What is a Muffin?
When I did an internet search, I found out that there are actually two types of muffins, the American version and the English version. The American version is made from a chemical leavener (baking powder or baking soda) whilst the English version is more yeast dough like (similar to English muffins)
I also found out that the American muffin is further divided into two different types, cake-like muffins and bread-like muffins. A higher sugar and butter content would result in a more cake-like muffin. Wow, I never knew any of this until now. All I ever did prior to this wealth of knowledge was just pop a muffin into my mouth and eat it. I'll never look at a muffin in the same light again.
I personally go for the cake-like muffin as they tend to be more moist. Muffins also make such hearty breakfast meal. They are also simple to make and you can add sweet or savoury ingredients to it. Here's a recipe for a scrumptious banana walnut muffin which I tried out during a mid-week baking session. I brought it to the office the next day and it was still moist and light.
Banana Walnut Muffins
(makes 15 muffins)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 over-ripe bananas
1 cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup sugar instead)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1) Preheat oven to 375F and arrange the baking cups in a muffin pan.
2) Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. In a large bowl, combine the flour, butter, eggs, baking soda, the remaining 2 bananas, sugar, and vanilla extract.
3) Beat the ingredients with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until all ingredients are mixed together.
4) Fold in the chopped walnuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Spoon the batter into each of the baking cup and fill each cup about halfway. Top each muffin with a walnut.
5) Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the muffins turn brown.