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ODE TO MUFFIN TOPS - APPLE STREUSEL CUPCAKES


My mum took one bite of these and proclaimed (in the tone of someone who had just discovered Atlantis (with their mouth full))... "These are gorgeous! They are just brilliant!". I took one bite, and thought I'd gone to heaven. 

"So what is this recipe?", I hear you ask, "and where did you get it from?"

Well, nowhere particularly spectacular I'm afraid. I really did use pretty much the first recipe that came up when I typed into Google "the best apple muffins" (which, incidentally led me to www.food.com). Having said that though I knew that I wanted to find a recipe that used buttermilk as this is an essential ingredient in anything muffin like! 

Having read the rave reviews about the recipe (which was all written out in 'cups', grrr) it dawned on me that it really was about time that I went out, faced my fear, and purchase a set of US style measuring cups. I have to be honest and admit that I really didn't enjoy using them, but I'll get over it. I measured it out in cups but weighed all the ingredients too so you have it in grams AND cups...lucky you! 

Although I followed the recipe to an absolute tee I completely ignored the advice to "half fill the cupcake cases with mixture". That's never going to achieve the muffin top that I had my heart set on achieving, so I filled it right to the brim, and in a few a little bit higher. Risky, I know. But it turns out it worked a treat! 

So here is the recipe...enjoy!

(A quick note: they can be a bit faffy what with having the grate the apple and make the crumble topping beforehand, but they.are.totally.worth.the effort).  

Tin/Cases:
Muffin tin and muffin cases

Oven at: 180C/350F (Gas mark 3) (preheat) 
Prep time: 15-20 mins (if you're faffing, like I did) 
Cooking tine: 20-25 mins (check after 20. Mine were in for 22) 
Makes: 12 muffins with muffin tops (16-20 without) 

Ingredients
For the topping
55g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted (I weigh out the butter first, then melt it) 
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour 
90g (1/2 cup) firmly packed brown sugar (I used dark think I should have used light for the topping) 
1 tspn cinnamon 

For the muffins
2-3 granny smith apples, peeled and chopped or grated
340g (2.5 cups) plain flour (sifted) 
1tspn cinnamon 
1 tspn bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) 
1/4 tspn salt 
215g (1.5 cups) firmly packed brown sugar (I used dark)  
1 egg, lightly beaten 
1tspn vanilla extract
160ml (2/3 cup) vegetable oil 
240ml (1 cup) buttermilk 
(If you don't have any buttermilk, fear not - you can substitute it with natural yoghurt or you can make your own by adding a tablespoon of white wine vinegar or lemon juice to 240ml (1 cup) of milk. Just add it and leave it to stand for about 5 minutes)  

Method
1. Preheat the oven and line your muffin tin
For the topping
2. Melt the butter and add it to the sugar, flour & cinnamon, mix until crumbly and then leave to one side. 
For the muffins
3. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients – the flour, bicarbonate of soda & salt
4. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients with the sugar – the oil, the lightly beaten egg, and the vanilla
5. Mix the oil mixture into the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk – take care to not over-mix - 15-20 strokes should do it. (Mixing too much over develops the gluten in the flour which will cause a tough muffin - the batter should still be lumpy when you're done mixing and you may see a few traces of flour. Panic not, as it continues to blend as it bakes. Magic) 
6. Gently fold in the apple 
7. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases
8. Sprinkle the topping on top of the muffins before popping into the oven. (I had quite a bit left over)
9. Cook for 20 minutes, until risen and golden (a skewer or sharp knife should come out clean)
10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool
11. Serve warm or store in air tight container. Best eaten within 24 hours...or if a little older, pop in the microwave to re heat and serve with natural or greek yoghurt. Ummm, yum.

Eat Joyobily!  


Linked with: Sweets for Saturday
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