Is there anything better on a wet, cold afternoon than sitting down with a cup of hot tea and a muffin, putting your feet up and settling in to watch some old rubbish on TV for an hour? Or how about treating yourself to a muffin with your coffee on a Saturday after your lay-in?
This recipe has fast become a favourite in my household even though it’s actually another one that came about from putting together odds and ends before our food delivery came. Soft sweet apple, warming cinnamon, allspice and just a hint of gorgeously dark maple syrup – not by any means fat free but certainly not too heavy on the calories!
I’ve messed around a bit with these and tried a few variations. For example, the sultanas ended up in the finished recipe because I think they are perfect with apples but you could leave them out if you’re not a fan. Or if you don’t have maple syrup in the cupboard, you can replace it with extra honey (thus doubling up the honey stated in the ingredients). I would imagine if you’re dairy free, you could probably substitute the milk with almond or plant based milk but I’ve not tried this as yet. One of the things on my list to try is adding some kind of cherries! But this recipe here is my favourite (so far at least).
I have made a few muffins and cupcakes in my time and one thing I have always hated is whenever you’re not using paper cases they are an absolute NIGHTMARE to get out of the tin. I saw an article somewhere about silicone trays (exactly like my 12 hole metal tin but made of silicone) and their wonderful non stick attributes.
Resistant though I am to changes like that (being a creature of habit and routine – especially when it comes to my kitchen), I wondered if maybe it was worth a try. I make a lot of muffins, cupcakes and things like no pastry mini quiches and I find that they (mini quiches I’m looking at you in particular!) stick like glue to to the metal tin, no matter how much oil you spray on it or butter you rub it with and no matter how non stick it claims to be.
So I decided to give a silicone tray a whirl and I can honestly say – it’s one of the best kitchen changes I’ve ever made! You don’t even need to grease it or spray it at all – the tray is flexible and not rigid so you can just pop the finished baked product out and there’s no sticking at all! The only minor thing is that because the muffin tray is flexible, you need to sit it on a baking tray for ease of taking in and out of the oven – no big inconvenience, right? And you can just throw it in the dishwasher when you’re done!
So if you feel ready to embrace the change, have a little look. There is quite a range available and it can be quite confusing to try and find something that’s going to be good quality for a reasonable price so I tend to go by customer ratings when buying things like this (and price of course!) – for example this one. As I said earlier just be sure to pop a baking tray underneath it or they can be very messy accidents (trust me because I speak from experience!)
When you make any muffins, just remember that the texture of the baked muffins is down to how you treat the muffin batter. It’s a really hard line to draw between wanting everything to be combined and over mixing which means you end up with a heavier, tougher muffin (and goodness knows it’s taken me long enough to learn!). I tend to stick with one simple method which seems to work. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon and just fold gently, rotating the bowl with your other hand at the same time. Don’t be scared to leave a few lumps and bumps in the mix – honestly, it will all sort itself out in the oven.
Please do let me know what you think or if you’ve made any changes that you loved in the comments section or by using the contact me form! Enjoy! DDxPrint