Sunday, 17 July 2011

Orange Muffins

i seem to be in a muffin phase, i don't know why. maybe its because they're really simple, to make, you basically just bung everything together - you don't even have to mix them up completely! or maybe its because people don't mind a lopsided, imperfect muffin, one that has maybe spilled over, or is a little bit browner than usual. or maybe, just maybe, it's because they're almost twice as big as a cupcake, and you can flavour them with all kinds of yummy things? well, i don't know, i just think muffins are great.

this recipe comes courtesy of Baking Magic by Kate Shiragi with Susannah Blake, a great book i bought for my younger brother at christmas, full of recipes for cupcakes, muffins and cookiesand brilliant pictures, with quirky little comments here and there. i may have accidently picked out a present for him that i would also love :P

these were originally going to be lemon poppy seed, but then i thought, hey, why not orange poppy seed? so, i started to make them, then realised, we had no poppy seeds! so, they ended up just plain orange muffins. thats not to say, they aren't delicious though.
the one thing i left out of this picture was a splash of milk, sorry! not many ingredients today, so fairly simple to rustle up any time of the day. plus, i bet you could swap in different flavours that would work just as well. i wonder if lemon-lime poppy seed would taste good?
of course, as with every muffin recipe, here's the dry ingredients, mixed up before you mix in the liquids because you want everything to be evenly spread throughout the mix, but not to have to stir it too much once you combine the dry with the wet.
the acid in the orange juice will begin to curdle the yoghurt and milk, but don't worry, you won't be able to tell, and it tastes just as good. i did wonder why the zest was counted as a wet ingredient, but now i think maybe its somewhere in the middle, not dry because it's damp with oils, but not truely wet because it is neither a liquid nor will it get things wet if you spill it. what a conundrum!
here's my equipment to attack the oranges - it is surprisingly hard to zest an orange without making a complete and utter mess of it - zest in the bowl, over your hands, on the work surface, it gets everywhere, but smells amazing! which zester you use depends completely on your preference - the fine, grater style zester produces a finer, more pulpy zest, that would be good if you love the flavour of orange zest, but hate the feeling of longs strings of the stuffin your muffin. if you don't mind that, and, i think, it looks prettier in a cake if you can see it, then go for the hand held, peeler type affair. i went for a combination of the two - one orange with one, and the other with the other.
it doesn't matter if you have small pockets of flour here and there - as long as the majority of the mix is combined, the muffins will taste good, and be light and fluffy. if you accidently mix it too much, don't worry, they'll still taste great, but may be a bit denser, but not inedible.
the smell that permeates the kitchen when you bring them out of the oven is the most delicious thing - both the sweet, sugary smell that comes with all baking, but also the fresh, zingy scent of all the orange zest and juice.

300g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
115g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
100 ml plain yoghurt
3 tbsp milk
50g butter, melted
grated zest and juice of 2 oranges (the big ones - not small clemetines etc)

combine the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl, mix it about with a fork for a bit
in another bowl, combine the egg, yoghurt, milk, butter, zest and juice
pour the wet into the dry, stir it about quickly with the fork until just mixed
divide evenly between a 12 hole muffin tin lined with cases/greased
bake at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes, until well risen, golden brown and smelling delicious

eat fresh from the oven with an ice cold glass of juice for a summery treat. yumsss

sarahh xxx

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