Thursday, October 23, 2008
Sweet Corn Muffins
This story starts with a lonely box of yellow cornmeal. I bought this box of cornmeal several weeks ago because I wanted to make the Fried Green Tomatoes that JS and TS of Eating Club Vancouver insist we try. This box has been sitting in my pantry untouched because I could not find large green tomatoes!!! I don't think that is a usual produce here... but I am still on the lookout for green tomatoes! Never say never...
Yesterday, I lovingly took out the box from the pantry, and took a good look at it. I was thinking of putting it to some other use. There were several recipes printed at the back of the box. The corn muffins recipe stood out. I just have all the ingredients on hand. Plus, it does not need a mixer. It only needs 2 bowls and a spatula or a wire whisk. Just mix, pour, bake! I love simple and easy to prepare recipes like this! Here is the exact recipe:
1 and 1/2 C all-purpose flour
2/3 C granulated sugar
1/2 C yellow cornmeal
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 and 1/4 C milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 C vegetable oil
3 T butter, melted
Of course, the adventurous (stupid?) newbie baker that I am, I have to make my own tweaks. I do not understand why I have this habit. I definitely have to change a thing or two in a recipe. Maybe this is why I can never be a good baker. Sometimes, the product that comes out is something I have imagined and wanted. (Like these sweet corn cupcakes.) Of course, sometimes, I get failures, too. Maybe this blog should be called a series of kitchen experiments. :) Anyway, here are my tweaks and why I did them:
Because I wanted to use the whole wheat flour I newly bought, and I wanted the muffins to have more "cornmeal" taste, I changed the proportion. I used 1 cup whole wheat flour to 1 cup of cornmeal.
I used washed brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar. Brown sugar has lower caloric value than the white sugar, and yet it has deeper flavor than the white sugar. I also added some honey, not only for the taste, but also for the color.
Because I wanted to make sure my muffins become fluffy, I added 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
Because I have read on various baking blogs that the addition of yogurt would make cakes moist, I figured, it would make the muffins moist as well. So, I reduced the amount of milk and added yogurt.
I used canola oil which is a healthier type of vegetable oil because of its low saturated fat content and high monosaturated fat content.
I added whole kernel corns,too. I figured most muffins have nuts, but since these are corn muffins, why not add whole kernel corns?
What else? Oh, I omitted the butter. I felt the muffins are already rich enough.
Here is the final recipe I used:
1 C whole wheat flour
1 C yellow cornmeal
1/3 C washed brown sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 T salt
1 C fresh milk (you can use non-fat)
1/2 C creamy unflavored yogurt (you can also use non-fat)
2 T honey
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 C + 2 T canola oil
1 C whole kernel corns (I used canned, well drained)
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease 12 large muffin pans or line with paper cups.
2. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, the whole wheat flour, yellow cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
3. In another bowl whisk together eggs, milk, yogurt, honey, canola oil. Add in the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Add in the whole corn kernels as well. Stir just until blended. Do not overmix.
4. Spoon into prepared muffin pans or muffin cups filling only 2/3 full (or 3/4 full), bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for a few minutes. Remove to wire racks when warm enough for handling.
The result? Yummy, moist cupcakes filled with corn goodness and taste! Can you see from the picture that the original paper cups are so moist I have to add an additional layer of paper cups for serving?
Sharing these sweet corn muffins with The Heart of the Matter:Eating for Life community, hosted this month by Ilva of Lucillian Delights: An Italian Experience. The theme this month is yellow-orange. These corns muffins certainly are the perfect color! And they are made heart-healthy with using whole wheat flour, cornmeal and whole corn kernels, yogurt, and the omission of butter. The goal of this event is to encourage each one of us to cook healthier food, to be more proactive in taking care of our heart-health. Please check out her blog by the end of the month for the round-up of heart-healthy dishes.