Sunday, September 18, 2011

American Muffin مافين أميركي

Muffins: a classic American dessert -- perfect with coffee.

The muffin is a typical American or English soft sweet, whose name is of uncertain origin: according to different versions it could come either from the French word "moufflet", a sort of soft bread, or from the German word "muffe", a sort of cake.
As we just said, there are 2 types: the American muffin (created around the 1800) and the English muffin (created in the 10th or 11th century in Wales).
The American muffin, as well as the English one, can be sweet or savoury, but it is made from a chemical leavener (or baking soda), while the English muffin is made from a yeast dough or brewer's yeast.

For 12-14 muffins:
Baking soda - the tip of a teaspoon
Butter - 6,3 oz (180 g)
Flour - 3 cups (380 g)
Milk - 1 cup (250 ml)
Baking powder - 1 sachet
Lemon - the grated zest of 1
Salt - 1 pinch
Eggs - 2 + 1 yolk
Vanilla powder - 1 sachet
Sugar - 1 cup (200 g)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Soften up the butter at room temperature, then put it into a bowl and beat it strongly together with the sugar and the vanilla powder with the help of a food processor or with an electric beater.
Add the grated lemon zest and the salt, then beat the mixture for few minutes more, until creamy. Break the eggs, pour them into a bowl together with the milk and beat them with a fork.
Add the milk and egg mixture little by little, always beating, to the cream made of butter and sugar and continue until you get a smooth, fluffy and even consistency. Mix and sift the flour, the baking powder and the baking soda in a bowl and pour them little by little through a sifter into the mixture, until everything becomes creamy and lumpless.
Place spoonfuls of dough into the muffin moulds lined with paper baking cups (if you don't have the paper baking cups, you can butter and flour the mould itself), filling them almost to the brim; bake them for about 20-25 minutes. Once cooked and golden brown, turn off the oven and let the muffins rest inside for 5 minutes with the oven door open; after that, you can take them out and let them cool down completely.

If you want you can sprinkle your muffins with powdered sugar on top; otherwise, when they are just out of the oven, you can make an icing by brushing them with some melted butter and sprinkling a mix of sugar and cinnamon on top.

The American muffins can be described as a cross between cake and bread: with less sugar and butter you can obtain a bread-like muffin; on the contrary, with a higher sugar and butter content you can make a cake-like muffin.