Saturday, August 20, 2011

Making Chocolate Orange Muffins

I have been quite obsessed with baking muffins these days. I believe it's due to the fact that baking muffins, by right, should be easy, simple and fast; yet, out of so many attempts, I only passed the 'successful muffins' category once or twice (judging from the muffins' exterior look and taste). Previously, I was always really skeptical in incorporating the muffin batter with a wooden spoon. I always thought that electronic mixer is irreplaceable in making cake batter but turned out that is not the case for making muffins. The keys for successfully baking muffins are indeed correct measurement of the ingredients, mixing techniques and precise oven temperature.

To break my serial muffin baking failures in the past few weeks, I determined to invest on a real cook book especially dedicated for muffins. Earlier this month, my choice fell upon EASY MUFFINS book by LOVE FOOD because it has various simple muffin recipes and looks easy enough for me to follow. The book says, I won't go wrong in making all the muffins featured in the recipes, provided I follow them carefully. And I did read the book's introduction, foreword and tips in making great and delicious batch of muffins before I started baking any recipe from it.

This afternoon, with some cream cheese leftover and fresh orange my Mom-in-Law bought, I decided to give this Muffin book a try by making Chocolate Orange Muffins.

Once I finished baking my muffins today, I asked opinions from my ex-colleague/virtual baking buddy in Manila, Joan, on my muffins' final look and she commented that from the photo, they looked yummy. *Phew* After she said that, I now have the confidence to post my muffins' picture and share the recipe here as well.

Chocolate Orange Muffins.

Here's the muffin recipe that I used today. I slightly modified it from the original recipe since I didn't have all the ingredients stated in the book but everything went just fine. Also, I only made half of the recipe, just in case I didn't make it (again) today. But hey, I think I finally made it today!

Chocolate Orange Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 125 gr Self-raising flour, sifted
  • 15 gr Ground Almonds
  • 30 gr Soft Brown Sugar
  • Rind and Juice of 1/2 (Large) Orange
  • 90 gr Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (Large) Egg
  • 30 gr Chocolate Chips, coated with a little bit of flour
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
  • Muffin paper cases

Tutorial:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degree celcius.
  2. Line the muffin tin with paper cases.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients: In a large and dry bowl, mix the flour, ground almond and brown sugar together. Set aside.
  4. Combine the liquid ingredients: In another large bowl, beat together the orange rind, juice, cream cheese, egg and vanilla essence until well combined. I used wooden spoon to do this.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the beaten liquid ingredients.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips into the batter. Stir gently until everything is just combined and do not over mix. 
  7. Spoon the mixture evenly to the muffin tins. Best to use ice cream scoop to do this.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the muffins are well risen, golden brown and firm to touch.
  9. Cool the muffins in the tin for about 5 minutes and serve warm.
*This recipe makes 5 muffins.

By the way, frankly, I panicked when I discovered that the cream cheese was pretty hard to combine with the rest of the liquid ingredients. I was that close to turning to electronic mixer to combine the cream cheese with the liquid ingredients. However, I was too lazy to take it out and the thought of having flat muffins haunted me. Nevertheless, after beating it lightly and gently, ultimately the cream cheese was kind of well blended in the liquid ingredients. Then, things went just okay after this part.

I love the citrusy aroma of the muffins when baked in the hot oven. The muffins' final results tasted tangy with a tad of chocolate sensation and they were absolutely nice companions for afternoon tea, especially in a rainy lazy Saturday like today. In addition, I am very happy with the tall round muffins I had today, not muffins with overflowed flat wide tops that I often produced.

4 comments:

  1. I always used to make muffins, but recently I've become a cupcake convert. Part of me is ashamed because everyone seems to be making them these days so I feel a bit like a sheep!
    But these muffins look fantastic, and I'm definitely giving these a go at the weekend. Just wondering what it would be like if I put a piece of chocolate orange in the middle of each one?...

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  2. Hi Anna,

    Thanks for the comment. I think chocolate orange in the middle of each muffin sounds like great idea. I would have done that if I had any last weekend. I think more chocolate here is better since the muffins themselves are not that sweet.

    Actually the original full recipe also called for another 125gr of self-raising wholemeal flour but since I could not get that flour here, I skipped that. Furthermore, I was also planning to make half recipe only.

    Hey, share with me your fail-proof and nice cupcake recipes, if you have any. I tried making them two weeks ago but I had problem in making the cream cheese icing. It was not stiff (hence hard to decorate) and very very sweet.

    Cheers,

    Christine

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  3. Hi Christine,

    The muffins went down very well indeed! In fact, my partner's Mum said it was one of the nicest cake foods she's ever had! You have a winner of a recipe there. I didn't actually put any chocolate in the middle, but it was lovely enough as it was.

    I know what you mean about icing for cupcakes. I've always avoided recipes that call for cream cheese in the icing, because I find that it smells horrible. Also, I don't yet have a piping bag for icing, so I tend to just spoon icing on cupcakes rather messily. I always make butter icing with about 150g icing to 40g butter, with a tiny bit of milk and whatever flavouring needed. That usually works very well!

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  4. Hi Anna,

    Wow, I am so happy to learn that this muffin recipe also went well when you tried it. This affirms me that the Easy Muffin book I purchased the other day was worth buying! Haha.

    I actually experimented another muffin recipe from this book - the muffin results tasted really great (my husband also said so and asked me to use this recipe from now onward) but I am not quite pleased with the muffins' overall look as yet. I experimented this recipe 2x already. I'll try this particular recipe again some other time and if I have real good results, then it would be worth sharing in my blog!

    Yes, you are right about cream cheese for the icing. And thanks for the above butter icing recipe. Noted on that :-)

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