Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Easy Muffins : Banana Muffins and Mango Muffins

Mango Muffins
Gedong Gincu Mango Muffins

First, I am sorry for not being able to write and update this blog in the last (ok, let me count...) 2 months... yes, in fact, more than 2 month!! Time flies. Doesn't mean I didn't cook thou. But not as many, since I spent most of my days traveling out of Jakarta for work. And the worst was.., from the only few cooking I did in between the trips, I kept forgetting to take pictures before I ate them or gave them away to friends and family. This time, I am going to share what I learned about muffins.

Banana Muffins
Banana Muffins with Coconut Milk and Palm Sugar

Easy and fast, require only one big bowl, one smaller bowl, one spatula, measuring cups and spoons... that's all! and you can have endless combination of flavors in about 40 minutes. Ten minutes of measuring and mixing, and 30 minutes of baking (20 minutes if you make mini muffins).

I tried to simplify the recipes, with only few basic ingredients so you can have almost freedom for adding the flavor you prefer. I hope you find it useful, and give you more confidence to cook muffins without recipe. Well, actually, not really without recipe.. all you have to do is remembering the two big rules about muffins : flour/baking powder ratio and flour/liquid ratio. Then you can add other ingredients according to your taste preference.

Mango Muffins 
 Gedong Gincu Mango Muffins, so much flavor in one bite...

However, with different combination of fruits, nuts, or other flavors, you might need to adjust the ratio. Some people have their own standard on how the perfect muffins should be, the batter and the muffins' consistency, etc. But if you are like me, who is baking simply for fun and enjoy your friends and family eating your muffins with fun, then you can try my principles in baking muffins.

Mango Muffins Mango Muffins
Banana Muffins Banana Muffins

Baking powder
It's the key. You can't make muffins without baking powder. It's the leavening agent so muffins will be softer, lighter, crumble, with the airier texture. If you use self-rising flour, forget the baking powder and forget the ration of flour/baking powder also, since self-rising flour already contains baking powder.
In general, use 1 - 2 tsp baking powder for every cup of flour.

I use low protein flour (cake flour) or simply use all-purpose flour. Do not use bread flour. For muffins, we want to avoid gluten.
Other type of starch such as whole wheat, rolled oats, etc. can be used also.

Usually there are several kinds of liquid used for muffins
  • Milk / yoghurt / butter milk / heavy cream / water
  • Oil / melted butter
  • Eggs
  • Or sometimes you might want to use honey to sweeten your muffins
The flour/liquid ratio, or the final dough consistency... not too liquid, yet not too stiff is important too. Hmm, how can I give the right description so you would know and understand. Hmmm..., let me think.
Well, describing consistency is apparently much harder than I thought. Well, it should be like a sticky dough. If you prefer a moist muffin, then you can add a little bit more liquid. In general, 1.5 cups of flour for 2.5 cups of liquids. Adjust the ratio according to the other ingredient or flavor you use.

Mango Muffins  

Sweetness and/or saltiness
For sweetness, usually I use granulated sugar... could be white sugar, brown sugar, palm sugar, or any other granulated sugar. Sometimes I prefer honey in a certain recipe, so I count the honey to the total liquid. But for granulated sugar, I do not count it for the total dry ingredient... only flour counts.
To balance the sweetness, it's better to add a pinch of salt to the mixture. Don't forget to adjust the amount of sugar if you make muffins with fresh fruits that have high sugar content (mango, cherries, etc.) or candied/glazed fruits. Usually, I use 1/4 - 1/3 cup of sugar for every cup of flour. For savory muffins, use only 1-2 tablespoon of sugar for every cup of flour.

Always keep in mind the water content in whatever flavor you choose for your muffins, especially for fresh fruits. Different fruits have different water contain. Usually, softer fruit (strawberry, ripe peach, pineapple, mango, papaya, fresh orange, berries, pineapple, cherries, etc.) has more water, so adjust the total liquid a little bit. No adjustment if you use dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, dried plum, dried cranberry, etc.), even after you soak and strain them).
Nuts are often mixed in for flavor and for giving nice texture in muffins.
For salty flavors, use cheeses, bacon, meat, etc. Simply reduce the sugar as I mentioned before.

Mixing method
Actually, there are several mixing method for muffins. But for this time, I will use the easiest method.
Mix well the dry ingredients in a bigger bowl, and wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Then pour the liquid into the dry mixture. 
If you use fresh fruit, nuts, cheese, etc. as flavoring, mix them in to the dry ingredient just before pouring the liquid in or at the same time with the liquid.
Using spatula or wooden spoon, mix just to combine. Do not over-mix, or the gluten will formed and you will not get a soft cake-like muffins.
Now go ahead and make your muffins experiment with whatever flavor you like.

Or, if you want to try some of my recipe: Banana Muffins with Coconut Milk and Palm Sugar, and Mango Muffins...

Banana Muffins with Coconut Milk and Palm Sugar
(for 9 muffins)

Banana Muffins

1.5 cups of flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 cup of palm sugar
2 tbsp of white sugar
1/4 cup of melted butter
3 eggs
1/4 cup of coconut milk
4-5 ripe bananas, slice or cut in cubes, makes about 350-400 grams

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC
Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar) in a big bowl. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix well all wet ingredients (melted butter, eggs, coconut milk).
Add the bananas to the dry mixture and followed by adding the wet mixture, stir just enough to combine.
Divide into muffin tray or muffin cups, bake for 30 minutes.
Enjoy warm or cold.

Mango Muffins
(for 12 muffins)

Mango Muffins

2 cups of flour
3 tsp of baking powder
1/3 cups of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of melted butter
3 eggs
1/3 cup of heavy cream
A pinch of salt
350-400 grams of fresh ripe mango, already peeled and cut in small cubes. Preferably Gedong Gincu Mango, which has strong mango-y flavor (see my previous post on Mango Macarons)

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC
Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt) in a big bowl. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix well all wet ingredients (melted butter, eggs, milk). Add this wet mixture to the dry mixture, stir just enough to combine.
Divide into a 12-muffin tray, and bake for 30 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. Bananas and coconut milk sound like a wonderful combination.. I love mango too!