Breakfast Muffins: Gingerbread

Breakfast Muffins: Gingerbread

Hello Everyone! Another Muffin Making Monday recipe post for all of you tonight, and why not bake these not so little, but cute muffins for the kids or maybe even the adults this holiday season? Just remember to exclude that hint of vodka in the orange frosting when serving it up for the little ones! These muffins are moist and packed with a spicy sweet gingerbread flavour with that touch of citrusy goodness; not to mention they also create a beautiful gingery aroma in the kitchen. As usual with all my baking adventures, I always look to Sally’s Baking Addiction. Her recipes are straight forward, easy to follow, and really require minimal work in the kitchen (as far as I know from the recipes I’ve tried). I also always try to tweak the recipe myself, which I have definitely done here to make these muffins a little more special for this festive season.

Besides tonight’s muffin post, I also baked gingerbread cookies yesterday to bring in and share amongst my workmates. The recipe for these gingerbread cookies will be up on Thursday’s post. From the dough I had,  I made little gingerbread men to stuff into my muffins. I also topped the muffins with leftover orange frosting. I shall call these Hot Tub Gingerbread Muffins! I actually got this idea from the front cover of the December issue of Coles Magazine. The featured cupcakes were topped with frosting and little gingerbread man cookies. I pre-baked the little gingerbread men before baking my muffins, and my plan was to stuff the muffins with the men while the tops were still moist before completely cooked. But forgetting that I wanted to do that, Jialing had already frosted and decorated my little men, and putting them into the oven would basically just melt the frosting off. Also it meant that the gingerbread men would potentially over bake in the oven. So what I did was once the muffins were ready and slightly cooled, I cut a slit in the muffins and inserted the little men. They were a bit large for the muffins, so I ended up amputating their legs just so they would fit snuggly. I remember when I brought a muffin into work today, one of the managers noticed that his legs were missing and asked where his legs went. I told her the sad story.

Breakfast Muffins: Gingerbread

I also by the way, did not have any cookie cutters for these, instead I made my own cookie cutter using aluminium foil following this tutorial on wikiHow. I mean, it wasn’t ideal for the foil kept reshaping itself every time I pressed down on it to cut out my cookies, so as you can see from the image above, some were fat, some skinny. Some had one leg longer than the other, one arm higher than the other, big heads, small heads, etc. but as Jialing said, everyone is different in their own way and we don’t discriminate! And of course, being such a professional baker (sarcasm intended), I don’t even own a rolling pin – but who says a bottle of Jack can’t fix the problem and stand in as a makeshift rolling pin?

Breakfast Muffins: Gingerbread

I went ingredient shopping two days before making these muffins, and unfortunately I could not get a hold of molasses which gives the muffins their deep brown colour and rich flavour. I wasn’t able to look at another grocery store on the Sunday because I had my own little adventure kayaking over the Sydney Harbour, overlooking the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. So I settled with using honey for this recipe, which is one of the various substitutes for molasses. Also, you may notice that the batter is quite thick. Very, very thick. It may make you wonder if you’ve done anything wrong, or if the proportions of this recipe is right. Well, you didn’t do anything wrong, and neither is the recipe wrong. A thick batter helps make a muffin have that beautiful high dome top. So do expect a thick (and lumpy) batter and you’ll be happy with the results of your muffins! In addition, no need to take out your electric mixer for this, because I always dread having to dig for it at the back of the cupboard and cleaning it up afterwards.

Also, just a quick note incase you missed it, the recipe for the gingerbread men will be posted on Thursday – as well as the orange frosting since that came with the gingerbread recipe, so stay tuned for that! Tonight will just be on the Gingerbread Muffins.

Breakfast Muffins: Gingerbread Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | MAKES 12 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark molasses (or honey in my case)
  • 3/4 cup plain or vanilla yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large free rage egg
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 220C. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. Add the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in a large bowl and whisk together. Set aside. Add the honey and unsalted butter together in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for about 1 minute in the microwave. Stir until thoroughly mixed together. Set aside. In third bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, egg, yogurt, and milk.
  3. Pour the mixture into the into the honey and butter mixture and whisk until everything is incorporated. Then pour the wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined, careful to not over mix the batter which will be very thick and lumpy.
  4. Fill your muffin cups tins to the very top and bake for about 5 minutes at 220C. Baking them at a higher temperature right at the beginning will help create a burst of steam inside the muffin and rapidly lift the tops. Then reduce the temperature down to 190C and continue to bake for about 15 more minutes. Muffins are finished when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Once done, remove the muffins from the oven and set aside to cool down for a bit. Cut slits into your muffins and insert a gingerbread man in each. Top with a drizzle of orange frosting. Serve!

