Up, Close and Personal

I’ve been thinking a LOT about dunkin’s raspberry jam filled donut. You know which one that is, right? I love that donut, not the chocolate one, not the peanuts one, not others. Just that one. So given the past few days I’ve been emotionally eating and piling up the calories, I figure I’d better eat something delicious. End result is I’m going to feel equally guilty anyway, whether I’m stuffing myself with yogurts or carrots. They certainly didn’t make me feel better. But these hit all of my buttons. Especially when they are still a little bit warm.

I thought I still have my blueberry jam, but I couldn’t find it. So I used what I have.. One thing, though, the Hershey’s syrup didn’t work so well, because it’s simply too liquid, so when I spoon the batter to cover it, it simply spread itself to all sides.

I also tried to pace myself and hold back from rolling the baked muffin in sugar. In fact, my first few muffins were not doused with sugar at all, but they aren’t sweet enough. Now, if you have a non-stick muffin tray and IF you plan to eat them fresh and warm, I would recommend forgo-ing the paper cups: I think the crusty part is the best part, especially after it is brushed with melted butter and rolled in sugar.

But if you don’t plan to eat them fresh-off-the-oven, then doing them in muffin cups would be great. The crust would be slightly harder by now (the day after), but the skin after peeled of its paper cups is so very soft. And when you brush it with butter and sugar, it is perfect accompaniment to your breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, tea and dinner.

Verdict? H’s favourite is the lemon filled muffin while I grow to appreciate the slightly bitter grapefruit (with lots of sugar coating). We like them sprinkled with sugar, rather than icing sugar. White/ castor sugar has more body, and hence makes beautiful crunch sound when munched. Not to mention it’s less christmasy.

(source The Sweetest Kitchen)
makes 12 muffins

2 cups self-raising flour
2/3 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup extra to coat
pinch of salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
175ml buttermilk – I used half-skim milk mixed with 1 tsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Jam of your choice
2-3 tbsp butter, melted
Cinnamon powder, to sprinkle

  • Preheat oven to 180°C and line in your muffin tray with paper cups. Or if you like the crusty bits a lot, forgo the paper cups and instead, grease the tray.
  • Sift the flour into a medium bowl, then add a pinch of salt and sugar. Whisk till well combined.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the vegetable oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract and stir till well incorporated. Add to the dry mixture and stir to only just combine (do not over-mix).
  • With the aid of spatula, place half a tablespoon of the mixture in each muffin hole. Drop half teaspoon of jam. Note that you can add more jam if you want it be more decadent, provided your muffin cup is on the large size.
  • Cover the jam with the remaining muffin mixture and bake for 20 minutes (see note below).
  • Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly before peeling the paper cups.
  • Melt the butter and in a large bowl, combine the extra sugar and the cinnamon. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, brush each muffin with the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon sugar.

Note: after 5-10 mins, I noticed my muffin top starts cracking, so I lower the heat to 170 C and bake for 2-3 mins longer, rotating half-way.



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