People have such unrealistic expectations of what a muffin should be. Nothing you’re going to bake at home is going to compare to the beasts that you find in a coffee shop. Not that that’s a bad thing at all. Compared to them, however, home-baked muffins can sometimes seem dull and lifeless. The trick is finding some sort of middle ground.
These are really my very favourite muffins of the moment. They are not particularly sweet, with only a touch of honey in the recipe, but what they lack in sugar they make up in smooth vanilla and the spicy trifecta of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. And not forgetting, of course, the chunks of sweet pear swimming through the batter. In the background, you have the warmth of the brown butter and the tang of greek yoghurt. Altogether, it makes for one very satisfying muffin experience.
- 55g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 115g (1 cup) whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 pear, roughly chopped
- 1 large egg
- 60ml (1/4 cup) honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 75g (4 tablespoons) greek yoghurt
- In a small pan over a low heat, melt the butter and let it bubble away until it’s golden with brown flecks. Take it off the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F (fan-assisted) and line a 6-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda/baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. Toss the pear in the flour mixture and then set aside.
- In a separate but also large bowl, mix together the browned butter, egg, honey, vanilla and yoghurt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold through a couple of times; add the pear and fold a few times again. As ever with muffins, don’t overmix; it doesn’t matter if there are still streaks of flour.
- Spoon into the muffin cases and bake for 18 -20 minutes until golden brown and firm.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.