Monday, April 19, 2010

Cos I'm bluffin' with my muffin...

Chocolate Choc-Chip Muffins

Over the past month or so, I got a little bit obsessed with baking muffins. I'd make a batch, have a couple, and freeze the rest. Then, over the next few weeks, I'd take out one at a time and take them to work for a mid-morning snack. Muffins freeze fantastically, and a short burst in the microwave will bring them back to springy goodness. A fabulous little treat to get me through a tough morning at work.

I much prefer homemade muffins to store bought ones, not least of all because store-bought muffins are usually way too big and filling. I've also found that even good cafes can make dodgy muffins. Case in point: Espresso 3121 in East Richmond (or is it Cremorne?) does wicked coffee, but the last time I bought a muffin from them it was cold, dense and dry. Even worse are the muffins which have the filling sprinkled on top and nothing inside. Disappointing!

Here are a few of the muffins I made in March:


Apple Muffins

I chose to make apple muffins because they're not a very common flavour, and I love apples! (I've heard that Cafe Park Lane on Clarendon street does good apple muffins - has anyone tried them?)

Almost all muffins follow the same pattern - pour wet ingredients into dry, and stir lightly to mix. Then you add your add-ins (choc chips, fruit, whatever), and mix lightly. (A lumpy dough makes a light muffin.) If your muffin recipe does not follow this pattern, then what you've got, my friend, is a cupcake!

I adapted the muffin recipe from Donna Hay's Modern Classics II, which uses sour cream as part of the liquid ingredients. I don't know if it was the greatest recipe, as the thick sour cream meant I had to beat the batter a bit more vigorously than I normally would for a muffin. I'd definitely stick to a recipe that uses milk or buttermilk.

Apples! As you can see, we cut them up quite finely. Next time I'd use more apples and use bigger chunks. The more filling the better, I say!


Mmm... fluffy.


Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins

Nigella Lawson's chocolate chocolate-chip muffins are very easy and decadent. Same deelio as the apple muffins, wet ingredients poured into dry. The difference here is that there is cocoa in the batter, and lots and lots of chocolate chips. The recipe is from Feast, and I made it last just over 5 years ago. (I can't believe I've been blogging that long!)


TIP: Use an ice-cream scoop to get even-sized muffins.

Nigella instructs you to sprinkle extra choc chips over the muffins, and who would I be to disagree with her? Normally I use chopped-up chocolate, but I think for these muffins, you really need the cute choc-chip shape.

Mmmmm... I like how the choc chips on top get crunchy and caramelized.


White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins

White chocolate and raspberry is an absolutely classic combination, and I'd struggle to think of a cafe that doesn't sell this flavour. (Incidentally, I also love Trampoline's raspberry and white choc ice-cream!) The advantage of making it at home is that you can use the best quality white chocolate, and pack as much in as you like!

This time I did use a chopped-up bar of white chocolate. And I am totally obsessed with these Simpsons-designed glad bags. How cute are they?


What are your favourite muffin flavours? Your best-ever muffin recipe? Does anyone know a great cafe or bakery that makes fabulous muffins?

10 comments:

Mark @ Cafe Campana said...

The chocolate muffins look like a winner. Packed full of goodness for a mid morning pick-me-up

penny aka jeroxie said...

Great idea. I might just bake some and freeze it. Mister can have it for breakfast!

Anna said...

They look great. I also went through a big baking-muffins-to-take-to-work phase, but my muffins are always savoury (I can't handle sweet things in the morning for some reason!). My favourite recipe is basil, chilli and bacon, with a bit of tomato paste and garlic. Yum!

cltyw said...

I bought a apple cinnamon muffin this morning from the canteen and baked a mixture of chocolate muffin and berries muffin immediately after I got home. The muffins are still sitting on the kitchen bench!!! My plan was exactly same as you. Have fresh tomorrow and pop the rest into the freezer!

Adrian @ Food Rehab said...

Ooh, I'd go with the white choc and raspberry, not snazzberry muffins. Sorry, had to say a line from Willi Wonka right there!

Good muffins? You know what?! I love the muffins from Nashi sandwich bars. They're so moist, decadent and not skimpy on the fillings. The Apple and Rhubarb ones are delish! Oh so good... *panting for one*

tytty said...

my sister has used nigella's pear ginger muffin recipe many times with much success, replacing pear & ginger with apple & cinammon. we also found using yoghurt rather than sour cream makes a better muffin.

Anonymous said...

Sirocco restaurant in Noosaville QLD does what can only be described as THE BEST white chocolate raspberry muffin. Light, moist, packed full of flavour and studded with chocolate and fresh raspberries. OMG. Not usually a fan of cafe muffins as they're always too stodgy and flavourless, but I've een dying to tell someone else about this. I even thought about writing to gourmet traveller to get them to ask them for the recipe in that segment they do shich I can't remember the name of...

Sarah said...

Hey guys,

Thanks for the tips!

tytty - I def think yoghurt would work better than sour cream, thank-you for sharing!

xox Sarah

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

I agree with you about shop-bought muffins, I have truly never had a good one. Homemade FTW! For some reason the other day I was going to make muffins but then thought "eh, boring", now after reading this post I am kicking myself :)

panda said...

reading this post reminds me that i'm long overdue for baking a batch of my own!