Muffins have a special place in my heart, NOT the oversized, dry, flavourless coffee shop ones though! Muffins, as all baked goodies, should have loads of character, texture and bang on taste. And these little guys deliver all of that and more….
I find that muffins are sort of reminiscent of tea / coffee cakes portioned out, not with the full sweetness and immensely satisfying without being heavy at all. There isn’t any special technique to make them….if you can mix ingredients in a bowl, you can make them!
With the plum season almost at an end, I had this crazy urge to bake with them. More so because I received a stash of stunning green cardamom and vanilla beans from Kochi, courtesy a dear friend. I worked with the basic muffin recipe I use, threw diced plums in the cardamom – vanilla flavoured batter, sprinkled some streusel, topped with some sliced plums…by the time I cleared the kitchen, these fellas were out of the oven! That quick!! And my kitchen was filled with distinct fragrance from cardamom and vanilla. Undoubtedly a mood enhancer!
Soft tender cake – like crumb, perfumed with cardamom, juicy tart plum bits and a crunchy crust, these bright and fresh muffins made me stop in my tracks and savour each bite. While they are best eaten the day they are made, because of all that fruit in the batter, they stayed (refrigerated) perfectly moist the next day as well. Made healthy with whole grain flours and low sugar, I happily tucked in one for breakfast as well! This recipe is definitely a keeper.
THE RECIPE makes 12
Whole-wheat flour – 130 gms
All purpose flour – 75 gms
Oats flour – 55 gms ( Simply grind oats in your coffee grinder)
Sugar – 90 gms
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Cardamom – 6 pods, seeds only
Egg – 1
Buttermilk – 1/2 cup
Yogurt – 50 ml
Oil – 80 ml
Vanilla bean – 1/2, scraped
Streusel topping :
Whole-wheat flour – 60 gms
Sugar – 45 gms
Cardamom – 2 pod, seeds only
Coconut oil or melted butter – 40 ml
How to :
Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 12 – cup muffin tray with paper liners.
Make the streusel : Combine the flour, sugar, crushed cardamom seeds with coconut oil or melted butter with a fork in a small bowl. You should get a grainy mixture like wet sand. Set aside.
If making your own buttermilk, mix 1/2 cup milk with 1 tsp vinegar and let it sit for 5/6 minutes, till the milk curdles.
In a large bowl, combine all the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and crushed cardamom seeds.
In another bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, yogurt, vanilla and oil.
Pour the wet mixture onto the dry mixture and stir gently to combine. Fold in the diced plums.
Fill the batter evenly in the muffin cups using 2 spoons or an ice cream scoop. Sprinkle with the streusel . Place one or two pieces of sliced plum on top and press them down gently. Bake for 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.