Saturday, July 25, 2009

ginger muffins

With my barely clean hand I manage to push the open laptop further across the table, just in the nick of time as a sprinkling of flour covers the surface with snow-like drifts.

The entire room looks apocalyptic with abandoned pots dripping with butter and shiny silver bowls smeared with wet and dried ingredients.

It’s a sure sign I’ve been baking!

I got an urge to make a cake. In particular, my mother's ginger cake – dark, dense, moist and spicy. Somewhere along the way this became muffins, still flavoured with ginger but quite a deviation from my starting point. In between I had consulted another lovely cake recipe in The Cook’s Companion and added an extra spice to my list of ingredients.

The muffins are a work in progress, I had intended to have another play with the recipe before posting but life has got in the way. I’m thinking of trying different flours next time (a touch of buckwheat perhaps as the flavours are robust enough, maybe add another egg to compensate for any heaviness?) and keep adjusting the spices.

Recipe notes:

Fresh, rather than dried or crystallised ginger, is a major modification to the recipe. Having found no powdered ginger in the house I decided to microplane fresh root to get the juice and just a little of the finely grated flesh. I used to have a Japanese ginger grater that is perfect for the job but the fine grater over a small bowl worked just fine. Use the youngest, plump ginger root you can find otherwise juicing it will be akin to getting blood out of a stone! Taste the wet ingredients while adding the juice to get the right level of ginger for your palate.

The white pepper was courtesy of one of Stephanie Alexander’s recipes. I crushed the whole spices and also the walnuts in a mortar and pestle.

The muffin recipe template is another adaptation of Catherine’s recipe that I first explored in my post on cherry, banana, walnut and nutmeg muffins

Ginger muffins

Heat oven to 175 c.

Wet ingredients

30 gm melted butter
1/2 cup golden syrup (more if you are a sweet tooth)
3 ripe bananas, mashed
Juice of approx 3 cm of fresh ginger finely grated (to taste)
1 egg, beaten

Allow the butter to cool before combining the ingredients.

Dry ingredients

2-3 white peppercorns, ground
4 cloves, ground
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2/3 cup of walnuts (measured before crushing), crushed
1.5 cups of flour 1 level tsp bicarb soda/baking soda
1 level tsp baking powder
Scant 1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine the dry ingredients.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir, just a little, don’t over work it.

Spoon into greased muffin tins.

Cook for 20 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

These muffins taste even better the next day but it is very hard to leave them that long!

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Blogger Ann oDyne said...

Possibly due to parental neglect I have never been a cook, except for muffins which I love making and varying.
Ginger is very good for blood and circulation, and DVT ... QANTAS knows this and serves ginger muffins on their flights. Possibly, one muffin, on the flight, is too little too late, but at least they tried.
and it was a good muffin too.

10:45 am  
Blogger Wendy said...

I was thinking about muffins the other day and suddenly thought that ginger muffins would be divine. Perfect timing for this recipe! Thank you.

5:51 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

AOD - am sure the ginger muffins on qaintass are a happy accident and you're right, don't think it'd anywhere near a medicinal dose. More thoughts on all things ginger over here

Wendy - glad I could be of service, let me know how they go :)

8:12 pm  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Lovely. White pepper and fresh ginger is a great idea. Golden syrup, too.

I've got some barley flour - it's great added in small amounts to things as you might buckwheat. Not as musty in flavour either. Bookmarking it now. Yum.

8:42 pm  
Blogger Johanna said...

pepper and fresh ginger sounds great - glad your laptop not flour covered - I often think it would be great to have mine on a stand in the kitchen for all the web recipes

I made some similar muffins with walnut and spices but had pumpkin rather than banana and I did use buckwheat flour which was a good match - highly recommend it - I just think I overdid the molasses!

10:18 pm  
Blogger Conor said...

Why can't they make baker-friendly laptops, impervious to flour and buttery fingers?

Mmmm like the inclusion of golden syrup in this recipe, which reminds me that I have crumpets in the freezer! Hooray, crumpets and golden syrup! Perhaps I should wait until the morning though...

12:23 am  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, these sound wonderful. Thank you for the inspiration!

7:01 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Lucy - yah found a use for white pepper corns at last, am not a huge fan I must admit. But it worked well.

Johanna - I'd imagine pumpkin would be a bit wetter than banana, so if anyone subs it then you may need more flour. I do love the convenience of the banana though, no precooking just peel and mash!

Conor - golden syrup is the classic sweetener in ginger cakes (she says after extensive research :) Brown sugar too.

Christina - thanks :) I love the thought of these muffins being made on the other side of the world :)

7:57 am  
Blogger Jimmy said...

ginger is one of the most taste making and good for health substance used in cooking..I always like to have ginger in my food..Please share more ginger recipes

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10:21 pm  

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