March 14, 2011

Ginger Muffins

I'm a big fan of the Tassajara cookbooks by Edward Espe Brown. I recently purchased "The Complete Tassajara Cookbook" because, although I am neither a Buddhist or vegetarian I know that A) I could eat less meat and B) of all the world religions I'd lean towards Buddhism.

"How To Cook Your Life", a documentary by Doris Dörrie about Brown and his take on everyday life is one of my Desert Island dvds. If you can get your hands on a copy, I'd highly recommend it.

I made these muffins twice so far, once following the recipe, the next time substituting lemon for the orange. Both times I used lemon juice and milk instead of the yogourt. Delicious!

Ginger Muffins

Freshly grated ginger – spicy, warming, a good digestive – makes these muffins a distinctive treat. Served with orange marmalade they taste especially heavenly.

1 cup unbleached white flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (I used 1 1/2 tbs lemon juice to 1 1/2 C 2% milk)
1/2 cup honey
Zest of 1 orange
1/3 cup canola, safflower, or corn oil
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flours with salt, baking powder, and soda. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, yogurt, honey, orange zest, oil, and fresh ginger. Pour wets into dries, and mix with as few strokes as possible (20 stirs is usually about right). I use a rubber spatula for this, so I can get the batter off the sides of the bowl. Overmixing will make the muffins tough.

Grease a muffin tin (unless you have one of those nice, new nonstick ones). Spoon in the batter to near the top of the muffin cups. Grate some nutmeg over the tops of the muffins. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the tops have rounded and cracked and the sides and bottoms have browned. On a recent batch I discovered once again that it is not a good idea to use the bottom rack of the oven, as the bottoms of the muffins will tend to blacken.

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