About three things I am absolutely positive. First, travel broadens the mind. Second London is a great place to discover diversity of the world's food. And third I am unconditionally and irrevocably in love with muffins.
Since my first stay in Great Britain I am a great lover of muffins, all of them, from the best of all really chocolate chocolate London's muffins to the delightful cheese muffins of Steam in Oamaru, New Zealand. Of course I mean the American style muffins which are of a cupcake's shape. The English muffin term refers to a leavened, round, flat roll, usually toasted and eaten with butter and jam. They are also yummy but my devotion goes to the baking powder or cream of tartar muffins, stuffed with variety of sweet and savoury food, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, cheeses, nuts, meat and whatever you like.
Many times I wonder what the ideal muffin should looks like. The shape of a cupcake, but what the size? I prefer rather bigger muffins, maybe not the Texas ones, but certainly not that small as a cupcake! This is why if the recipes says "makes 12 portions" I always spoon the mixture in 6 tins;-) Apart from my personal preference to the size, a good muffin should have a gently rounded, rather not a mushroom, top with a golden crust. A moist, finely-grained crumb is absolutely necessary. As well, as a seductive aroma. From my experience, I am always surprised of the intense smell of baked banana and strawberries.
Finally, I want to share this great recipe, improved and checked to the pleasure of my husband and friends.
Banana and Forest Fruits Yoghurt Muffins
200 g flour
105 g icing sugar
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 ripe banana
250 ml forest fruits yoghurt (weights roughly 270 g)
opt. a dash of vanilla sugar
1. Sift flour and icing sugar into a bowl, add baking powder and mashed banana, mix.
2. Place 1 egg, oil and yoghurt in another bowl and mix well, even pretending beating.
3. Pour the liquid into a bowl with dry ingredients and mix quickly. Do not overmix. Warning: the dough is quite thick, it is fine.
4. Spoon into 7 muffin tins (this amount makes large muffins).
5. Bake in preheated oven in 190 Celsius degrees for 20 minutes.
6. Leave to cool.
7. You can serve these wonderful muffins with yoghurt but they are delicious on their own!
Generally muffins belongs to quick breads but sometimes I dream about sophisticated muffins, and I suppose it can be easily achieved by careful selection of ingredients. Trying to observe the rule of speed and easiness of preparation, on basis of a few common staples (flour, milk, egg, raising agent, salt) I experiment with freshly squeezes fruit juices, candied peel, yoghurts, spices. When you get used to so much loved blueberries or chocolate chips muffins you must discover the versatility of the kind: ham&leek, triple cheese, double chocolate, lemon and poppy seed, apple and cinnamon, raspberry and many many more...
PS. Bloggers community is a wonderful place to meet other food enthousiasts and share our experience. With great interest I read about Zorra's of Kochtopf blog initiative of Bread Baking Day, a web event for food bloggers, with changing theme and hosted by different blogs. For the 18th Bread Baking Day with the theme 'Quick Bread' I send my entry with Banana and Forest Fruits Yoghurt Muffins. This time the event is hosted by Fun and Food Blog. All the vegetarians are welcome to drop in for inspiration!