Cornbread Muffins… fresh hot from the oven!
Last time I made corn bread it didn’t turn out as good as I expected– it wasn’t as fluffy as promised in the recipe, and quite dry too. I used a rectangle pan so when I sliced the corn bread it was full of crumbs… Well, this time I searched recipes for cornbread muffins, in the hope that texture will be more like fluffy muffins. I came acrossed this Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker (I believe the author got the recipe from Cooks Illustrated) , and decided to give it a try (even it only has one review). Why? Because this recipe uses more corn meal than other cornbread recipes, and the method really catches my eyes– it calls for cooking some corn meal with milk to trap the liquid, and thus producing moist cornbread muffins (as explained in Cooks Illustrated). I made a small change– increase sugar to 1/2 cup instead of 1/3 cup.
Results? 12 golden, happy cornbread muffins, fluffy and moist, waiting to be slathered with butter! Oh yes!
Cornbread Muffins (yields 12 Muffins– adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
2 cups corn meals (divide to 1 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with butter.
- In a medium bowl, Whisk together 1½ cups of the cornmeal, the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ½ cup cornmeal and the milk. Microwave for 1½ minutes, then whisk thoroughly and continue to microwave, whisking every 30 seconds, until thickened to a batter-like consistency (the whisk will leave a distinct trail in the bottom of the bowl that slowly fills in), 1 to 3 additional minutes. [Note: If you do not have a microwave, you can do this step in a saucepan on the stovetop.]
- Whisk in the sour cream, melted butter, and sugar until combined, then whisk in the eggs. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined (the batter will be very thick). Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups (the batter will mound slightly above the rim).
- Bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through baking. Let the muffins cool in the muffin tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove muffins from the muffin tin and let cool 5 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or wrapped in plastic wrap, placed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 2 months.
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Why sour cream? Because that was what I had in the fridge at the moment, and it worked quite well as a substitute for whipping cream. This recipe calls for 10 tbsp of sugar, which is quite a lot for a typical muffin recipe, but surprisingly it doesn’t taste awfully sweet like store bought muffins. I consider myself not a big fan for sweet stuff and I think the amount of of sugar is just right.
Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins (makes 12 pieces)
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
10 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter– melted
1 tub (8 oz) sour cream
milk– enough milk to combine with sour cream to fill 1 cup
2 eggs– room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line muffin molds with muffin cup liners.
- Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a big bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla extract. Whisk to blend well.
- Add cream mixture and melted butter to flour mixture. Gently FOLD the batter with a spatula until just moist. FOLD in blueberries.
- Scoop batter into muffin molds. Bake at preheated 375F oven for 20-25 minutes, until the muffin tops springs back when gently pressed.
- Remove muffins from molds immediately and transfer to a cooling rack. Let muffins cool slightly before serving. Best if served warm.
- Sour cream: I had only about 5 oz of sour cream so I added a little more milk to fill to 1 cup (milk is a thinning agent here as sour cream is pretty thick). Alternatively, you can also use whipping or heavy whipping cream alone without combining with milk.
- Oven temperature: If you want crusty muffin tops that resemble of the crust of a cornbread, you can bake muffins at preheated 400F oven for 20-22 minutes.
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My neighbor gave me some lemons, and I just happened to have a little sour cream leftover, so I decided to make a lemon tart. This is by far one of my best tart crust recipe (actually it’s same ingredients as in my Tarte aux Noix II). The crust has a much flakier/crumbly crunchy texture (even eaten the next day) than traditional pastry recipes that call for cold butter and cold water. Tips: don’t fork the dough too hard, or the filling will leak through the crust and the tart will stick to the pan. Also, always place a baking tray under the tart while baking to prevent leaked filling dripping down to the bottom of the oven.
Lemon Tart Recipe (makes one 9.5 inch tart)
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter– softened
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp beaten egg
1/2 cup toasted ground almond
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp sour cream
4 eggs– beaten
powder sugar for dusting
- Whisk butter with a hand whisk until smooth and creamy, add sugar and continue whisking until fluffy. Add beaten eggs, one tbsp at a time, and mix well. Sift in 1/3 of combined dry ingredients (flour, ground almond and salt). Use a spatula to gently mix to combine. Sift in remaining dry ingredients in 2 batches, but use the spatula to gently stir and press down so the dough will stick together to form a dough.
- Transfer dough onto a work surface cover with large sheet of plastic wrap. Pat dough into a disc of 1 inch thick, then place another large sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough (this is to keep work surface cleaner, see picture 1). Use a rolling pin, roll out the dough large enough to cover the bottom of tart pan, plus extra 1.5 inch extra around the bottom tart pan for the side of tart shell (place the removable tart pan bottom on top of roll out dough– plastic wrap will keep the pan clean).
- Remove the top plastic wrap and carefully flip the dough into greased tart pan (at this point the bottom plastic wrap will end up on the top, see picture 2). Peel away the remaining plastic wrap and tuck in/trim the over hang dough (picture 3 & 4).
- Prick the bottom with a fork. Blind bake in preheated 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden, piercing with fork if crust bubbles. Cool crust on rack for 15 minutes before adding filling.
- Add lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in sour cream. Slowly pour in beaten eggs and whisk to blend well. Strain the mixture into the cooled crust.
- Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 30-35 minutes until the filling is set. Cover the crust edge with foil if it browns too quickly. Cool tart completely in the pan on a rack then chill in the fridge. Dust with powder sugar before serving.
- For the pastry, make the side of the tart slightly taller than the rim since it will shrink after baking.
- To prevent lemon tart from sticking to the tart pan, always grease the tart pan, and don’t prick the dough too hard, or the filling will leak through the crust.
- Always place a baking tray under the tart pan while baking, this will help transporting the tart and also to prevent leaked filling dripping down onto the oven racks.
Making almond tart shell-- picture 1
Making almond tart shell-- picture 2
Making almond tart shell-- picture 3
Making almond tart shell-- picture 4
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Moist Banana Nut Bread
Tired of making same old same old banana waffles so I gave this recipe a try, and it turned out to be a keeper! This recipe is from Martha Stewart. The bread is very moist (even the next day) because the use of sour cream. It is sweet but there’s also a hint of saltiness which makes it very flavorful. I like extra crunch so I added some more (well… alot more 🙂) walnuts on the top, mmm… yum! No doubt the bread will make it back to our kitchen whenever we have overripe bananas.
Moist Banana Nut Bread-- see chunks of bananas in there?
Moist Banana Nut Bread Recipe (makes 1 loaf 9x5x3 pan)– Recipe from Martha Stewart
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (I used 2 large bananas)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used toasted chopped walnuts to mix with the batter, and some extra untoasted walnuts to sprinkle on top)
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, coconut, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle extra nuts on top if using.
- Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
- Bake the bread on medium low rack so it is position at the center of the oven.
- Rotate the pan half way through baking to ensure even browning. If the top browns too quickly, cover with foil.
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