Muffins taste best eaten the same day, and can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Breakfast Muffins: Gingerbread

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin & Cheesecake with a Brown Sugar Streusel

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin & Cheesecake with a Brown Sugar Streusel

Hello Everyone! First off I just want to say that I was meant to write up and post this recipe last night, but with interning all day, going for my first boxing class, preparing my pictures to print for photography class, and preparing for my visual communication class all in one day yesterday, it was hardly possible to squeeze blogging in.

It’s been a while since my last post, and we should all know why by this time as I mention it in almost every blog post, especially if I haven’t posted in a while. But before I get onto today’s recipe, I just want to let you all know that I am officially done with formal classes! Not just for the semester, but for my whole degree as well! Yay me! I only 2 more assignment submissions, one for photography worth 40% and the other an essay for my visual communication class worth 50%! After that, I have my internship to power through until mid-February and if all is good, I can kiss uni goodbye (unless I decide to come back for Masters or a second degree in Culinary Arts) and graduate from my Bachelor’s Degree in Design!

Also, once the assignment wave is over, I hope to upload more regularly. I hope to cook more often too but because I will still be interning, I can’t guarantee that I’ll be cooking and experimenting much, as sometimes after spending the whole day in front of the computer and a workout at the gym, I just want to lie down. Now, this doesn’t mean not eating at all, it just means that on days like this I either have a very quick and simple meal, or I prepare and make dinner for the next few days or so and store it in the fridge so that it’s just ready for consumption.

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin & Cheesecake with a Brown Sugar Streusel Ingredients

Anyway, as the title states, 3 days ago was yet another Muffin Making Monday with Jialing. For those of you who don’t know, every 2nd Monday my friend Jialing and I bake muffins for ourselves to take to work with us in the mornings. It started off as Jialing just wanting/needing to come over to bake muffins because she doesn’t have an oven at her place. I also remember saying to myself that I wasn’t just going to sit around and watch her bake, so I decided to bake muffins that day too, and now it’s become a tradition for us. I also asked Jialing on Monday, what we would do if we started interning full time? Would we move our Muffin Making Mondays to the weekend? She was actually quite sad at the idea that it wouldn’t be called Muffin Making Mondays anymore – so she said that we should just work from Tuesday-Friday and take our Mondays off! Hilarious; but not a bad idea.

Okay, enough story time (Vidhya). Let’s get onto today’s recipe where the original cane be found on Sally’s Baking Addiction. I am seriously in love with her recipes. I think I’ve attempted a fair share of recipes from her, and this one just called out to me. Also, in spirit of Halloween, I decided to make her Pumpkin and Cheesecake Muffins with a Brown Sugar Streusel. Today’s recipe has three components to it, which doesn’t seem a lot but it can be a handful especially for inexperienced bakers. But don’t be frightened about the amount of work it will take to make these muffins because trust me, they are so worth the effort! This is probably my favourite muffins to date, and even Lydia’s (maybe; she actually cannot decide between my Banana Crumb Top Muffins and this). If you had to pick a recipe to follow from all the muffin recipes that I have posted, pick this one for sure. Happy Baking!

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin & Cheesecake with a Brown Sugar Streusel Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | MAKES 12 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

For the crumb topping

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup dark or light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the pumpkin muffin batter

  • 1 & 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (canned or from scratch, I used a butternut pumpkin)
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 cup dark or light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the cheesecake filling

  • 1 block (8oz.) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 free range egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

