Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Apple-Blueberry Muffins & Answered Questions

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It has been almost a week since my last post! I hate when that happens... The fact that I haven't posted weighs on my mind all the time!

Apart from the recipe today, I want to take some time to answer a few questions I have been getting from readers/new friends both via email and Facebook.

But the food comes first! :)

Right now, I want to share a muffin recipe. Speaking of muffin recipes, a BIG thank you to everyone who has ever commented or emailed me thanking me for my Walnut Muffins recipe! I am so glad it turned out to be so popular, because it is hugely popular in our home! Thank you, all!
This recipe for Apple-Blueberry muffins is also adapted from the same book which served as an inspiration for the Walnut muffins. I love this recipe too, and I think it makes a great breakfast. Loaded with fresh apples, dried blueberries & oatmeal - I don't see how you could find fault with these muffins!

Apple-Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Muffins Galore
Ingredients (makes 4-6 muffins, depending on the size)
125g plain flour
55g oatmeal flour
110g castor sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 large apple, cored and coarsely chopped (you can leave the skin on)
100g dried blueberries, coarsely chopped
1 egg, beaten lightly
65g butter, melted
85ml buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoon demerara sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

Method
1. Soak the dried blueberries in 1 cup of water for 1/2 hour. Drain well and discard the water.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F, and line a six-cup muffin tin with paper liners. If you are not using paper liners, grease and flour the tins.
3. Mix the demerara sugar and cinnamon powder in a small bowl and set aside.
4. Mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
5. Add the chopped apples, and well-drained dried blueberries.
6. In a small bowl, stir together the egg, melted butter and buttermilk.
7. Pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl containing the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix.
8. Spoon into the prepared tin, and sprinkle over the top with the demerara-cinnamon mixture.
9. Bake for about 20 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for about 10 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
I love the crunchy demerara topping on this muffin! Such a nice crunch against the soft, juicy muffin!

The original recipe calls for dried cherries instead of blueberries - and I am sure that would work great as well. Other options - dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, raisins? I suppose you could play around with this recipe quite a bit. You could also add about 50g of chopped pecans or walnuts to take this to another level! Mmmmmm... I wish I had done that!
This is a really good, wholesome muffin!

Okay, now I need to address a few questions I have been asked a lot lately.

1. Why do you blog?

I think everyone secretly wants to be a proficient cook/baker! Making something at home, from scratch, gives a me a wonderful sense of accomplishment. I love that rush when I see a perfectly tender, golden loaf of bread coming out of my oven, or when I stare at picture perfect cupcakes that I made! Honestly, I would love  for more people to experience that! I love blogging and sharing my recipes and  I will keep doing it till the cows come home!

I have a dream, that one day, I will write my own cookbook. Sigh. A girl can dream!

2. Do you take orders for baked goods?

The answer is - YES!

If you live in Chennai, and something on this blog (or not), strikes your fancy, or you have a craving that you need satisfied but don't feel like putting on an apron and trying out a recipe, just drop me a note on my contact page, and I will call you back. I will need 24-48 hours to fulfill an order, though!

3. Do you think sharing your recipes will affect how many orders you get?

Probably! But as I said earlier, baking brings such immense satisfaction and I LOVE sharing recipes with people. Heck, I wouldn't have recipes to share if someone didn't share them with me first! I love sharing my passion for baking so much, that I am even teaching a baking class this month! My second baking class in the last 4 months... and hopefully not the last! I love teaching - especially when it's something so fun like baking!

I believe that there will always be a need for food - whether for a recipe to cook it, or for the finished product itself. And I want to be there for my readers at both times. You feel like baking something? Browse through my recipe page, and choose something that strikes your fancy! You can email me if something about the recipe baffles you, and I will respond within 24 hours - usually!

Are you a total baking novice? Sign up for the next baking class in Chennai! I will post details both on my Facebook page, and here on my blog!

You feel like indulging yourself with some rich chocolate cupcakes but don't want to sweat it out in the kitchen. Just write to me and I will be glad to make you a batch! At the end of the day - food makes people happy, and I would like to play a small part in making someone happy!


