Today we’re going to talk about the secret to perfect muffins. The secret lies in the mixing. Muffins are quick to mix (my type of food) and even quicker to bake. There are two types, stirred and creamed.
STIRRED muffins are the easiest to make (she says). To mix, the beaten liquid ingredients are added to the dry ingredients with a few flicks of the wrist, er don’t forget the spoon. Mixing is kept to the absolute minimum. Which will leave the batter lumpy, but worry not. Do not overbeat, you want a globby mess. (Sorry for the poor description, but I’m sure you get the picture.) When you bake stirred muffins, fill the greased muffin tin or paper cups 2/3 full. If all the tins are not filled, fill the rest with water to keep the other muffins moist. Bake immediately (unless I say different) for 20-25 mins in a pre-heated oven at 180-200 degrees C. Remove from oven and allow muffins to stand for a few mins. This makes them easy to remove from the tin.
CREAMED muffins taste more like a sponge cake and the texture of the batter is smoother. This method requires creaming softened butter and sugar, then add eggs followed by the dry ingredients.
You can make muffins a head of time and they freeze really, really well. For even better results, the unbaked batter can be frozen, yey! Line the muffin tins with foil or use paper cups. Fill these with the batter and freeze – easy peasy. When hard transfer to plastic bags/containers (label them because if you don’t you’ll think they’re yorkshire puddings, trust me.) To bake, put them back in the muffin tin and increase the baking time by five minutes. Dead handy for the breakfast muffins below.
HEALTHY BREAKFAST MUFFINS
I don’t know about you, but I am NOT a morning person. It takes me an hour after a couple of strong black coffees just to grunt to the world never mind actually make a breakfast. But these are so easy, even I can do it. The batter can be stored in the fridge for up to three weeks and can be used whenever you want to impress a new man or your mother-in-law (every little helps!)
3 eggs, beaten.
500ml (2cups) brown sugar (if you’re sweet enough, reduce the sugar.)
375ml (1 1/2 cups) oil
4 cups All-bran
4 cups plain flour
20ml (4tspns) baking soda
20ml (4tspns) baking powder
45ml (3Tbspns) molasses
10ml (2tspsns) salt
1ltre (4cups) milk
500ml (2cups) rasins or whatever dried fruit you fancy.
250ml (1cup) nuts – go for it.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Beat together the eggs, sugar and oil. Mix the other ingredients, add egg mixture and stir until JUST combined. Bake at 180 degrees C for 15 – 20 minutes.
Writerly stuff update:
One of these days I might even talk about writing. I was going to chat about conflict in romance, but then my microwave burst into flames and it took up time making sure the kitchen remained intact. On this occasion it wasn’t me, OH was responsible, and that’s all I’m going to say about it. He’s still being very nice and managed to work out how I’d managed to lose my gravatar image.
At the moment I’m busy building a platform on WordPress, Myspace, Facebook (two pages, one a fan page. Hey, I live in hope!) and of course, twitter and tweetdeck, which I have to say I’m enjoying it, people have been incredibly kind to a newbie.
Next post will be about ‘Does your romance wip have enough conflict? If not, why not?’
Oh, and I’ll give you guys a breakfast muffin recipe that needs to be CREAMED.