Apple and Cinnamon Muffins

Spiced Apple Muffins

Spiced Apple Muffins

Having started up a new business in the catering trade I am developing a range of baked goods and desserts that I hope my customers will enjoy. This recipe was inspired by the abundance of apples coming from my mother’s apple tree. She presented me with a bag of apples and asked me to bake an apple crumble. Then a few days later came another bag of apples so I did a bit of research and found a basic apple muffin recipe which I have adapted.

These muffins come out light and fluffy with a nice contrast between the tart apples and the warmth of the spices. A good basic muffin recipe that can be adapted as the seasons change and new fruits become the star of the show!

I started off adding cardamom to the muffins as it is my ‘go to’ spice for baking.

Apple and Cardamom Muffins

Apple and Cardamom Muffins

Then I got some feedback from customers and it seems that cinnamon is much preferred! It was also suggested that I put in more apples, so with a lot of home grown apples to use up I happily obliged! 🙂

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins

To add some extra texture and additional flavour hit I added a spiced sugar on top of the muffins. As there is little sugar in the cake itself, the sugary top really helps to bring an extra dimension of flavour. On the cardamom spiced muffins I added the sugar topping at the end of baking but with the cinnamon version it was added as soon as the muffins went to the oven. The latter worked out better…

Ingredients:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 90ml milk
  • 80g baking margarine
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon, cardamom or whichever spice you choose!
  • 2 large apples – peeled, cored and chopped
  • Spiced sugar (2 tbsp brown sugar with a tsp cinnamon/cardamom mixed in)

 

Method:

  • Beat the eggs, sugar, milk and baking margarine together
  • Add the flour, baking powder and  ground spices then fold in until just combined
  • Add the apples and gently fold so you avoid over-mixing and creating a chewy texture
  • Spoon into muffin cases until 3/4 full and top with a sprinkle of the spiced sugar
  • Bake at 200 degree C for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top (check with a skewer that it is cooked all the way through

 

 

And if you have any apples left over make an apple crumble! Here’s one I made earlier…

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble

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Churros and Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Churros with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Churros and Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Churros and Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

I tried these Churros for the first time as a bit of an experimental dessert when having a ‘Mexican’ themed dinner party. I was a little apprehensive about making them since I’d never eaten a Churro before and didn’t really know what I was aiming for! Also, it all needs to be made just before serving, so this meant a pressure whilst the guests waited for their sweets…

This recipe is based on a highly rated ‘Allrecipe‘ one but with a few adjustments based on comments and recommendations made by reviewers. Since I made a few tweaks, I’ve decided it’s best to post the recipe I went with. It makes 8 servings…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tbs white sugar
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • Oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method: (Taken directly from website)

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball.
  • Heat oil for frying in deep-fryer or deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pipe strips of dough into hot oil using a pastry bag. Fry until golden; drain on paper towels.
  • Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Roll drained churros in cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Churros and Chocolate covered Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Churros and Chocolate covered Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

I started off piping the batter through a star nozzle in a silicone piping bag. I read a tip that it’s easier to pipe the churros onto a piece of cling film first as it is difficult to pipe them straight into the oil. This was a great tip as the dough was very stiff! So stiff in fact that the nozzle came out of my piping bag and I ended up with plain round ones.

I’d definitely recommend piping them with the star nozzle as the thin edges crispen up nicely and add an extra crunchy texture to the final product.

Churros and Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Churros and Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Churros are usually served with a chocolate dipping sauce, and I wanted to try a them with a thick caramel chocolate so played around with the recipe a little…

Ingredients:

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 100ml double cream
  • large pinch of sea salt flakes

Method:

  • In a medium pan make a caramel by heating the sugar until it turns into liquid and then a dark caramel colour
  • Add the salt, cream and chocolate
  • Reduce the heat and stir until all the chocolate has melted
  • Pour into the serving bowls and allow to cool to room temperature

On cooling this chocolate dipping sauce will thicken a lot! If refrigerated it will harden and any leftovers can be used to make truffles. This chocolate sauce was a little bitter, adding more cream would lighten it up a little more.

I decided to make chocolate dipped strawberries too so dipped the strawberries into the chocolate sauce and put them in the fridge to harden. 😀