Single White Meals – Strawberry, Ricotta & Lemon Zest Muffins Edition
So, being the middle of winter and all, it’s the time of year I like to get my baking on. Partially because baking is so warm and comfort-y and also because it covers up any other less appetizing odours in the house. Let’s be fair, while I give the (Junior) Masterchefs a run for their money, Martha Stewart I’m not..
This is a recent discovery of mine, mostly because I drunkenly found it on the inside lid of a container of Strawberries one night. In all fairness, I think I should get points for the fact that lately my drunken binges have been on things like Strawberries instead of Chikko Rolls and Kebabs.
Anyway, even though the whole recipe was about 27 words long, I really liked the idea of mixing Strawberry and Ricotta in muffin form, so I’ve fine tuned the recipe measurements and added a few bits and bobs, but it’s turned into a really healthy, low-fat winter treat that takes about ten minutes to prepare.
250g Strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped **
2 1/2 cups of Self-Raising Flour
1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
3/4 cups of Castor Sugar
4 teaspoons of melted Butter
1 cup of Milk
2 Lemons worth of Lemon Zest
** Hulling Strawberries evidently means removing the leaves and the stem. Which is good to know because there is SUCH high chance you’d leave them on for freakin’ muffins #themoreyouknow
Preheat Oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. If you’re a Wacky American, THIS will probably come in handy..
Sift Flour and Cinnamon into a Bowl and stir in the Castor Sugar. The recipe calls for you to sieve the flour but, if you’re like me and for some reason never got around to buying a sieve, a find a whisk is a handy alternative.
Places Eggs, Butter and Milk in a Bowl and whisk to combine. This is the part that I always mess up and forget to combine the butter, milk and egg separately first. To be honest, it doesn’t matter, just add it straight to the Bowl with the dry ingredients and give it all a good solid stir. If you’ve been single for as long as I have, you should have pretty good forearm muscles that mean this will be no problem at all!
If you don’t end up eating at least a quarter of the mixture before it makes the trays, you have problems.
Mix in Strawberries, Lemon Zest and approximately 3/4’s of the Ricotta. You want to set aside just enough Ricotta to lightly dot each muffin for decoration right before putting it into the muffin. Save three Strawberries, quartered, for the same.
Lightly oil up Muffin Tray and fill up a dozen muffins. Dot top of each with remaining Ricotta and garnish with Strawberry. You can sprinkle with sugar if you want, depends on how close of friend you are with your waistline at this point in your life.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. If you want to test how well they are done inside, just stick a knife in and quickly pull out (just like your first time). If the knife comes out clean, they’re done. If the muffins are starting to go black on top, they’re done. You know, whatever works for you..
And success! They’re actually a really nice, light snack. They look fantastic and, provided you refrigerate them, they’ll keep for pretty much a week. Normally I prefer to keep such things in a container on the bench, but the combination of cheese and fresh fruit means it gets a little interesting if not kept cool after a few days. Alter the sugar to taste – Ricotta is quite savoury so, if anything, you could probably add even more sugar (and this is after I already increased it after the original recipe).
NB – I was going to make a quip about making Muffins that avoid the dreaded Muffin Top, but I’m pretty drunk and it still sounds lame. #notagoodsignatall