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Around Christmas there is always the familiar scent of spice hanging in the air. Whenever I smell it I know winter has arrived and this year it has made me really want to and eminante it in the form of baking.

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The classic flavour combinations of cinnamon and apple is really rather delicious and the flavour of cinnamon sated my need for spice. It really is rather nostalgic.

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The apples I have used in this recipe were taken from a house I pass whilst cycling to school. They left a bucket of apples (I presume from a tree in their garden) so I took a couple in order to make this recipe then delivered a box the next morning in repayment.

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Not only have they left apples, before I have gotten a courgette which was equally as yummy (oh, the delights of living in the countryside!)

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To achieve an even more cinnamony taste. the night before weight out the sugar for the recipe (200g brown, 50g caster) and pour into a bowl. Push a cinnamon stick into the middle of each sugars and leave until you make the muffins, you can cut the cinnamon stick in half. Re-use this stick for when you stew the apples.

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I enjoyed them so much that I went and got a couple more apples so expect quite a few apple related recipes in the forthcoming weeks!

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Ingredients:

For the muffins
2 eggs
200g cinnamon infused soft, light brown sugar
250ml milk
125ml vegetable oil
400g self-raising flour
1tsp salt
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
2 medium sized apples
 
For the topping:
1-3 apples (depending on how many muffins you want to top with apple)
50g cinnnamon infused caster sugar
Recipe (The Little Elf Bakery)… makes 14 muffins

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a muffin tray with cases. Peel, core and cut the apple into chunks and put into a saucepan with a cinnamon stick, Simmer on a low heat, covering the saucepan with a lid stirring every couple of minutes, until the apples are soft and mushy. Set to one side. In a bowl whisk the eggs, milk, oil, salt, cinnamon and sugar until smooth. Fold in the flour then tip in the stewed apples until all the ingredients have combined. Pour the mixture into the cases. To top the muffins cut the remaining apples into thin slices and arrange on top of the muffins. Sprinkle the cinnamon infused caster sugar over the top then put in the oven for 25 minutes or until they are golden brown. Take out of the oven and place on a cooling rack. Leave to cool.

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Enjoy with creme fraiche.

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