Bad muffin, good muffin

I’d been craving banana bread for weeks. Banana bread with chocolate and pecans. It’s a comforting everyday sort of cake for me. Thinking about it, banana anything seems to have a comforting effect, banana and porridge, banana, ice cream and toffee sauce, banana mashed with honey on toast…I guess it’s a nostalgia thing. But instead of cake, I thought I would make muffins on the basis that they’re quicker to cook and better warm from the oven than cake, which, when warm, tends to fall apart. I, rather erroneously as it turned out, messed around with a few different recipes to come up with a new one, including a ginger muffin recipe,  interested to see how well ginger would work with banana. As I had feared, the end result wasn’t great. The muffins weren’t even close to being sweet enough, and I can only assume I used too much banana as the texture was completely removed from that of a muffin, resembling more of a sort of slime. Yes, my muffins were unpleasant, painfully so. And they definitely cured me of my banana cake craving, just not in the way I had hoped.

But as is my habit when I bake something that doesn’t go to plan, I jumped on the next possible opportunity to bake something in an attempt to erase my baking failure from my mind. I decided on an apple, oat and cinnamon muffin with tea soaked raisins. Fortunately these proved successful. The soft, tangy apple and plump, sweet raisins made a perfect pairing in what, this time, was a light, sponge-cakey textured muffin, no slime this time!

Apple, raisin and cinnamon muffins

  • 100g raisins
  • 75ml hot strong black tea
  • 275g plain flour
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 50g oats
  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 180 -200ml milk (approx)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 250g firm eating apple, e.g. cox, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  1. Soak the raisins in the hot tea for about an hour. Remove the raisins from the tea, reserving the left over liquid.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in the oats and sugar.
  4. Using the reserved tea, make up to 210ml with the milk. In a medium sized bowl or jug, combine the tea/milk mix with the beaten egg and melted butter.
  5. Add the liquid mix to the flour mix and gently fold in until just combined using a large metal spoon. Gently stir in the apple chunks and raisins.
  6. Divide the mix between the muffin cases and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 mins until risen, golden and slightly springy to the touch.
  7. Cool in the tin for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

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