After being trapped in the vortex of Gynae & Obs for the past 5 months, I’ve managed to break free at last. While there’ll definitely be things I’m gonna miss from this unit, the feeling of moving on to my next posting was a welcome change. The renewed optimism has brought back my smile and my usual enthusiasm to face a new challenge: paediatrics. Unlike the stress of obstetrics, the excitement of general medicine or the magic of surgery, my new unit is one I’d tend to describe as slow & steady.

I guess that my love for the scalpel is probably gonna be a bias but I’d like to give myself a chance to like pediatrics and its people – who’ve been pretty nice to me on my first day. And since I can now sense the warmth of sunshine back in my life, I’m celebrating by going back to my beloved kitchen and baking with a passion. From the comforting Apple & Cinnamon Muffin to the delicate Lemon & Poppyseed Muffin or the colourful Mixed Berry Muffin, I had the single thought of forging towards what I hope are gonna be better and brighter days ahead. Another 9 weeks and my time starts now…

APPLE & CINNAMON MUFFINS

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbs cinnamon

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup buttermilk or yogurt

2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 12 muffin cups and set aside.
  • Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy.
  • Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.Mix in the buttermilk gently.
  • If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

LEMON & POPPYSEED MUFFINS

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup white granulated sugar

Finely grated zest from 2 lemons

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tbs lemon juice

1 cup sour cream

2 tbs poppy seeds

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper baking cups.
  • Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest, until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next.
  • Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the lemon juice, and 1/2 of the sour cream until combined.
  • Add half of the remaining flour mixture, and stir until combined. Stir in the remaining sour cream.
  • Stir in the rest of the flour mixture, and then the poppy seeds.  Fill each to the top with batter.
  • Bake about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • While the muffins are baking, mix 1tbs lemon juice and 3tbs powdered sugar together for form a thin glaze.
  • Remove muffins from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Brush glaze evenly over the top of each muffin.
  • This is not intended to be a frosting, but just a very light glaze to give the tops a little shine and extra kiss of lemon flavor.
  • When cool enough to handle, remove muffins from the tins and cool completely on a rack before serving.

MIXED BERRY MUFFINS

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk

6 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup mixed berries

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cups.
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.
  • Make a well in the center and stir in the wet ingredients until just combined.
  • Toss the berries with a little bit of flour, just to coat, and gently fold into the batter.
  • Divide between the muffin cups and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the tops are light golden.
  • A cake tester inserted in the middle should come out with moist crumbs attached. Makes 12 muffins.
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