Wednesday, 20 July 2011

"Muffin tops"

Muffins are believed to have gotten its name from the French word "moufflet". Commonly applied to bread, it means "soft". That should explain my soft spot for muffins, doesn’t it? As matter of fact, I really do prefer muffins to cakes, though not excessively.

Muffins are suitable for daily consumption, fundamentally because they are a type of bread, rather than cakes which are simply desserts. You can prepare muffin into a wholesome and healthy meal by using savory ingredients such as cheese, bacon, and/or spinach and replacing plain white flour with wholemeal flour. There are just so many varieties of yummy muffins out there!

Personally, I am a huge fan of Starbucks Blueberry muffins. They are really wholesome! for me, a perfect lazy afternoon would be hanging out at bustling Starbucks having my favourite-st blueberry muffin and honey-sweetened chamomile tea, accompanied with Bruno Mars music and a romantic fiction book (such as Cecelia Ahern's). Sounds clich├ęd? Who cares? And if you are wondering why I prefer a bustling cafe, it's because I love to people-watch. It is the best way to kill time. Seriously.

However, there is just one thing about muffins that is the bane of my life... it is their domed-shape tops that sits over the edge of muffin cups. Seen more often in health and beauty magazines, such a phenomenon is termed "muffin tops", except that it is not used on real muffins. Instead, fashionistas and beauticians use the words "muffin tops" to describe the tummy flab that spill put over the waistband of a tight pair of jeans. How horribly apt! But, I have decided that there should not be a strong physical correlation between muffin and "muffin tops". There are just too many variables in this equation, such as exercise, sedentary work, old age, lack of collagen... you get the picture...

Muffins are fairly easy to bake, and with so many variations possible, you can easily be an innovator! What I did was to modify a blueberry buttermilk muffin recipe into a Strawberry Yoghurt ChocoChip one. And, I thought was very pleased with the new flavor.

(By the way, I did try the original recipe two years and it tasted really great too.)

Strawberry Yoghurt ChocoChip Muffin

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (I used salted butter and omitted the salt in original recipe)
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar (you may reduce as desired) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt (omitted) 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided (I also sifted it) 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 cup strawberry yoghurt 
  • 1/2-1 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chips (I used Hershey's) 
  • 2 tbsp white sugar (I used brown sugar) 
Method
  1. Position rack in the middle of oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray the top of a muffin pan with non-stick coating, and line with paper liners. 
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. 
  3. Mix together 1 3/4 cup of the flour and baking powder. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the yoghurt, mixing just until incorporated. 
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips into the batter. 
  5. Scoop into muffin cups. Sprinkle tops lightly with sugar. 
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown, and tops spring back when lightly tapped. 
Yes, I shall add fresh, real strawberry bits in it the next time! ;)




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