4. What do you think of stolen recipes/ideas/photographs?

I honestly believe that when you use someone's recipe, they deserve credit for it. Most of my posts have links back to either the book or the site where I got my inspiration from. But I rarely use a recipe as it is, and add my own touches, making it my own. I think it's only fair and honest to give someone credit for what they've created. If you are using one of my recipes and selling the product - more power to you! I am flattered that you are using my recipe, and I would love to hear from you! Don't worry - I won't claim a share of your profits! :) LOL :D

In terms of food ideas - presentation, flavor combinations etc. - I don't think there's much that hasn't been done yet in terms of food! I don't think anyone's ideas a completely unique and so there isn't really much point in talking about copying. And, hey - imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So if you feel ripped off because someone 'stole' your idea, just revel in the fact that someone thought your stuff worth ripping off! Besides, I am sure it's all been done!

Photographs are a completely different story! A photograph is completely the photographer's property and cannot and must not be used without the owner's permission. I hate when people do that!

If you are concerned your recipes and photographs are being used without permission, this might interest you. I am a part of Chef Dennis' Neighborhood Blog Watch because photographs & recipes are being used without proper credits all over the place, and we bloggers really need to look out for each other! If you are a food blogger and would like more information about the blog watch, you can read more about it here.

Once again, if you are in Chennai and you have a craving, just drop me a note at my contact page here and I will be glad to whip something up for you.

Or you could head here, and get baking!

Thanks for reading this post! :)  
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66 comments:

Annie said...

Please tell me where we can purchase items like blueberries in Chennai.

ping kay said...

You are so wise. I love your answers esp #3, about not being able to share our recipes if someone hadn't shared them with us in the first place. I must have missed the walnut muffins somehow. Going off to check it out. I have a bag sitting around .. might as well put it to good use. 

ping kay said...

Hah! No I didn't miss that. I was so drooling over that glaze, I'd forgotten about the bottom bit :)

sharizat shakmanova said...

oh, this is my kind of muffins! i must try! thanks for sharing this recipe and a little bit about yourself!

Galexi Cupcakes said...

My kind of muffin!! You know I love food when the last picture made me want to kiss the muffin! LOL..silly me..xoxo Jackie

Jill Colonna said...

Love le crrrrunch on top of these beauties, Marsha. Bravo on the baking workshops, you're going to be in high demand!  I'd love to order these muffins for a start. Perhaps I should move to Chennai. Great treats but also the HEAT!  

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Your muffins looks delicious - I wish I lived close enough to order a couple right now for a snack!! Love you Q&A - great post!

KatefromScratch said...

Beautiful muffins!  I wish I lived closer, I'd definitely take an order or five.  haha!  Delicious!

Kankana said...

I had no clue you can get blueberries in chennai. At least I could never find any when i was staying in Bangalore. Anyways, I am glad you found it and those are some greats answers to the questions! 

Baker Street said...

Blueberry anything makes it to the top of my list. This being no exception. The muffins look fabulous. 

Catherine said...

Beautiful muffins. These muffins are a perfect start to a day. Blessings my dear, Catherine xoxo

Mary said...

Your muffins look and sound delicious. I haven't made muffins is way too long. It's time to fix that!

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious said...

I've made blueberry muffins and I've made apple muffins but I've never thought to put them together! These look lovely and I can't wait to try this combination.

Devaki @Weavethousandflavors said...

These are beautiful and the ingredients just so :) I wish I was in chennai so I could order me a batch! I have no doubt you'll soon be flooded with orders. These are such beautiful muffins and I wish you the very best in your new (and old) endeavors.

chow! DEVAKI  @ weavethousandflavors

theharriedcook said...

Hi Annie... I have sent you an email with the details! Hope that helps :) Happy Baking!

theharriedcook said...

LOL :D Ping, you really make me smile! I think if we lived closer together, we'd totally be BFFs! Haha :) Thanks for thinking I am 'wise' :) at least someone does! Thanks for stopping by and putting a smile on my face! :) Hugs

theharriedcook said...

