Sunday, 23 November 2008

In the Mood for Muffins

I've been having bitten by the cupcake bug and they are all I can think about lately, food wise that is. I trawled the web for recipes, discovering new blogs along the way:)And I found myself going back to the yummy CupcakeBlog by Chockylit. All those delicious cupcakes... where on earth should I start? A classic chocolate? Oh yes, but let's jazz it up by adding matcha (green tea) icing! Using the Adzuki Bean Paste Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Matcha Green Tea Frosting recipe, I omitted the adzuki bean (red bean) paste. I couldn't stand the stuff as a child and I still dislike it now.

Chocolate Muffins with Matcha Icing

I really liked the cupcakes and I loved the green matcha contrast against the dark chocolate. I haven't made icing in years and I think I added a little too much matcha but otherwise it was yummy .. and different. However, my cupcake excitement was severely dampened when I offered the little cakes around at work. I think the expressions I encountered most was .. "disgusting". Disgusting colour, disgusting flavour. I must admit I was rather taken aback. In the past the chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, banana cake ... have always gone down well. Ok, I admit matcha is an unusual flavour ... but still ... the comments were rather harsh and perhaps even uncalled for.

Toffee Apple Muffins

However, it seems I still have a bit of a cupcake fever left. I made toffee apple muffins using a Gordon Ramsey recipe, which I found on Times Online. So totally easy to make and pretty darn delicious. As much as I find Gordon Ramsey's TV shows entertaining, I've always balked at attempting one of his recipes. I'm a huge Nigel Slater fan... which probably says something about what I think of the Ramsey cooking style. Don't get me wrong ... I would love to go to one of his restaurants but my cooking style is a tad bit different. I did love these cupcakes though. They were so light.

Toffee Apple Muffins
Adapted from a Gordon Ramsey recipe found on Times Online, published on 3 November 2007

Recipe makes 10 large muffins

350g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
100g caster sugar
140g soft dark brown sugar
2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
3 large eggs, beaten
120ml vegetable oil
100ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g soft toffees, chopped into small pieces
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and line a 6-hole muffin tray with paper cases. Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Make a well in the dry ingredients.
  • Add the chopped apples, eggs, oil, vanilla extract and milk in the middle of the well, and fold the mixture together with a large metal spoon, using as few strokes as possible. Don’t worry if the mixture is lumpy, the trick behind the lightest muffins is not to overwork the batter.
  • Half-fill the paper cases with the mixture, then sprinkle over the chopped toffee pieces. Cover the toffee with the remaining batter, then bake for 25-30 minutes or until the muffins are well risen and golden.

    Toffee Apple Muffin

    As usual I changed bits of the recipe - the above is what I changed it to. For example, the original recipe actually called for all spice but I only had cinnamon; dessert apples but I bought cooking apples by mistake, which I found lends a refreshing tang to the muffins; golden caster sugar but I used normal white and slightly more than half soft dark brown sugar - mainly because I prefer the stronger caramel tones of dark brown sugar. I think the recipe is a keeper and I definitely won't be sharing any of these at work tomorrow! Ha... what can I say? I'm still feeling sore :)


Anonymous said...

I think it's an ingenius idea to balance the sweet chocolate with the refreshing matcha flavour. Your co-workers don't know how to appreciate good food that's all :)

Luscious Temptations said...

Thanks for your comments :) I thought it was rather good myself but matcha is a quite an aquired flavour and sometimes I forget what conservative tastebuds my colleagues have. For them I think I'll just stick to the chocolate brownies and banana muffins :)

Kel said...

I'm having a problem converting this from grams to cups

Luscious Temptations said...

Hi Kel ...

Have a look at the conversion tables available on Delia Smith Online. I'm assuming you're trying to convert from US cups? (I believe Australia also use cups but I'm not sure to what extent) The cup conversion table is right at the bottom of the page. Good luck :)