Friday, 27 February 2015

Apple & Cinnamon Bran Muffins


These are the easiest and most versatile muffins you can make. No need for any scrabbling around in the back of your cupboard looking for that elusive beater for your electric mixer...no, no. These beautiful muffins require the absolute basic kitchen equipment.  




I just love muffins and when I make a batch they last usually only two days in our house. I pack them into the children's lunches - our school like most in Cavan have a healthy eating policy - I love to add some home baked element into their lunches. It is a small reminder of home. The fact that they are nutritious goes down all the better! I use Heart's Delight Wheatmeal flour in this recipe, which is a combination of plain white flour and wheat bran but if you are unable buy this, use 300g plain white flour and 120g wheat bran instead.

Baking these muffins I used Granny Smith eating apples -had loads in my fruit bowl - and they are surprisingly good. They caramelise slightly on top but remain soft and moist in the centre. Experiment with your choice of apple or even with your choice of fresh fruit. Strawberries and blueberries would also make a nutritious substitute.

Another trick I have up my sleeve is that I use an ice-cream scoop to measure out the batter- strange I know but I would be lost without mine. I use the type you see dinner ladies scooping out mash potatoes with. It has a lever which cleanly ejects the batter every time, this has the added benefit of measuring out the exact same amount into each paper case and they all bake evenly. I also use it for cupcakes, large cookies and of course ice-cream!

The best thing about this recipe is that it is very easy to make and doesn't require any great effort on your behalf!

Makes 18-22 Muffins

Dry Ingredients
420g Wheatmeal flour or 300g plain white flour combined with 120g wheat bran
1 tbsp Baking powder
½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp Salt
1 tbsp Ground cinnamon
3 (430g) Apples, peeled, cored and diced.
290g Granulated sugar

Wet Ingredients
227g Butter, melted
310ml Milk
2 Large eggs, beaten

Method
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/ Gas Mark 5. Line two 12 hole muffin trays with 18-22 paper cases.


Place the flour into a large mixing bowl and sift in the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (sifting removes any lumps from the raising agents, but if you haven't a sieve then do your best to remove the lumps yourself). Stir in the salt and cinnamon. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the melted butter, milk and beaten eggs. Very gently combine the ingredients with a wooden spoon or spatula. The great thing about making muffins is that you don't require an electric mixer to make them, in fact the opposite is the case. If you are too vigorous combining the ingredient together it will make for tough muffins. Add the apple pieces and the granulated sugar and stir to combine.


Using an ice-cream scoop or two tablespoons divide the mixture between the two muffin trays.  Bake in the preheated oven to 20-25 minutes.



The muffins are baked through when they spring back when gently pressed in the centre.. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with a cup of steaming coffee. Original recipe inspired by the wonderful Ina Garten.


  


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