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RECIPE FOR ORANGE DATE WALNUT MUFFINS
Serve: 12 medium sized muffins
100g plain flour
100g wholemeal flour (fine grain)
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
140g unsalted butter
70g castor sugar
1 large egg (about 60g, at room temperature) – lightly beaten
130ml milk (at room temperature)
Grated orange zest (from 1 medium orange, about 2 tbsp)
50ml fresh squeezed orange juice
50g pitted, dried dates – chopped (I used Medjoul dates)
60g raw walnuts – roasted and coarsely chopped
- Cut butter into cubes and put into a small bowl. Transfer the bowl to a sauce pan filled with water. Heat up the sauce pan under medium low heat. Stir the butter occasionally. When it’s fully melted, remove the bowl from the sauce pan. Set aside to cool (Refer photo at THIS LINK).
- Put the chopped dates and orange juice in a blender and whiz until they form a smooth puree.
- Roast walnuts in a preheated oven at 170°C for 10 minutes. Use a wooden spatula to stir them once after 5 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool and chop them. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 210°C
- In a mixing bowl, combine both types of flour and baking powder and sieve. Add sugar and salt, and mix well. Use finger tips to rub the grated orange zest into the flour mixture. Make sure no lumps. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, using a hand whisk to beat egg until foamy. Add milk, date puree and melted and cooled butter, one at a time. Stir until just combined.
- Add the wet ingredients (from step 5) to the dry ingredients (from step 4). With a spatula, combine the ingredients gently with fold in method until the flour just disappears. Fold in chopped walnuts until well combined. Do not over mix the batter otherwise the muffins will be heavy and dense. The batter should be thick (“spoonable” not “pourable”).
- Transfer the batter into a piping bag (see note below) and pipe the batter into the muffin paper cups until each cup is 80% full. Instead of piping, you can spoon the batter into the muffin paper cups.
- Bake at 190°C for 10 minutes and a further 10 minutes at 180°C, or until the muffins have risen and turned golden brown. Insert a toothpick into the center to test. If it comes out clean, it means that the muffins are cooked.
- After that, leave the muffins inside with the oven door shut. Let the residue heat in the oven cook the muffins for a further 2 minutes.
- Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool.
- Wholemeal flour (British) = whole wheat flour (America) (Source: American Cooking). If you do not have wholemeal flour, you can substitute with plain flour.
- To get a dome-effect muffin, you need to preheat oven at a higher temperature, and then fill the batter near to the brim of the muffin cup (80-85% full).
- The baking time and oven temperatures vary depending on the types of oven, size of muffins, or whether you are using paper cup or muffin tray to bake. So do your own experiment. You will find more tips on “How to make muffins” in my early post.
- You can DIY your own piping bag by using a clean square or rectangular plastic bag. Transfer the mixture into the bag, tighten the opening with a rubber band and cut out a small corner for the batter to be squeezed out.
- If the muffins turn golden brown too early, reduce the heat to 170°C (instead of 180°C) after baking for 10 minutes. If the muffins show uneven colour, turn the baking tray 180 degree towards the last 5 minutes.
- Keep extra muffins in the freezer for future consumption. Thaw and place them inside a preheat oven/ toaster oven for 5 minutes (without heat). You can also steam the muffins.