found the world’s best chocolate muffin recipe (yes, really). Thanks once again to Dorie and her amazing substitution ideas combined with the unfaltering user-friendly recipes from Leiths Baking Bible I have discovered what just might be the perfect combination of liquids to use when baking (see recipe).

Secondly, check out the funky packaging!!!

Not quite what you were eggspecting?

Not quite what you were eggspecting?

Now, I’m not claiming to be the first person to have thought of transporting mini-muffins in an egg carton. In fact, I’d be quite surprised if no one’s thought of it before! BUT, I am nonetheless pleased with my clever discovery.

Triple Chocolate Muffins (adapted from Leiths Baking Bible)

Ingredients:

285g self-raising flour

55g cocoa powder

225g soft light brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

85g butter, melted

175ml evaporated milk

100ml buttermilk

55g white chocolate chips

55g dark chocolate chips

85g milk chocolate chips

Method:

1. Heat oven to 180C

2. Combine flour, cocoa and sugar and whisk to combine

3. Combine egg, butter and both milks in a jug and add to the dry ingredients, mixing carefully.

4. Add chocolate chips and mix well.

5. Spoon into muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes (15 minutes if baking mini-muffins)

6. Cool on wire rack and enjoy!

Makes 12 muffins plus 12 mini muffins, or 36 minis, or 18 muffins, or 6-10 jumbo muffins or one really, really big muffin. Mmmmm….. giant muffin……

Note: The evaporated milk may be substituted for milk and buttermilk for soured cream (as was in the original recipe), but I do find that the evaporated milk made the mix extremely creamy with a lovely, sticky mouth-feel, while the buttermilk gave it a fairly light crumb. Mix and match to figure out what suits you!

A: Buttermilk madness

Posted in Muffins with tags , , , , , on June 28, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

I adore baking with buttermilk, and have in my recipe collection a decent repertoire of muffins and cakes that call for buttermilk. Unfortunately, buttermilk once opened tends to spoil quickly (yes, even in the fountain of youth I affectionately refer to as Fridge). My local supermarket sells buttermilk in 1l quantities, where the average cake/muffin recipe uses 1/2-1 cup of buttermilk, which always results in the onslaught of buttermilk baking in a quest to use up every last drop of this milky ambrosia. More often than not I call on an old favourite of mine- a basic muffin recipe that doesn’t require the Kitchenaid (much as I adore my empire red powerhouse), just 2 bowls and a spatula.

cooling muffins

This time I split the basic mix in 2 and did a raspberry and white chocolate, as well as a lemon and poppyseed batch. I must say the raspberry and white chocolate combination is a hard one to beat!

Basic muffin mix

2 cups plain flour (or 1 1/2 cups plain and 1/2 wholemeal)

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup caster sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

3 tbsp melted butter

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk well.

Combine all the wet ingredients and whisk well.

Add wet to dry and mix gently with a spatula.

Add fruit/nuts/ chocolate chips (see tried and tested additions, below).

Bake at 190C for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12.

Tried and tested additions (no fixed quantities here, just add ingredients until it looks right!)

Raspberry and white chocolate

Strawberry and lemon zest, followed by drenching it in lemon syrup (equal proportions lemon juice and sugar, boiled till sugar dissolves)

Chocolate chocolate chip (substitute 1/2 cup flour for cocoa, add milk and dark chocolate chips)

Lemon and poppyseed- zest in mix, drenched in lemon syrup or topped with lemon butter after.

The list is endless!!!

A beautiful light crumb, thanks to the buttermilk no doubt. Enjoy!

A: Haunted oven/pantry

Posted in Muffins with tags , , on June 26, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

Botched up a lemon slice BIG TIME a couple nights ago. So much that I was too ashamed to even consider photographing it. Granted, I decided to make it in a new set of tart tins instead of a baking tray, which is what caused the giant leak, which resulted in giant pool of lemon filling on bottom of oven, which resulted in big black gooey mess, which ended up in big old sulk on kitchen floor.

THEN came the wonderfully moist chocolate cake that I have made over and over again with no trouble, that decided NOT TO RISE!!! Turns out self-raising flour really does expire and the pantry isn’t a rot-free zone like the fridge (because we all know that the fridge is a safe haven from all bacteria and spoilage, and food lasts infinitely in the fridge). Tastes ok but way too dense. 😦

flat choc cake

And FINALLY came the buttermilk chocolate cupcakes that just couldn’t quite hackit. Cupcake tins too full, not full enough, all in all they just didn’t look right!

sunken chocolate muffinoverflowing cupcake

So I picked out the best of the lot, slapped on some frosting and played with the cat.

frosted cupcakes

Try and try again they say!