Summer is here. Bake something summery :)

September 27, 2010

Apple Ginger Muffins

Apples are in their season and they do pair well with ginger. Believe me!

Sometimes I want to try something new. I want to experiment a little. So when I was in our local supermarket and saw cadied ginger on the shelves I was like "I have to buy it, try it, eat it!" I have never had it before. Well, until now :) I know what fresh ginger tastes like, I use it quite a lot, but candied ginger? I had no idea. At first I was a little sceptic because I'm not a big fan of candied fruit (e.g. oranges, lemons, cherries etc.) but there's no reason to be afraid of candied ginger! It tastes great. Of course, it's not something you could eat pounds of, but in small amounts it's pretty tasty. Well, I had candied ginger and the question was what to do with it?

When I came home Mom was washing up including our muffin baking sheet. Wow, muffins! What a great idea. I also discovered a huge amount of apples waiting in the fridge. I thought about these two things for a while and finally Apple GInger Muffins became reality. I made them as a snack for my dad and Mom as my sister usually eats sweets just because she's made to. Anyway, they were a huge hit when it comes to my daddy's taste buds. He really does have a sweet tooth (and so do I) and the muffins disappeared within one afternoon. So what can I say? I highly recommend these muffins to all of you! Do not hesitate to try them!

6 small apples, peeled and halved
fresh lemon juice
30g candied ginger, chopped into small pieces
250g sifted plain flour (or all-purpose)
1 big tsp baking powder
120g butter, unsalted
140g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp dried ground ginger
50g ground almods
cinnamon for dusting
2 tbsp apricot jam

Cut apple halves through their surface as if you want to slice them thinly, but do not cut them completely through (this will create nice decoration after baking). Spread lemon juice all over the apple halves so they won't become brown in color. In a bowl beat butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy. Then beat egg yolks, one at a time. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and then gently fold into the butter mixture. In a small bowl mix flour, baking powder, candied ginger, ginger powder and ground almonds together. Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Fill the muffin cups. Place one half of apple on every muffin and dust with cinnamon. Bake in preheated oven to 180C for 10 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 160C and bake for another 20 minutes until golden in color. Remove from oven and immediately spread apricot jam over the top of the muffins (apples included). Serve cold or still warm.

As you could have read above, they are fantastic. The ginger flavour goes perfectly with cinnamony apples and the tiny pieces of candied ginger are fabulous! They have a strong spicy but sweet flavour and are kind of juicy. Oh, and the batter is fantastic, too. My daddy loved this part the most. Definitely a keeper in our family.

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