Monday, August 02, 2004

Joy for Baking!
{adventure #01} Apple Cinnamon Muffin

*shucks* Sorry i am going to sulk a bit here.
Really had no idea why my dumb fingers always managed to stuff up my whole blog entry. I was just about to finish with this blog when my fingers did something and *booofffff* The whole entry was gone. I couldnt retrieve it back either. *sigh* So no introduction this time. I am going to go straight into the recipe.

♥foodies date: 30 July 2004
♥ where: pinkcocoa's kitchen

I dubbed the basic muffin recipe from a chinese cookbook at Kinokuniya. *clever, aint i?* What i did was I memorised the proportion of the dry and wet ingredients and quickly scribbled it down the moment I got home. I wasted no time to get my hands dirty in the kitchen!

Apple Cinnamon Muffin
For basic muffin:
240g self-raising flour
120g caster sugar*
120g unsalted butter
60g milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt**
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Apple fillings
120g granny smith apple, chopped***
generous sprinkle of ground cinnamon
1 large dob of butter
3-4 tbsp sugar

To make 6 large muffin:
From what i know, there are two different methods of making muffin. The first being the muffin method. This is the quick and easy method where you combine wet and dry ingredients on their own first then mix the dry into the wet. This gives a bread-like muffin.

The second is the creaming method. The muffin is made as if making a cake. This method produces a softer and silkier texture i.e. more cake-like. The original recipe uses the muffin method but with time to kill, I decided to adopt the latter method.
To read more about muffin, check out Joy of Baking.

1. Preheat oven to 180c
2. Make cinnamon apple fillings: Melt butter in a saucepan and add in apple, ground cinnamon and sugar. Stir until fragrant and apple soft.
3. Sift flour, caster sugar, cinnamon together. (I sifted thrice!)
4. Cream butter and sugar together until white and fluffy.
5. Add in eggs one by one until well-mixed. if the butter mixture curdled at this stage, add in a little flour and continue to stir. The curdle should subside.
6. Sift half the flour into the butter mixture. Lightly fold in the flour until mixed.
7. Stir in half the milk.
8. Repeat step 5-6.
9. Spoon 1 tbsp muffin mix into muffin-pan. Top with 1 small dob of the apple fillings.
10. Fold in remaining apple fillings with remaining muffin mix and spoon mixture evenly over 6 muffin holes.
11. Bake for 25-30 minutes. When done, cool the muffin in the pan for 5 minutes before taking it out to cool on a rack.

* I used raw caster sugar so that probably explains the darker colour. I have also reduced the amount to 85g and added about 2tbsp of honey after step5. The honey gives the muffin a nice sweet aroma.
** Omit if using salted butter
*** I used more than 120g of apples. I like my muffin full of fillings! Other fruits can be used instead too eg. blueberries, raspberry.

♥ before
The mixture using the creaming method is different from that of the muffin method which is more liquid-like with floury lumps. This one is smooth and shiny.

♥ after
I was worried the muffin might not rise well. But lucky it didnt happen! I turned the muffin tray around half-way during the baking time to ensure a more even baking.

♥ cooling my muffin!
Notice how dark the muffins are. I was worried it was over-baked and started burning. But apparently, it's the raw caster sugar that's giving the muffin this dark caramelised colour.

♥ cross-section of the muffin
Somehow the apple blended very well with the colour of the muffin. You can merely see the apple in the middle of the muffin in this pic. I think I could use more apples.

ShinChan was my guinea pig. He had the muffin as breakfast on a sunny and warm saturday morning. *smiley* He said the muffin was good but I wonder if he was just saying that so that I wont be put off from experimenting in the kitchen. But he did mentioned that the muffin is more like a cake than a muffin. hm. So i guess the creaming method did make a difference.

I was a little worried at first because of the amount of ground cinnamon I used. I know there are many who don't like the cinnamony aroma. Lucky ShinChan doesn't mind. Nor do my flatmate and ex-flatmate. Yes. i had 3 guinea pigs. Lucky all of them said the muffin was nice. phew~