Thanks, Sharizat! :) Hugs to you... 

theharriedcook said...

Ah yes! The heat... Come visit between November and January - nice weather! I will be a good host and feed you lots of nice things and show you around! Thanks for your blessings... I hope one day I will be a published cookbook author and teacher like you!!! :D Thanks for stopping by and big bear hugs to you!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Chris! :) Yes! I wish you lived close enough to share this with me over a nice pot of tea... :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Sure thing! Do you think DHL delivers muffins? :) Thanks for the encouragement, Kate! Thanks for stopping by... 

theharriedcook said...

Ah well, we still don't get FRESH blueberries in Chennai, but thankfully we have at least the option of dried blueberries.. Thanks for stopping by, Kankana!

theharriedcook said...

Thanks! I love you Muffin Mondays series :) Very cool! Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Catherine! :) Appreciate it! Blessings to you too... 

theharriedcook said...

 Thanks, Mary! :) Yes, I agree - time to fix that! I hope you'll share your muffin recipes with us!

theharriedcook said...

:) I am so glad you like this post!! Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by! I cannot wait to visit you!

theharriedcook said...

Thanks a bunch, Devaki! I hope you're right and I thank you for your wishes :) Cheers!

Lizzy Do said...

Oh, these look marvelous!! I love the idea of apples with dried fruit...so yummy!!! And I loved your answers to these questions!

AlchemyInTheKitchen said...

Great to learn a bit more about you - what a busy lady you are! 

I missed the walnut muffins so will be checking them out but meanwhile love these - particularly the demerrara topping - it's a perfect flavour to go with apples.

Cvidhya said...

Can u lemme know where do get cup cake liners in different colours n desingn patterns in chennai? Tried in many places. M able to get only the boring white ones:((

Priscilla said...

I'm always on the lookout for wholesome muffins to add to my "Must Make" list! With apples and blueberries, this one is a keeper! Did not know Chef Dennis had a "Blog Watch" group - will have to check that out, thanks for sharing :)

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a lovely recipe. Your muffins look delicious and I know my family would love them. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary.

feedthebf said...

These muffins sound like the perfect breakfast treat!

Guru Uru said...

These muffins have me craving something fierce :D
They look simply divine!
I cannot believe I have never properly visited your blog - it rocks!

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru
http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/

Emilia said...

Gorgeous looking muffins Marsha, and somehow they sound so healthy !!! I wish I could come back to  Chennai to take your classes, love your cooking style .

Erin said...

I love muffins, these look wonderful!  How did I miss that you are from India?  I had no idea!

2 sisters recipes said...

Delicious muffins! 

Guru Uru said...

These muffins have me craving something fierce :D
They look simply divine!
I cannot believe I have never properly visited your blog - it rocks!

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru
http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/ 

theharriedcook said...

Thanks so much :) yeah... i tend to take on more than I can handle but it keeps me busy! :) LOL Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by, Hester!

theharriedcook said...

Hi Vidya... I sent you an email with some options... right now, your best bet is Passionate Baking which is in the basement of Currimbhoy's in Anna Nagar :) Hope you find something you like!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Priscilla! :) Yes, Chef Dennis' Neighborhood Blog Watch is an amazing concept... you should check it out... And glad you like the muffins! :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Thanks, Peggy! So glad you like it!

theharriedcook said...

Thanks, Mary! I hope you have a wonderful weekend... Blessings to you too! Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Emilia! I have missed you! I look forward to visiting your blog and see what I've missed... Thanks for your kind words... I need classes from you, my friend! You are amazing... Heading over to visit you soon! Take care and keep in touch...

theharriedcook said...

Ha ha :) Really? Well, I am! Thanks for your kind words about the muffins... Anything you need from India, Erin? :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you so much! :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you so much... you are sweet! 
 I am glad you like the muffins!  I must head over and visit you soon, too... Thanks for stopping by and saying hello! :)

elisabeth@foodandthrift said...

