Soggy muffins…

Apple-and-Cinnamon-Muffins-(5413)

I had not baked something sweet in a little while and decided that yesterday was the time to bake muffins. Now let it be known that muffins are the bane of my life at the moment. They never were, but since I’ve moved house I can never ever get them right. I’ve lost my touch. Lately I’ve been sharing my bakes with my lovely neighbour. (It’s the least I can do to thank her for taking the time to take care of all the building’s needs and for letting me vent when something is wrong!) But I didn’t give her any this time because frankly they’re not presentable, though they do taste good. Mind you, they look great actually, but they are not so nice to look at from the inside. Never judge a book by its cover. Before I continue I want to say that generally I try a recipe more than once before I write about it, but this time I just had to make an exception.

I was so disappointed that I took the time to discuss the result with J. He’s great at these things because he’s very calm and rational about these sorts of things. So while I was whining and going on a never-ending rant about how much of a failure I was (well..it’s a little bit over the top but I’m taking some poetic license on this), J took his time, cut one muffin in half, has a little taste and said: “One – you could cut the apples into smaller dice; two – you could even dry them in the oven for a bit; three – you could bake them for a little longer on a lesser temperature. You’ll get the hang of it, don’t worry…and if I were you I would try to make another batch tomorrow.” And that’s how from this point on I’ll think of this process as something of a post-mortem examination. Definitely seemed like it yesterday.

When I put that out on Twitter, one of my followers gave me the following idea: topping them with ice cream and chocolate and blame it all on the melting gooeyness of the ice cream. Tell you what – I was really tempted to do that! Another thing – I’m not blaming it on the recipe; I just want to try it again. One thing I will do though is to adjust it a little bit and take on board J’s suggestions. In case you’re wondering this recipe comes from Nigella Kitchen (page 130). I wanted to give them a go because they are a wonderful breakfast idea, not for everyday but they would be great for having friends or family over for brunch. I will edit in the photo later, but till then here’s the recipe for you, with some variations, for you to try should you want to. I will definitely do that this afternoon. This makes 12 muffins.

For the mixture:

  • 2 eating apples (I used Pink Lady, but you can use anything you like)
  • 250g plain flour (I used wholemeal which could have affected the texture)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 125ml honey
  • 60ml runny yoghurt (not Greek)
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 35g unblanched almonds, chopped

For sprinkling on top:

  • 35g unblanched almonds, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/392ºF/Gas mark 6 and line the muffin tin with paper cases or  some wax paper cut into squares for a more professional look.
  2. Peel the apples and cut them into small dice. Place them to one side till they are needed.
  3. Measure the flour in a large bowl and add the baking powder and the cinnamon
  4. (1 teaspoon), and the 35g of chopped almonds.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl whisk the brown sugar (125g), honey, yoghurt, oil and eggs, until combined.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to just combine the two. Add the chopped apples and fold them in gently. Do not over mix as you’ll end up with a very dense muffin.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop if you have one, divide the batter into the 12 cases.
  8. To make the topping, mix the ingredients together with your hands and sprinkle some on top of each muffin. Then bake for 20 minutes (what the original recipe suggests) till the muffins rise and turn golden.

I will tell you how my second attempt at these goes…wish me luck.

Rob x

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