Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Carrot and Sultana Muffins

Nomsies Kitchen Carrot & Sultana Muffins Recipe
Carrot & Sultana Muffins from Nomsies Kitchen
Carrot and Sultana Muffins
I love muffins that have a nice distinct muffin top, a little crusty and soft and moist inside. If I had to pick a flavour, carrot would be my choice. It must be the spices in it, the moistness, the heavenly smell when it is baking - the aroma wafting from the kitchen to your entire house, it is a culinary experience that is so richly comforting and satisfying. If there is a bottled home fragrance for carrot muffins, I would undoubtedly buy it for my home. Until such a day, I shall be content with baking wonderful carrot muffins. It's not such a bad idea I think.

Perhaps this affection of mine for the humble carrot muffin can be traced back to my childhood days. I was 5 years old when my family moved from Malaysia to Montreal for a year and a half. It was absolutely cold and the winter days were long and dark. We used to take the subway into the city and the only thing I looked forward to on such days was this store selling cookies and muffins near the exit of one of our usual stops. I remember you could whiff the aroma of baked goods from inside the station. My parents would sometimes buy me a hot muffin as a treat, either before or after we embarked on our errands in the city. I could be a complete sour puss on such trips. I always chose carrot. I recall that I would be standing in the cold and miserable dark wintry city, but made completely and instantly happy with a warm carrot muffin in my hands. It's funny how little treats such as this can offer you such comfort and solace that now nearly 30 years later, this memory still remains so strongly with me.

Carrot & Sultana Muffins from Nomsies Kitchen

Since I started baking, I have been constantly trying out various recipes for carrot cakes and muffins to replicate that lovely childhood memory of what is to me, the perfect carrot muffin. Now this one by Thomas Keller from his beautiful Bouchon Bakery book is the closest that I have come. Keller's original recipe in the book provides for the muffin batter to be rested for 36 hours before baking and for it to be combined with an optional Oat Streusel topping. Shoot me master for I was too impatient for either. I hope you try and enjoy this recipe as much as I have.

Carrot & Sultana Muffins from Nomsies Kitchen
Muffin Top and Moist Muffin inside
Recipe for Carrot and Sultana Muffins
Prep Time: 20 minutes / Baking Time: 40-43 minutes / Yields 6 Big muffins
you will need a muffin pan and muffin liners

180gm All Purpose Flour
3.1gm Baking Soda
1gm (1/4tsp) Baking Powder
2.3gm Ground Cinnamon
2gm Salt
207 gm Granulated Sugar
142gm Canola Oil
80gm Eggs 
212gm Shredded Carrots
80gm Sultanas (optional and not in the original recipe)

Method

1. Pre-heat your oven to  220°C. Sift the Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Cinnamon into a bowl. Add in the Salt and combine evenly.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the Sugar and Oil and mix on low speed for about a minute until just incorporated. Do not overwhisk as this will cause the batter to expand too much and then deflate while baking. You can add 1/4 of the seeds from a vanilla bean if you have some. Do scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the sugar is evenly mixed in. 

3. Start to fold in the Flour mixture in 2 additions until just combined. Stir in the Carrots and Sultanas.

4. Spoon the batter into your muffin liners. Lower the oven temperature to 160°C and bake for 40-43 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave to cool on a cooling rack before consuming.

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