Friday, January 2, 2009

Sweet & Simple Bakes: Christmas Morning Muffins

This month, I decided to expand my food event participation, and ran across the Sweet & Simple Bakes Christmas Bake. This event is sweet and simple: bloggers vote on a baked recipe of the month, and Rosie and Maria of Sweet & Simple Bakes round up the participants. For December, it was an adaptation of Nigella Lawson's Christmas Morning Muffins from her Nigella Christmas cookbook. (what? A cookbook I don't own??)

You can see Rosie and Maria's adapted recipe here. My interpretation is below.

I had planned to make these much earlier, but it just didn't happen. For us, these are New Year's Morning Muffins! I felt like these yummy muffins were begging for some walnuts, so I added a generous handful along with the cranberries. I love that you use orange juice to make a sort of buttermilk to add to these muffins, they smell heavenly.

***IMPORTANT NOTICE: I didn't realize my metric conversion skills were so lacking. Or something. (aren't teaspoons the same everywhere??) Although these muffins smell and taste wonderful, they look...pathetic. Yes, the sugar is sparkling and crunchy on top. But the tops, well, they are flat. They just didn't rise and get all muffiny looking. They just sort of spread out. I had to bake these for 15 minutes longer than the recipe called for, and still, this is what I got. (at least they didn't burn!) I had to loosen the tops with a knife, which I never have patience for, so they are just hideous:

Delicious, but pathetic. The muffins are wonderfully orange-scented, the walnuts are a lovely addition, and even the interior texture is nice. It's just those darn tops. (Not that it prevented me from delivering one to each ranch neighbor as a New Year's treat). Eat them with your eyes closed, please. I will work on this recipe and come back with one that is better, I promise!

Here's to a New Year with No Flat Muffins!

Christmas Morning Muffins
~ adapted from Nigella Christmas via Sweet & Simple Bakes
***Please don't follow these these measurements, the conversion is embarrassing! Go HERE to make these delicious muffins!***

Makes 12

1 cup + 2 tablespoons (250g or 9 oz) all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (100g or 4 oz) sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
zest and juice of one orange (or zest and juice of 2 Clementines or 2 Satsumas)
Approx 1/2 cup (125ml or 4 fl oz) whole milk
just under 1/3 cup (75g or 3 oz) vegetable oil (or melted butter, left to cool slightly)
1 egg
2/3 cup (175g or 6 oz) dried cranberries
about 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For The Topping

3 teaspoons raw sugar (I didn't measure here, I just sprinkled generously!)

Preheat the oven to
400°F/200°C/fan oven 180°C/Gas mark 6. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper baking cups.

Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl; grate the zest of the orange over the flour mixture and combine.
Squeeze the orange juice into a measuring cup, and pour in the milk until it comes up to the 3/4 cup (200ml or 7 fl oz) mark.

Add the oil (or slightly cooled, melted butter) and egg, and lightly beat until just combined.

Pour this liquid mixture into the bowl of dried ingredients and stir until everything is just combined, remembering that a well-beaten mixture makes for heavy muffins; a lumpy batter is a good thing here. (my batter wasn't lumpy, it was rather smooth and slightly runny...hmmm)

Fold in the cranberries and walnuts, then spoon the batter into the muffin cases and sprinkle the raw sugar on top.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The muffins are ready to eat, either plain or with butter and marmalade.


Cookie said...

Sorry to see that your muffin didn't bloom :-(

My guess is that: The top collapsed becos there ain't enough flour to provide the structure for the muffin to hold up as it expands during the baking process.

I think 250g plain flour is closer to 2 cups. You may refer S&SB conversion here :

Good luck!

Min said...

Thanks! I actually got out my Nigella cookbook later, and it has the recipe. I will be posting it, along with perfect muffins, tomorrow. I hope. The flour was only off by a few tablespoons actually, (1 1/3 cup in the cookbook) so I guess we'll see what happens!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin