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SUNDAY, 10 pm.

“Mum, my friends are coming over!” exclaimed my eldest gal and before I could say “NO!”, the doorbell rang. Sigh…. this is a country where young people don’t sleep :[

Just two hours before, I was toying with the idea of trying a new recipe – upside down muffins. I chanced upon a Cranberry Upside Down Muffin recipe that looked amazingly simple to make, and since I had some leftover homemade berry sauce, I promptly bookmarked the website with the thought of trying it out the next day.

The girls were my daughter’s ex-school mates and now good friends. Since I couldn’t retire to bed early , I decided to give them a supper surprise. So while they cheerily chatted away, I busied myself with the new recipe. As I already have the berry sauce (I added some candied orange peel at a last min thought), all it took was only 20 mins to put the rest of the ingredients together to make the muffin batter. Another 20 mins later, the baked muffins were ready. That easy!

The verdict from the girls – “Mmmm…. VERY NICE!”

CHERRY UPSIDE DOWN MUFFINS
(Makes 12 regular-sized muffins)
– recipe adapted from From a Baker’s Kitchen by Gail Sher

Ingredients :
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(A) Cranberry Sauce
1½ cups (170 gm) fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup (150 gm) granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice or water
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (outer orange skin of orange)

(B) Muffin Batter
2 cups all purpose flour (I used self-raising flour and omitted the baking powder)
1/2 cup caster sugar (I reduced this to 70gm)
2¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
250 ml milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled (I used 60gm)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (I added 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence & 1/2 teaspoon orange essence)

Method :

1) Prepare Cranberry Sauce :
– In a medium sized saucepan place the cranberries, sugar, orange juice (or water), and orange zest.
– Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries start to pop open, about 10 minutes.
– Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly while you make the batter.

2) Grease well 12 muffin cups or a 12-cups muffin tray

3) Preaheat oven at 200°C.

4) Prepare Muffin Batter :
– In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
– In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, egg, vanilla extract, and melted and cooled butter.
– Add the milk and egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined (don’t worry if the mixture looked lumpy). Do not over mix the batter or the muffins will be tough when baked.

Take care not to over stir and don't worry if the batter is lumpy - it will dissolve during the baking process

Take care not to over stir and don’t worry if the batter is lumpy – it will dissolve during the baking process

5) Evenly divide the cranberry mixture among the muffins cups and then spoon the batter evenly over the cranberry sauce.

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6) Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 15-20 min until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove tray and leave to cool for 2 mins and then invert the muffins on a cooling rack and leave to cool.
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8) Enjoy it warm.

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The sweet & tangy topping and the not-too-sweet muffin mix make this a delightful one to enjoy over a favourite cup of tea or coffee.

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