Monday, May 30, 2016

Blackberry and Apple Muffins

The smell that was filling our house while these were baking was definitely a comforting one... the smell of the sweetness and cinnamon reminded me of my childhood growing up with my Gransha always baking cakes for weddings and birthdays...  I remember the big pots of mixed cake mix sitting on the table in the front room.  He made cakes for all over the Valleys in South Wales and was well known for them.  Before that he was a chef in the British Army.  As a young girl I was guilty of eating the cake mix straight from the bowl before he had baked his cakes causing many of his cakes to be incorrect sizes.  He caught on to me quite quickly and before I knew it there was a lock on the front room door meaning no access unless he was with me.  I do honestly believe I found my love of baking from the times I spent with him.

Honestly our household isn't a cake eating one - lollies and chocolates do disappear quickly however.  I love baking and thankfully the great bunch of people I work with never complain when I turn up with a box of baked treats.  In fact I am often reminded of how slack I am if they are not regularly brought into work!  It makes me laugh especially when I see their faces when I arrive at work and they see that I have been busy the night before.  So far they have enjoyed all flavours that I have brought in which means it's a win-win situation - I get to bake and they get to enjoy homemade treats.
I am really enjoying reading recipes over at Sally's Baking Addiction, a magnificent website created by Sally (obviously) who lives in Philadelphia, USA, and does her website full time!!!  Something I could only ever dream about.  There are so many great recipes and stories to read.  Pop over and visit -  your mouth will water.
This recipe, which I adapted slightly to match ingredients I had on hand, was one that I have read and re-read.  I knew it would only be a matter of time before they were made.  The combination of blackberries, apple and of course, cinnamon was delicious.  The muffin itself was super moist and laced with maple syrup.  I love cooking with berries and they add a juicy element to the muffin.  Each mouthful was definitely a flavour burst.

Blackberry and Apple Muffins
(recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction)
Makes: 12

3 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 very large apple, peeled and diced into small pieces
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
1/2 cup light Greek style yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or applesauce if preferred)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup skim milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries, chopped

Oat Streusel
3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
3 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
Line a 12 muffin try with muffin pans. Set aside.

Toss the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chopped apples together in a large bowl until evenly combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar, yogurt, oil, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, and milk together vigorously until combined and smooth.
 Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir with a large spoon until combined. Do not over mix the batter.

To make the streusel toss the brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Half fill each muffin tin. Top with a couple of blackberries, then layer with more muffin batter and a couple more blackberries until you've filled the muffin cups all the way to the top. Sprinkle each with streusel.

Bake the muffins at 220 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes. 
Leave the muffins inside the oven and turn the temperature down to 190 degrees Celsius.  Bake for another 15-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

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