Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cranberry Cardamom Swirl Muffins

Living on Martha's Vineyard, there's a sort of cranberry cult around. There aren't any cranberry bogs on the Vineyard (that I know of!), but close by Cape Cod and Nantucket are packed with them and I thought it would only suitable to create a breakfast muffin that was swirled, literally, with cranberry flavors.

This muffin is not a light muffin by any means, but it's definitely a filling muffin to start your day with. Fresh, tart cranberries are scattered around and a swirl of your favorite berry jam adds a different texture that will be a nice surprise with your morning coffee.

Ever wondered what the difference between a muffin and a cupcake was? It's all in the method of making them!
  • Muffins are made using the blending methods, and typically use a liquid fat such as oil or melted butter. The dry ingredients are added to the wet, and blended just to incorporate. This creates a moist, dense batter.
  • Cupcakes are made using the creaming method, and typically use a solid (but softened) fat such as butter or shortening. Like the name of the method, creaming the fat and the sugar is the most important step in this process; you will need to cream until the fat turns a lighter color and is aerated. This will create a fluffier, airier batter. 

Can you say JUMBO Muffin?!

Cranberry Cardamom Swirl Muffins
This recipe can easily be halved or doubled.
Makes 12 large muffins

Berry Cardamom Jam
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
5 green cardamom pods
pinch of vanilla salt 
  1. Simmer all ingredients over medium low heat until berries break down and most of the liquid evaporates. 
  2. Remove cardamom pods and reserve.
Swirl Muffins
1 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten

1 cup bread flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla salt

1 cup fresh cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees and line a muffin pan with paper cups. 
  2. Whisk together sugar, butter, milk and eggs. Add dry ingredients and stir only until incorporated.
  3. Fold in cranberries and distribute half of batter into muffin cups (fill 1/4 of the way).
  4. Drop a teaspoon of Cranberry Cardamom Jam and finish filling the muffin cups 3/4 of the way with muffin batter. 
  5. Using a table knife, swirl muffin batter and jam. 
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until done. 
Not only does it look moist, it WAS moist!

 What's your favorite flavor combination w/ Cranberries? 
Have you ever visited a Cranberry Bog?

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