Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Brown sugar and nectarine muffins.

So! It seems like I haven't been around here for a long time. It's not that I haven't been cooking at all, because obviously I have, I've just been doing other things. And I don't want to turn this into a post about why I haven't been here, because that's boring, I just want to say that I've had an epiphany.
I only blog when I need a distraction. From studying. Whatever. I mean, it's not like I'm flighty, or anything. I just thought you should know. Anyway, lets talk about the muffins!

They're great. They're delicious. They're moist. They're full of soft nectariney bits and lovely brown sugar. But lets talk about the icing. It's cream cheese icing (my favourite), but it's so much more than that. It's brown sugar cream cheese icing. That's why it's that funny colour. But don't let that brown colour turn you off eating them. Because they're tasty. The perfect afternoon treat on a rainy autum day when you should be doing your assignment, but all you have energy for is watching repeats of Xena, Warrior Princess.

Brown Sugar Nectarine muffins.
Adapted from smitten kitchen

I made these with nectarines because I like them better than peaches (what the origianl recipe asked for) and thats what I had in the house. I've subbed in some LSA mix for part of the flour, but feel free to omitt this step, or use wholewheat flour instead. The LSA mix made the muffins speckled and a bit nutty, which I think made them nicer. And I halved the recipe because I can't be trusted around 24 muffins that are this delicious. But I'll give you the whole recipe, because you might have better self control than I do. Also, about the yoghurt: if you use a flavoured yoghurt (which I accidently did) you might want to cut the sugar content down a little bit, because the icing is really sweet.
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup LSA mix or whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp salt
Pinch of nutmeg
170g unsalted butter, soft
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups sour cream or full-fat yogurt
3 large nectarines, cored, and chopped smallish
Preheat oven 180C. Line 24 muffin cups.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugars until fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla essence and the yoghurt/sour cream.
Stir in the dry ingredients.
Fold in the nectarine pieces and spoon into the muffin cups.
Bake 18-20 minutes, until the tops are golden and a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack before icing.

Brown sugar cream cheese icing
You could use dark brown sugar instead of the light brown, but it makes the icing darker, which may not look as nice. But it still tastes good! Also, I think lemon juice instead of vanilla essence might be raelly nice as well. Even when I halved this recipe, I had heaps of icing left over, even for 12 cakes. You might wanna keep this in mind. I also think that this icing would be good on some other sort of cake as well. A nice lemony cake. yum.

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
500g cream cheese, soft
110g unsalted butter, soft
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter.
Add the sugars, cornstarch and vanilla. Beat until icing is smooth and light.
Chill the bowl in the fridge about 30 minutes, then spread or pipe onto cooled cakes.