Wednesday, February 10, 2016

More Morning Muffins

"BAKE from scratch" Beet & Goat Cheese Muffin
"BAKE from scratch" Beet & Goat Cheese Muffins
Muffins are a lovely start to a morning. I surely don't make them too often, but I do love them. This quarter's issue of "BAKE from Scratch" had a feature with (I believe) 7 different muffin recipes. I went a little wild with the last quarter's issue with the 8 different kinds of scones. I somehow cannot get quite as excited about the muffins for some reason. There are some that certainly piqued my interest. One of them was a recipe that contained pureed beets (making them prettily pink in color), goat cheese (for a little piquancy), lots and lots of orange zest and a whole lot of streusel.

I made these last because I happened to have pureed beets in my freezer. I used them to make a most excellently moist Chocolate Beet Cake, though if any of my readers have kept up with my blogs, they will know that chocolate is very low on my list of things to make or eat. Ergo, I still have lots of pureed beets in the freezer!

Matcha & Black Sesame Muffins

Another of the muffin recipes that called my attention was one that used Matcha Green Tea powder and black sesame seeds. I love using Matcha powder in recipes and have made many things this way. I made some really excellent molded individual Black Sesame Matcha Cheesecakes once. They were to DIE for. I made some Green Tea Lime Sables about a year ago, and a GF Angelfood Cake with Green Tea Pistachio Swirl a year ago March. I love the Green color in things, though the flavor does not always come through strongly. 

Matcha & Black Sesame Muffins
Matcha & Black Sesame Muffins
While reading the recipe for the muffins in "BAKE from scratch", I rather disagreed with the method for making the muffins, and also with the streusel for the top. I followed the recipe for the pretty beet muffins to the letter. I was unsure how much beet flavor would come through for one thing, but the streusel seemed excessive, and excessively sweet. There was as much sugar in the entire muffin recipe as was in the streusel part. To me, that was just plain overkill. The same went for the Green Tea muffins. I love sweets; don't get me wrong. I do love sweets. But sometimes, there can be too much of a good thing. I opted to skip the streusel entirely on the green tea muffins and instead use the black sesame in the recipe. One thing I particularly liked in the recipe as it was presented was the use of almond meal. This would automatically make them moist. I kept that idea. Instead of streusel, I just sprinkled the muffins with sliced almonds before baking, to make them look pretty.

square-holed muffin tin
All the recipes in the magazine were sized for jumbo muffin tins. I do not own jumbo muffin tins, though I do have a 12-well square holed tin. I believe the square shape holds a larger amount than a regular muffin tin, though I have not officially measured. I know when making this recipe, it all fit into the square holed 12-well tin, though when I made one of the other recipes in a regular muffin tin, I had to use 3 extra wells in a regular tin to accommodate. Be aware of this when pouring into the tins, and also when baking. Larger, jumbo muffins will take longer to bake through completely. I was so very pleased with what I did and how they came out. Here is my method:

Matcha & Black Sesame Muffins

makes 8 jumbo muffins or 12 - 16 regular muffins

Matcha & Black Sesame Muffins
Matcha & Black Sesame Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons Matcha green tea powder 
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs 
1 cup milk
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sliced almonds, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the wells of 12 - 16 regular muffin tin wells with cooking spray, or simply use muffin papers.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, milk and melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir well with a silicone spatula or a spoon, until no dry ingredients are left. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin tins and sprinkle the tops with the sliced almonds.

Bake the muffins for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Remove the muffins from the tin to cool on a rack. 

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.