Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Do you know the Muffin Man?

The Muffin Man?
Yes, the Muffin Man?  Do you know the Muffin Man that lives in my house?

Cheese and Poppy Seed Muffins
Yes - it's my Dear Husband.  Now, my Dear Husband is an accomplished cook in his own right.  Unfortunately, for some silly reason (that reason being me!), he is rarely in the kitchen.  My mind is always 10 days ahead with the meals that I'm going to cook.  I don't know why I don't "assign" any meals to my Dear Husband to cook for us.  But now that I've stated "aloud" this flaw in my personality, I think I'm going to start doing something about it.

Blueberry Muffins
Anyways - my Dear Husband does sometimes make it into the kitchen.  Lately, it's during those early morning wake up calls when he is kind enough to take the girls and give me a little bit of a sleep in.  And what does he do with the girls?  He bakes muffins for breakfast!!!  Isn't he a treasure?

Raspberry Muffins
And what's more - he makes really good muffins!

Doughnut-flavoured muffins complete with a runny jam filling
We were never really a muffin family, until I got a hold of this book - The Muffin Bible.

It was a promotional freebie.  It was sitting on our shelves until one morning I armed Little Miss M with mini post-it notes and told her and her dad to go through the book and mark out the ones they wanted to try.  I think the different flavourings and the simplicity of the recipes caught my husband's eye because, before I knew it, we had moved away from toast and cereal and the weekend pancakes and onto muffins.  And I love it!!

Cream Cheese and lemon muffins
If I had to choose my favourite - it would be a toss up between the Cream Cheese and Lemon Muffins and Raspberry Muffins.

Cream Cheese and Lemon Muffins - these are awesome and, if you reduce the sugar, they don't feel overly sweet for breakfast!
Adapted from the Muffin Bible

110g cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups plain flour
grated rind of 1 lemon
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
1/2 milk
2/3 cup sugar (or less!)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Topping (optional but good if the lemon flavour is not really coming out)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 190C.  Grease or line your muffin pan.
2.  Mix the cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of flour and the lemon zest.  Cut the cream cheese chunks to even smaller pieces depending on your preference.  They will retain their size throughout the baking process.
3.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until just combined.
4.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.
5.  Bake at 190C for 20-25min.  They will be ready when the lightly spring back when touched.
6.  (Optional)  To make the topping, mix the lemon juice and sugar and sprinkle this mix over the warm muffins.

These are great muffins to freeze.  Just wrap them up tightly.  When I'm ready to eat them, I usually warm them in the microwave for about 30secs.

Raspberry Muffins - these are not like your typical muffin mix with the raspberries thrown in.  These have a wonderfully spiced flavour.  The sweetness of the sugar is easily countered by the tartness of the raspberries.  Fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries work well.
Adapted from the Muffin Bible

2 cups plain flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar (or less!)
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil
55-60g melted butter, cooled
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

1.  Preheat over to 200C.  Grease or line your muffin pan.
2.  Mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
3.  Whisk together the sugar and eggs until light.
4.  Add to the sugar and egg mixture the vanilla, oil and butter.  Whisk again.
5.  Make a large well in the centre of the dry ingredients.  Pour the egg-sugar mixture and combine the two quickly until a batter is formed.  It will be very thick - don't worry!
6.  Gently fold in the raspberries.
7.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tray, filling them about two-thirds full.
8.  Bake at 200C for 20-22 minutes.


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