Love your apple-blueberry muffins, Marsha! The recipe is superb.  I enjoyed reading about you, and got a little more info about your life, and your passion for baking!

Baking Serendipity said...

These muffins look fantastic! I love the apple and blueberry pairing :)

Carolyn Jung said...

I'm with you on the crunchy sugary top. I go crazy for that in any baked good. These muffins look like the perfect treat to start the day with.

Roxana GreenGirl said...

yay! seems like you found some blueberries. I remember when I shared a blueberry recipe you were saying how hard to find are in your area.
The muffins look great Marsha!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

This muffin (especially the side shot!) proves that why I love muffiins more than cupcakes... I just love the fruits inside and sugary & crispy crunch top, way more than sweet icing on top of cupcakes.  Ok that's just me... I like both but if I choose, definitely I will pick this one over any kind of cupcakes (yep pretty strong statement. =P ).  I really like these muffins Marsha!

Wish your orders and baking classes are international. :-)

Georgia The Comfort of Cooking said...

What a delicious looking batch of muffins, and a great combination of fruits! I would love to try these for myself. Thanks for sharing. Also, I’m having a great giveaway today with four potential prize winners, so you should enter!

Kristi Rimkus said...

I love adding buttermilk to muffins, it gives them such a richness of flavor. Fun blog post. I love hearing how other bloggers got their start. 

Gourmantine said...

I've really enjoyed reading more about you and those muffins looks sooo good! :)

Kimby said...

Marsha, I get your posts via e-mail (and love it!), but I thought I'd already commented on this one (operator error -- NOT you!), but in a way, it was fortuitous.  Now I get to tell you that you've won The Versatile Blogger Award. :)  (see:  http://alittlelunch.com/2012/03/24/march-gladness/ )  As always, it's a pleasure to learn more about you and I hope you get a good response from this!

Chef Dennis said...

first of all that muffin looks absolutely delicious!  and thank you very much for the shout out and for being part of the neighborhood watch!  
Sorry I didn't get by sooner,  life has been crazy!

Jill | Dulce Dough said...

Oh my!  These muffins look fabulous!  What a wonderful combination of ingredients!  

lazarocooks said...

Love the muffins.  I could go for those.  Best of luck with your business, hope you get lots of orders.

Neighborhood blog watch is just funny!

Be well

Victoria at Flavors of the Sun said...

Great recipe and great answers.  I couldn't agree with you more on any of the items you mentioned.

We get great fresh blueberries here in Mexico where I live--I'll bet they would work nicely in your recipe as well.  Thanks!

Alli said...

Wholesome muffins that look this good. Yum and yes please. Can wait to look at the walnut muffins.

Lisa said...

Those muffins look spectacular, Marsha!  The combo of blueberry and apple topped with demerara looks to be fantastic - would love one for breakfast later!  That said, great answers to often asked blogging questions..loved reading your thorough and helpful answers!

Nancy/SpicieFoodie said...

Hi Marsha,

The muffins look incredible! I would love one to go with my tea right now. 

Great knowing a little more about you and your feelings on blogging. I totally agree with you, about giving credit where credit is do. But sadly many don't and I have no idea why, it isn't that hard and it doesn't make one lesser of a cook or blogger.  I don't know. 

I'm sure you're cookbook dream will come true. Anything is possible ;) 

Kim Bee said...

Those are some beautiful muffins. I don't think I could hold myself back from eating half a pan full. Great Q and A, I think it's fab you share recipes but also offer people stuff you bake. Tons of people do not enough cooking and baking so it's good to do.

Kim - Liv Life said...

Oh, how my dancing girls would love these muffins!!  I have 4 girls at my house tomorrow after school and before dance class, and I just might have a chance to whip these beauties up.  I really think they would love them.I enjoyed your q/a section!  I just wish you lived a tad closer so I could make an order...!!

beti said...

they look really soft, moist and healthy just perfect

Magic of Spice said...

Great post! Loved your answers, and I very much wish I lived close enough for baking lessons :) Fantastic muffins as well :)

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