Thursday, January 24, 2008

Apple Sour Cream Muffin

I've gotten into the bad habit of starting an entry, saving it as a draft and then procrastinate about its completion. So although this entry is dated in January, I'm only completing it today, the 10th of February.

Apple Sour Cream Muffins
makes 24 muffins

1 cup or 2 sticks butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
3 apples, diced
1/4 cup milk

Topping (optional)
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
slices of apple

Preheat the oven at 400F. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy before blending in the eggs and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients, mix well before adding in the sour cream and blending. Fold in the diced apple by hand and add in the milk as needed if the batter is too stiff. Scoop into muffin liners. Dust with the cinnamon sugar mix and top each muffin with a slice of apple.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops of the muffins spring back when touched.

Verdict: Moist as expected because of the sour cream. Not a cakey texture but very nice for breakfast or tea

Friday, January 11, 2008

Gingerbread Date Cupcake

I received so many compliments for this recipe that I had to share it even though I was going to tweak it some more.

Its very fitting for the festive season or for anyone who likes spicy cupcakes. The cake is super moist and tasty. Eat it plain or topped with a simple frosting of cream cheese or royal icing.

Gingerbread Date Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes

2/3 cup dark stout
2/3 cup golden syrup
200g chopped dates
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1 tbs ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven at 350F. In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together the stout, golden syrup and dates. Remove from heat once it starts simmering then add in the baking soda. Set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, spices and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar and oil. Combine the stout mixture and the egg mixture. Whisk this into the flour mixture until well blended. The batter will be quite liquid.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the tops spring back when gently pressed. Cool before frosting with royal icing.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Gingerbread Cookie

Gingerbread Cookies
makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 cup or 2 sticks butter
1 cup less 2 tbs dark brown sugar

¾ cup sugar
1 egg
2 tbs hot water
1 tbs treacle or molasses
1 ½ tsp baking soda
4 ½ cups flour
1 tbs ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt

Cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl then beat in the egg and mix well. In a small bowl, combine the hot water, treacle and baking soda. Add that mixture to the butter and blend in. In a separate bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together before adding in small portions to the butter mixture, combining well after each addition.

Divide the dough into portions, roll out each between 2 plastic sheets, till about 5mm thick. Place the rolled out sheets of cookie dough onto a baking tray to be chilled in the fridge, preferably overnight.

Before baking, preheat oven to 350F. Remove cookie dough sheets from the fridge and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Place cut shapes onto a cookie tray lined with silicone sheet or parchment paper, leaving about an inch between each cookie to allow for expansion. Re-roll the scraps of cookie dough into new sheets and chill it before repeating the whole process.

Bake for 8-15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies, until the edges start turning brown. Cool the cookies completely before decorating with royal icing.