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Monday, August 31, 2009

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

I cannot remember when my love affair with cinnamon started. Could it be since my first taste of pineapple tarts? Not so recently (due to my back logs mostly), McDonalds has this 'Cinnamon Melts' added to their menu. It kick start my cinnamon obsession. I could really eat cinnamon rolls, cinnamon melts everyday but as a 'sensible' adult, we all know it is unhealthy. So another way to satiate this addiction is to find an healthier alternative. Moreover, they told me McD is not selling cinnamon melts anymore.

I want a simple recipe as I do not want to get through step 1 to 10 before I can have my fix every time the cravings set in. I searched and settled on this recipe which I found from This recipe is a keeper. I wouldn't change anything except I added some grounded nutmeg (my preference) and topped it with some cinnamon flavoured streusels for the extra mile.

Basic cinnamon apple muffins
300g Plain Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
3/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
150g Brown Sugar

2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, chopped
120g Raisins

125g Butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
185g milk

For the topping:
60g Plain Flour
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
30g cold Butter, cut into small pieces

1) To prepare the toppings, in a bowl, add all dry ingredients and rub in butter till it resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can use a fork to break up the butter for you. Chill in the fridge for later use.

2) Preheat oven to 170°C. In a bowl, add flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and brown sugar. Use a whisk to whisk the dry ingredients together.

3) Throw in apples and raisins, mix well.

4) In a measuring cup, whisk milk, eggs and melted butter together. Pour the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir with a whisk, spoon or fork till just combined.the two.
Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a large metal spoon until just combined. It is important that the ingredients are only just combined. Do not overmix.

5) Spoon the mixture into muffin paper cups. Top with some streusels prepared earlier. Bake for 15 to 20 mins or till golden brown and cooked.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Today is Singapore's 44th birthday. I didn't do anything dramatic for the occassion. Kitchen is closed today. Just a quiet day spent with my kids. I enjoyed watching them sleep, sneak a few kisses here and there. Holding them and playing games together; contentment and bliss. While we curse and cuss about the discontentment we feel, everything from government, policies, ERP to price hikes in hawker centres and our Kopi-Os; take a moment to count our blessings as a Singaporean. I am thankful for the stability and security it offers to my kids and that each child has a chance to basic education. Equal opportunities for men and women who are willing to work for it. Clean water and electricity is accessible to every home. Sure, it is not the most perfect place in the world but it is the only home I know. Happy Birthday Singapore and thank you for all things that I have always taken for granted. I didn't bake anything special, just a couple of birthday cakes I did for the past 2 months (I think). Enjoy the cake walk.

An experimental piece. Not as perfect as I would like. I had a hard time damming up the sides with whipped cream.

Dora and Boots, hand drawn.

Princess Belle, hand drawn. The chocolate I used for the hair was too dark. Should have lightened it up with some white chocolate.

An all time favourite for mahjong kakis.

Particularly liked this Doraemon. So round. Hah!