Is anybody else wondering, where did 2012 go?!!? How have we already reached November, when I can clearly remember reading those cheesy newspaper horoscopes at the beginning of the year?? As a close friend wrote on Facebook the other day, "Even when it feels like nothing is happening . . . something is happening."
Anyhow, getting back to the post of the day. After a month of dealing with yeast, the 'TWD: Baking with Julia' group decided to go for something simple and easy. The choice for this fortnight is Buttermilk Crumb Muffins.
I really enjoy baking muffins. I see them as one of the easiest things to bake and with zillions of muffin recipes on the Web, there's a muffin to suit every occassion and every mood. So, I was intrigued to find out if the book could come up with something interesting, in terms of flavour, texture or technique. Unfortunately not!!
Reading the recipe, I felt a bit underwhelmed. It didn't seem to have anything to excite me enough to want to give it a shot. Don't get me wrong, you know me enough to know how much I enjoy a fuss-free recipe but this recipe just seemed a bit old school. I think it was the use of vegetable shortening that first got me all sceptical.
And as I said earlier, at a time when muffin recipes have gotten so interesting with the addition of fruits, spices, vegetables, dried fruits, oil and now gluten-free, these muffins just seemed to lack the necessary pizzazz. But considering how wrong I can be, more often than not, I thought I reserve judgement until I gave the recipe a shot.
Substituted the vegetable shortening with butter and to jazz up these muffins, I added a few tablespoons of rum-soaked raisins. The muffins turned out as the book said they would, "sweet, tender muffins with a light, open crumb", with a very subtle hit of the cinnamon and nutmeg. There is the addition of a crumb on top of each muffin, but am not sure if mine turned out looking as it should have. I would have preferred a more interesting streusel topping, if any!!
These are good, fuss-free, no-frills muffins, probably best made and consumed for breakfast. But my initial thought about them proved right. They just didn't excite me enough to put them in my folder of "keeper" recipes!! I like my muffins to have more depth of flavour. In this case, even the rum-soaked raisins didn't help!!