Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lemon Coconut Muffins

I've noticed something about my cooking and baking adventures. They are, almost all of them, the consequences of coincidental inspiration. Let me explain through a latest example. Last night I saw Princess Milou helping herself to some granulated sugar with a teaspoon. While she was enjoying it to the full, I didn't want to grab it away just because it was refined sugar which is notoriously so unhealthy. Instead of preaching on how sugar might ruin our health, I fetched the nearest grater and distracted her by showing how to grate lemons to get the zest. It wasn't something planned. The only thing in my mind was to direct her attention something else and I had only that one or two seconds of thinking to find something more interesting than eating granulated sugar. And fortunately she was immediately hooked and forgot about the sugar snack at all. After a couple of minutes, we had a small pile of fresh zest that we could use in some muffins. I already knew we could use only lemon zest in muffin batter but I wanted to accompany it with something matching. I could find nothing but shredded coconuts in the drawers and they did their best as the zest-mate in the muffins. In the end, after that half an hour of preparation and baking, the lemon-coconut muffins smelled so alluring that I was thankful to my instant bursts of imagination and inspiration. My effort to prevent Milou from having some unnecessary refined sugar turned into marvelous lemon coconut muffins in seconds. I like those moments. 

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
rind of 1 lemon, grated
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 200C.  Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper muffin cases.  Sift the flour into a large bowl.  Stir in coconuts,the grated rind of 1 lemon and sugar into the flour mixture and make a well in the centre. 
In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together oil, milk and egg.  Add the lemon extract to egg mixture, then add to flour. Stir gently until mixutre is just combined. Fill muffin cases 3/4 with mixture. 
Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins are well risen and get golden.  Leave in pan for for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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