Monday, March 16, 2015

Arabian Nights Muffins #MuffinMonday

One great way to add flavor to a muffin is to use flavored teas in the batter. Brew the tea with piping hot milk and add some more loose tea to strengthen the flavor profile to make a tasty muffin. 

This week I am in Michigan, spending time with a dear friend who owns a teashop filled with hundreds of loose teas in a variety of flavors. My favorite part of coming here is hanging out with her in her shop because she is constantly plying me with tea to sample, as we chat and catch up. I deliberately didn’t make my muffin for today before I arrived because I also love baking with her tea, something I don’t think to do often enough at home. Today I chose one of her special blends called Arabian Nights, which mixes black tea with jasmine petals, jasmine essence and cardamom. The aroma is spectacular! If you have a special tea you enjoy, I encourage you to try baking with tea as well.

For the muffin batter:
2 teabags Arabian Nights tea or your favorite spice tea blend
1 cup or 240ml milk
2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup, packed, or 100g dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon loose Arabian Nights tea or your favorite spice tea blend
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (or the spice prominent in your tea’s flavor profile)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
2 large eggs

For the glaze:
1 tablespoon tea-infused milk
6-7 tablespoons powdered sugar

Optional for decoration: 1 teaspoon loose Arabian Nights tea

Bring your milk to a boil and put the teabags in to steep. Leave the teabags in till the milk is cool then remove them, making sure to squeeze the milk out before discarding them.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it thoroughly or spraying with non-stick spray or lining it with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, loose tea and salt and stir well.

Reserve one tablespoon of the tea-infused milk for the glaze and then put the rest in a small mixing bowl with the oil and eggs. Whisk thoroughly to combine.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.

Divide the batter between your muffin cups in your prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to cool completely.

To make the glaze, add the powdered sugar to the reserved milk-infused tea one tablespoon at a time, stirring well in between, until you read a good drizzling consistency.

Drizzle the glaze over the muffins once they are cool.

Sprinkle on a little pinch of loose tea to decorate, if desired.


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