I think I must have mentioned this in just about every post in the last month, but it really does seem to be heading for hibernation season, and I just can't take my food focus off that! Comfort food is my friend - so long as you can eat it warm, it contains a large proportion of carbs and it tastes good it has my name written on it. And it is with this in mind (with a little bit of the fridge genocide thrown in for good measure) that these ginger muffins come to you.
Ginger has got to be one of my favourite flavours, and it works well in so many configurations. Ginger crunch is a mighty foe to the hips; stem ginger cake packs a heady punch; and ginger kisses are a Kiwi classic which are surprisingly easy to make yourself. I guess I use the mighty root a lot in my baking! ;-)
This recipe calls for stem ginger in syrup, but as we established when making the stem ginger cake for my Grandpa's 80th birthday (because stem ginger for cake for 100 people is expensive!) crystallised ginger will do just as well - just rinse the excess sugar off and it will work pretty much exactly the same.
Similarly, I used buttermilk because it was languishing in the fridge (actually a couple of days past its use-by, but I have trouble heeding use-by dates on products that are supposed to be curdled!), but yoghurt works just as well.
The recipe was a little more involved than I anticipated when I embarked on the muffin mission - creaming butter and sugar as well as processing the ginger was a bit more effort (mainly in the cleanup department) than I'd signed on for - I always think of muffins as having oil instead of butter so I felt a bit ripped off when I read through the recipe. Still, the ingredients matched my fridge and the result was worth the effort.
The batter was pretty sticky - typically for muffin batter but it did make a mess of my impractically high-sided (but good looking!) baking papers.
They baked up beautifully - they are utterly delicious, light and very muffiny (as opposed to cakey, if you know what I mean). The ginger in these is quite gentle, not too powerful.
Because all muffins need a little something extra on top - cheese and paprika for savoury muffins, usually some type of sugar for sweet - I liberally applied raw sugar to these, and that crunchy sugar on topping was definitely a win. Do you have any little tweaks you always must add to your baking?
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup stem ginger
1 cup sugar
140g butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
Preheat oven to 180 C. Mix together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt and set aside. Add the stem ginger and 1/4 cup of sugar to a food processor. Pulse into a paste.
Cream butter and remaining 3/4 cup of sugar together, beating until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated after each one. Beat in the ginger paste. Beat in one third of the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then half of the yogurt, and repeat until all ingredients combined. Be careful not to overbeat.
Grease or line a muffin pan. Divide the batter between the cups. Sprinkle with raw sugar if desired. Bake until muffins are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. When a knife comes out clean they are ready.