Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines Day Muffins (with lemon-cinnamon cream cheese glaze)

Ok, so I'm not a huge fan of the whole Valentine's Day thing. I mean, this was to be the first year I ever celebrated it with anyone but from previous years I had decided it was a really fake holiday; the sentiment is lovely and I totally agree with the idea but it's way to commercialised and just seems like a money spinner to be honest. Luckily for me, Ethan feels pretty much the same so we decided to go simple and have home-cooked food and curl up with a movie. 

I spent the day baking, making truffles (recipe to follow at some stage) and being the campus Valentines Day Fairy (I basically went and handed out my home made truffles, except the ones I was saving for himself of course). was presented with a really lovely meal of maple and mustard glazed salmon with various trimmings, which was really yummy (I shall be stealing the idea for my own recipe collection!) and then we basically spent the evening chatting and totally forgot to watch any sort of movie until we realised it was 11:45 and way too late to start watching anything :P (We're really good time-keepers, I swear).

In keeping with the whole Valentines is too commercial I decided I'd give Ethan something home made. He had mentioned wanting to try apple and raspberry muffins when we first started going out (almost a year ago :D), so I decided I'd give them a bang (I also wanted to try out my new measuring spoons and red polka dot muffin cases). I used an Apple Muffin recipe from a book I picked up called 1001 Cupcakes, Cookies and Other Tempting Treats and tweaked it a bit (as I always do). A problem I've found with some apple muffins I've tried is that they don't taste apple-y enough (yes, it IS a word! :P). But apparently, althought the raspberries were the stronger flavour, the 
apple still came through :D! 
The whole time these muffins were baking my 
whole kitchen was perfumed with the summery, 
heady scent of raspberries! It was wonderful :D!

I just decided to make up the glaze last minute because about a month ago I have made an orange version for my Mum to go on the Carrot cake cup-cakes I baked for her. She hates the frosting but likes the sweetness so I figured a glaze would provide enough sweetness without being too overpowering. For these muffins, I knew ornage wouldn't work so I thought lemon might be a good substitute and as it turns out I made the right call...phew! :D

Apple and Raspberry Muffins

(Makes 15)
  • 280g plain flour
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100-115g light brown sugar (depends on the sweetness of your apples)
  • 2 dessert apples (I used Pink Ladies)
  • 2 eggs
  • 200mls milk
  • 100g butter (melted and cooled)
  • 130g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F
Line a muffin tray with paper cases
Sieve together flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl and stir in the sugar
Peel and grate the apples and add to the flour mixture
Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and beat in the milk and butter
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until just combined, don't overmix or the muffins won't rise properly
Fold in raspberries gently, being careful not to crush them
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, 1 1/2-2tbsp in each

Bake for 25-30 mins, until well risen, golden brown and firm to the touch. When inverted and tapped they should make a hollow sound!

Cool in the tin for 5 mins then cool completely on a wire rack

The raspberries make these muffins super moist so they may take longer than 30 mins; mine took pretty much exactly that amount of time. Just keep a watchful eye on them!

Because I used sweet dessert apples I only used 100g of sugar but if you're using a tart apple such as Granny Smith I recommend using the full amount.

Lemon-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 7-10 heaped tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients and add more cheese/lemon juice/ sugar until your glaze reaches a consistency where it will drip slowly off the back of a metal spoon.

These muffins were a big hit (with and without the glaze), and I'll definitely be making them again :D I hope all of you had a fantastic day, full of love and affection :)

Kate xxx

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