Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cranberry & Pistachio Sour Cream Muffins

Happy New Year. Every January I get both excited and depressed. The excitement is wanting to start everything new and ditching anything old and useless. While the depressed part is because of the long winter days that seems forever which sets in the cabin fever mood and everything out there looks dull, bald and lifeless. For a start, 2011's winter has not been that bad and I am counting for the temperature to stay above freezing everyday till Spring.

For the first bake of the year I opted for muffins. I like to think of the muffin belonging to the same category as the loaf of bread or buttery pastries like croissants and Danish pastries, which in all complete the morning Breakfast trays. Unlike cupcakes, fancy creamcakes and macarons which tend to be more of a fad of the sweet baking world and only appropriate as special treats on certain occasions or just to pamper oneself out of boredom, muffins are always around steady and easy to find. Personally I love to make muffins because they are quick to mix up, bake and serve. All I need is a pretty paper liner to perk it up.

These muffins resembles the English scones texture with a slight crunch and crisp on the top and a fairly softer but less crumbly texture inside. I love the lighter color of the muffins which lends a nice soft blend with the oozing cranberries which are baked right into the batter itself. Fresh or frozen cranberries are very nice in baked goods as the baking cuts down on the tartness of the berries itself and yet they maintain some juice in them and let out a berry bite to the muffin as a whole.


400g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
50g Toasted Pistachio

150g Sugar
2 large eggs
100g Butter (Room Temperature)
175g Sour Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Paste
100g fresh or frozen cranberries

To make
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
2. Beat the butter with the sugar till light in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time till combined.
3. Stir in the sour cream together with the vanilla paste till well combined.
4. In another bowl stir the flour together with the baking soda and pistachio. Drop half of the cranberries into the flour bowl and gently mix but do not crush the berries.
5. Spoon half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Stir in gently to mix with quick strokes.
6. Take the remaining half of the cranberries and gently stir into the mixture. Do not crush the berries.
7. Spoon in the remaining half of the flour mixture and stir to combine.
8. The mixture resembles clumps of cookie dough. Divide and spoon the batter into the paper liners.
9. Bake for 25 mins. Insert skewer to test.
10. Let cool in the muffin tins for 10 mins and remove to cool completely.

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