Saturday, November 18, 2006

Orange Yogurt Muffins

Fruit is a funny thing. Sometimes you can love the flavor but hate the fruit it came from or vice versa. For instance, I love strawberries but I dislike anything that is strawberry-flavored. When it comes to oranges, I dislike the fruit but love the flavor in nearly anything else.

I found this recipe for orange yogurt muffins on the Better Homes and Gardens web site. Unfortunately, like many recipes that come from the U.S., it calls for ingredients which I either can't get or are likely to be different in their composition in a Japanese version. In this case, the recipe called for orange yogurt which I've rarely seen in local markets.

I decided to improvise since this recipe held a lot of appeal for me. I also changed the preparation method so that it's simplified and faster to get together. This had the added benefit of allowing me to reduce the sugar and substitute Splenda for part of it. I omitted the glaze entirely.

Here's my modified recipe:

Dry ingredients:
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup granular Splenda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Wet ingredients:
  • 1 medium to large orange
  • 200 grams/7 oz. plain (unsweetened) yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup Canola oil
  • dash of vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Centigrade). Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl. Stir in the salt, Splenda, and sugar. Wash the orange and grate the outer skin to make zest. Be sure not to grate down to the pith. Peel half the orange and place the segments in a small bowl food processor (such as a Braun Multiquick processor). Process the orange at low speed until it resembles applesauce. Add the yogurt and process at low speed again. Add the egg, oil, grated orange zest and vanilla and process again until well-blended. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Stir carefully until just mixed. It should be lumpy. Do not overmix or you will overwork the gluten in the flour and your muffins will be tough. Grease the bottom only of muffin cups or use a papers. Fill each cup 2/3 of the way to the top with batter and bake for about 15 minutes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Note: If you want to use sugar and no Splenda, you can use 3/4 cup of sugar. I use 1/4 cup of added sweetener/sugar compared to the original recipe because I use plain yogurt and it adjusts for the unsweetened yogurt.

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