*If you can’t find pumpkin pie spice at your local grocers, you may use 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp ground allspice, and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. Pumpkin Purée: Cut the butternut pumpkin into small chunks and distribute onto a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt. Roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until soft and tender. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside to cool before puréeing (purée just enough pumpkin chunks to make a full cup and save the rest for a nice roasted pumpkin salad). Turn the oven heat up to 220C.
  3. Crumb Topping: Add the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon to a small bowl and mix until combined. Add the melted butter and mix until crumbs form. Set aside in the fridge so that it stiffens up a bit.
  4. Pumpkin Muffin Batter: Toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice together in a large bowl until well combined. Set aside and then, in a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs together until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, being careful as to NOT overmix the batter.
  5. Cheesecake Filling: In a medium sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until creamy. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, and sugar in, and beat until combined.
  6. Spoon about a tablespoon of pumpkin muffin batter into the cups and layer another tablespoonful of of cheesecake filling. Top with another tablespoon of muffin batter, filling the cups all the way to the top. Sprinkle each muffin evenly with crumb topping and press the topping down into the muffin so it sticks.
  7. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 220C. Then lower the temperature down to 180C and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (try not to overbake though; mine needed an extra 8 minutes or so). Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to eat.

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin & Cheesecake with a Brown Sugar Streusel

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin & Cheesecake with a Brown Sugar Streusel

I say again, yes it does look like that there are a lot of ingredients to handle, but most of them are repeated through each layer. You won’t regret these super-moist spiced pumpkin muffins stuffed with cheesecake filling and topped with brown sugar cinnamon streusel! Muffins taste best on the same day, though they may be stored covered tightly at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Banana & Cinnamon Crumb Top

Breakfast Muffins: Banana & Cinnamon Crumb Top

Hello Everyone! Sorry for not posting in a while, and I’m pretty sure my regular followers should know by now the reason for it. Just because I haven’t been uploading, doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. I actually have three dishes that are waiting to be posted (basically I have the photos, I just haven’t had the time to do a write up). I know for sure that I have a handful of readers out there (or maybe just Vidhya), who actually like reading this part of the post. She was upset that the last post I made was short and had no back story. Well, I guess I won’t disappoint her here!

Anyway, today’s recipe is part of what I think will start becoming a regular thing, which is Muffin Making Monday’s (fortnightly) with Jialing. For those of you who don’t know Jialing (and basically haven’t read ANY of my previous posts because her name comes up almost ALL the time), she started this whole idea of making muffins on Monday’s because she wanted to be able to have a quick breakfast, be it at home or at the bus stop, or even at work. Since she doesn’t have an oven at home, she asked if she could bake at my place. That’s when I thought, what a great idea for breakfast on the go, because as you may/may not know, I am pretty bad at breakfast – meaning that I just altogether skip breakfast and go straight to brunch/lunch. Also, I wasn’t just going to sit around and watch her bake muffins, so I decided to bake a batch myself.

Breakfast Muffins: Banana & Cinnamon Crumb Top

Two weeks ago I made a batch of savoury muffins with Prosciutto & Chives, while Jialing made a sweet batch with Apple, Pear, and Sultanas. Yesterday we unintentionally switched and this time I made a batch of sweet muffins with Banana & Cinnamon Crumb Top, while Jialing made a batch with Turkey, Pesto, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Cheese. I followed a recipe from allrecipes, and I think I might recommend adding a little less salt than said because I found my muffins just a tad salty. Who doesn’t? Otherwise, the result was amazing! Tasted really good, especially the crumb topping! Which also reminds me, I added a tad more cinnamon because I LOVE cinnamon. I didn’t realise how much these muffins were going to rise – I didn’t even peak through the oven door while they were cooking because I was busy washing up all the bowls and utensils that Jialing and I used. So to my surprise, when my timer rang and I looked at them I said out loud and in a shocking tone “OH MY GOD! THEY ARE SO FAT!” It was pretty hilarious, and priceless might I add.

Breakfast Muffins: Banana & Cinnamon Crumb Top Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 18-20 MINS | MAKES 12 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

For the muffin batter

  • 3 large bananas, mashed (plus one extra banana, sliced)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the crumb topping

  • 30g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C. Lightly grease a muffin tray, or line with muffin paper cups.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat together the bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture until moistened. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, about 2/3 of the way full.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add the cubed butter and using your finger tips, quickly mix the ingredients together until looks like rough bread crumbs. If your mixture is too warm, put the bowl into the refrigerator for 15 minutes and start again when it has chilled.
  4. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the muffin batter and top with a slice of banana.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.  Makes about 12 muffins.
  6. Store any leftovers in the fridge and remember to warm slightly before serving.

Breakfast Muffins: Banana & Cinnamon Crumb Top

Breakfast Muffins: Banana & Cinnamon Crumb Top

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com