Sunday, 22 January 2012

An Apple a Neighbor

Apple Fritter Muffins

It's the glaze that really makes these.. They go together so well. I'm embarrassed to say I overbaked the muffins somewhat, but the glaze definitely made up for it. You'll notice in the pictures that I overdid the glaze a bit- and I'm completely unashamed to say I don't regret it! Getting icing all over your fingers and licking it off just makes these more delicious for me.

I feel a bit guilty about that- the whole messy thing? I think it's because mostly I just suck at the whole neatness thing, and I've learned to appreciate a good mess :-).

These muffins were a great Sunday night treat for my neighbors, and everyone we love that lives close by. We did a half hour trip with a plate of muffins, dropping them off everywhere we could think. It was so much fun and so appreciated- I think I'll do it again soon.

I haven't been posting as much lately, mostly because I haven't quite settled into my house yet. I haven't figured out how and where to photograph my food. Especially because I would really like to start taking better pictures, and it's a daunting task. It's also because I've had quite a few flops recently. My friend Erin came over and made Martha Stewart's sheep cupcakes. We made our own recipes, but tried to make them look right.. And they were yummy but a bit of a disaster! I also tried to make Croquembouche for my wonderful Ani's birthday- and again, it was astoundingly delicious but it became a pudding rather than eclairs of any sort. Also, I tried a Miette Tomboy cake- but the syrup I was making for the icing went hard rather than staying liquid. More? ok! I also made red pepper soup- which was warm and lovely, but didn't look nearly as red and come-to-me as it was supposed to. Sadly, those aren't all the flops I've had- but I've been quite happy eating all of them!

I have to rant about how amazing it is having a home.. The baking, the watering of the garden, feeding my neighbors cats milk, going for walks, having afternoons with Ralph on the patio.. I always dreamed about this while I was packing my bags driving between my house, Ralph's house, and my parents. Having one place to belong. I had thought I was overestimating how much it would change my life and make me happy, but I really didn't.

Anyway- the wonderful muffins! They came from Tracey's Culinary Adventures - I just love that site.

Apple Fritter Muffins
From Tracey's Culinary Adventures, originally from Chasing Some Blue Sky

3 medium apples (cut into half centimeter pieces)
43 g butter
2 tblspn sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
3 - 4 tblspn water
42g cake flour

292 g cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup apple sauce (I used the granny smith one from Woolies)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup muscovado sugar
2 extra-large free range eggs (at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup of buttermilk

4 tblspn melted butter
2 cups icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tblspn hot water

1) Preheat oven to 200 C
2) Put all the apple ingredients except the flour in a small pan and put onto a medium heat, and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of water and, but I added more because I really don't like crunchy cooked apple, I like it to be super soft. So I just added more water, and cooked it for longer to make sure.
3) Once the mixture is cooked, let it cool down a bit, then add the flour and toss to cover.
4) In one bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt)
5) In a separate bowl, mix the apple sauce, canola oil and both sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Add the vanilla and stir well.
6) Now, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk into the mixture. Start and finish with the dry ingredients. now, the whole thing about muffins is that they must not be over mixed. You need to stir the ingredients in, so that your last stir still leaves some lumps in the mixture.
7) Gently fold in the apple mixture.
8) Fill up two muffin trays 3/4 deep. I didn't make it a full 2 trays- I only made about 20 muffins. Bake for  15 - 20 minutes, until the muffins are golden. Let them rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
9) Once the muffins are cooling, make the glaze by simply whisking all the ingredients until smooth. I ended up making the original recipe's glaze twice as I ran out, so I've quote twice the amount.
10) Dip the muffins in the glaze upside down, and allow to set.

These muffins are best when just baked- all the people that had them that evening RAVED about them. But I was guilty of not keeping them in an air-tight box overnight..

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