So this is a healthy take on an unhealthy topic. Pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting, making muffins healthier; one pumpkin at a time ;).
Things you need for:
- 2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups (260 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) sunflower/olive oil
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (215 grams) pumpkin puree
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces (115 grams) room temperature paneer
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
There are essentially 4 steps to this recipe.
Pumpkin Puree assembly -> Muffin Baking -> Cream Cheese prep -> Icing your cakes
This may sound labour intensive, but it's not. I took a small pumpkin cut it out into halves and then de-seeded it. Then face down I placed it in a deep oven dish to which I added 2 cups of water to ensure the pumpkin doesn't dry out. I placed this tray in a 200C preheated oven and kept it there for 30 minutes or till the outside turns deep orange.
Then I allowed it to cool under the fan, face up, after draining the leftover water. Once cooed I scraped out the flesh with a spoon which gave away from the shell like pudding. Then I blended this mash for a minute or so. The site from which this is originally adapted asked me to strain it. But this was very smooth and that seemed rather tedious. So skip that. Your pumpkin puree is ready. ;)
Step 1 done.
In a large bowl I sifted together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and added ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt.
I then added the egg whites, sugar, oil, vanilla extract & pumpkin puree in a blender for 2 minutes.
Alternating the dry and wet mixture I then incorporated the mixture.
Now comes the real part: Arrange the muffin tray. I have a silicon muffin tray so I filled the tray with muffin cups. I took 3 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl and dipped my fingertips in the oil and lubricated these cups so that the batter doesn't stick to the paper once it's done baking. I tried initially with 1/2 cup batter but then I fill the cups to 3/4 with batter and set the timer for 20 minutes. The oven has a tendency to burn the cake from below so I add in a bowl of salt water at the base of the oven to maintain temperature @180F. Normally it should take 10-15 minutes.
At this time a fork poked(actually a tooth pick should be inserted, but since i didn't have that) should come out clean or bake it for a minute or two, more , but be out on the lookout, not to over cook it. The gaping holes left behind are from a tired me making jabs at the poor muffin.
Step 2 is now complete.
I got a regular pack of paneer from the market to make my own cream cheese. I broke down this paneer and placed it in lukewarm water.
After the water had returned to room temperature. I drained off the water and churned it with a fork till it was smooth.
Next I made it pass through a strainer to get rid off all the unblended pieces and to get a smooth consistency.Then I added butter to it which was followed by icing sugar (sifted) and vanilla essence.
Step 3 is now complete.
Last and final step
I got a ziploc bag and put half of it inside out in a glass. I then transferred the icing mixture into the bag. I then rolled up the bag. Pushing the icing down to the farthest tip of the bag by hand, running over the plastic, this will remove all excess air bubbles. When it was finally down to the farthest end I cut a tiny portion of the corner to get a very fine stream of icing to prep my muffins. Alas! the hole was bigger than I had intended. So I pushed down the icing to the ther corner of the ziploc bag and managed to cut a tuny hole and got one good looking stream of icing, which sadly looks like it was done by a kindergarten-er.. This was how my muffins finally looked.
Voila! Let me know how yours turned out to be.
Coming up next: World's fastest healthiest chocolate fudge, Eggless chocolate muffins, Chole Masale the lazy way, soft-dough oatmeal cookies for diabetics - That's all folks.