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
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
- 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
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
- 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
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
- 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.