Lifestyle

Top tips for muffin magic

WHO doesn't love a freshly baked muffin with a cuppa?

I know it's one of my favourite treats, but be aware they can be very high in fat.

I remember years ago buying one from a muffin shop and when I got it home, the bag was saturated in oil. That is when I started making my own low-fat versions.

Making the perfect muffin does take a little skill as muffins are a little delicate. You mustn't overbeat the mix, otherwise they come out rubbery and tough.

If you have overbeaten the mix, you get what looks like a nose on the side of the muffin instead of a nice round top. When you make low-fat muffins, as in my cookbooks, you get to enjoy your favourites guilt-free, so here are some tips for muffin fans:

Muffins are very versatile and can be sweet or savoury, freeze well and are loved by many.

Grated carrot or zucchini are great in sweet or savoury muffins.

They add fibre and help protect the ingredients from getting tough when being stirred.

I make a few batches and individually wrap them before freezing so that the family can grab one for school or work and they will be defrosted by morning tea.

Commercially bought muffins can be high in fat, especially when they have cream cheese on the top or are spread with butter. They often are quite large, too, so beware they can be high in calories.

It is much better to go for low-fat options where possible.

Adding dried fruit or mashed banana to the mix means you can reduce the amount of sugar used in the recipe. Dried fruit adds fibre so is a better choice than cane sugar.

I replace the butter, oil or margarine in muffin recipes with half-a-cup of apple sauce and three-quarters of a teaspoon of bicarb soda. This cuts the fat count considerably and the bicarb will lighten the texture.

Doing muffins this way means they will be very low in fat. They are even more delicate so handle with care when folding the mixture.

Instead of putting loads of nuts into the mixture which can bump the fat count up, sprinkle some chopped nuts on top of each muffin before baking.

This way, you use fewer and reduce the fat count but you still get to enjoy the taste of the nuts.

Annette's cookbooks Symply Too Good To Be True 1-6 are sold in newsagencies or visit Annette's website at symplytoogood.com.au.

 

APRICOT AND ALMOND MUFFINS

Serves 10

Ingredients

3/4 cup dried apricots chopped

1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda

1 cup (250ml) boiling water

2 egg whites

1/3 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon almond essence

2 cups self-raising flour

20g blanched almond flakes

Method

Preheat oven 180ºC fan-forced.

Mix together apricots, bicarb soda and water in a small mixing bowl, then let stand for 15 minutes.

Beat egg whites and sugar together in a medium-size mixing bowl for 1 minute.

Add almond essence and apricots to egg mixture. Gently fold flour into mixture in one go, treating as a sponge.

Do not beat as this will make the muffins tough. Once ingredients are just combined, spoon mixture into prepared muffin pans, dividing equally into 10 cups.

Sprinkle almond flakes over the tops of muffins then bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until cooked.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  baking, cooking, easy eating, food, lifestyle, recipes




Crowds gather for Jumpers and Jazz Festival

QUICK YARN: Sue Jacobsen, Karina Devine and Loretta Grayson take five minutes out of their hectic Jumpers and Jazz schedule for a chat.

There is still plenty to do for the remainder of the festival

Man injured in bike accident on property east of Warwick

Ambulance generic

Motor bike rider sustains injury in accident on property

WATCH: Killarney Bonfire Night fires up

The bonfire at Killarney Bonfire Night

Let me stand next to your fire - Killarney Bonfire Night

Latest deals and offers


Get out this weekend on a budget

Tree jumper artwork

Here is your go to guide for getting out this weekend on a budget

Reno stars want tradies to focus a little more on one thing

The Demmrichs want Tradies to look after their most important tool

Day 2 Splendour Pictures

Sticky Fingers perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Splendour in the Grass Day 2 covered in pictures.

WATCH: News reader tries her hand at hardcore shooter, Doom

Veteran journo and noob gamer takes a shot at Doom

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles