Aside from my courses and part-time work, I wanted to join some clubs on campus. I joined the Photo Club and the Baking Society. Yup, you read that right, my new uni has a baking club! For the first meeting, I baked a batch of these delectable zucchini chocolate brownies. Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures, but I promise to write a post about them next time I bake them (which will definitely happen, that recipe is SO good!). Each week is given a theme as well as a challenge recipe for daring bakers. Last week’s theme was cinnamon.
Since I am abroad without my collection of cookbooks, I browsed baking blogs in search of cinnamon baked goods. I chose to bake muffins since that category on my blog consisted of only two recipes so far. Also, a previous tenant left a muffin tin behind, so no need to purchase new baking pans! New exchange friend and avid baker Katharina came over in the afternoon to bake a batch of these for the meeting. I live in an off-campus student house by Coogee Beach. One of the reasons I signed the lease was the commercial grade kitchen, a foodie’s dream (though it can get messy with 32 (!) housemates).
I had an essay to write, so I was looking for a simple, quick recipe. This one claimed to only require one bowl and 30 minutes. I was sold. The ingredient list comprised of pantry staples (yes, Nutella counts as a pantry essential!) so no need to head out for groceries.
Since the Nutella apocalypse is on its way, I thought I’d indulge in some of the divine chocolate hazelnut spread while I still can. Have you seen The Kitchn’s post about the Nutella shortage? The recipe said to add 1 teaspoon of Nutella to each muffin. I thought 1 tablespoon sounded more like it! Scoop a dollop of the Italian spread in the centre of each muffin before covering it up with more batter. A burst of hazelnut chocolaty goodness oozes from the centre when you bite into the muffin. Pure, unadultered Nutella at its best. Bliss. Sticky, delicious fingertips are inevitable.
These muffins have a baked doughnut quality to them. Dunk the muffin top into melted butter and roll it in cinnamon sugar. These breakfast treats are great to grab on the go (I tend to sleep in and rush out to class at the last minute). This recipe does not yield many muffins, but it doubles easily.
Kitchen accessories: A couple weekends ago, the Photo Club and I spent Saturday morning at the Rocks for the outdoor foodie and artisan market. As I strolled among the kiosks, I came across a father-son duo selling beautiful hand-painted Turkish bowls. Originally from Ankara, the father travels to Turkey each year to find these gems and bring them back to Sydney.
Recipe Source: Sally’s Baking Addiction
Yields 8 muffins
1/3 cup (5 tablespoons or 75g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablepoons Nutella
•cinnamon sugar topping
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter
1) Preheat the oven to 425F.
2) Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
3) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed.
4) Beat in tAdd the egg, vanilla and milk.
5) Use a spatula to gently fold in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir until just incorporated, be careful not to over-mix.
6) Scoop a heaping spoonful of batter into each cup.
7) Add a dollop of Nutella over the batter.
8) Scoop some more batter over the Nutella.
9) Bake for 5 minutes.
10) Lower the oven temperature to 350F and keep baking the muffins for 13 to 17 minutes.
11) Transfer the muffin pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
•cinnamon sugar topping
1) Melt the butter.
2) In a separate bowl, stir the sugar and cinnamon together.
3) Dip the top of each muffin into the melted butter.
4) Dip the muffin tops into the cinnamon sugar.
Store the muffins in an airtight container for up to 1 week. The muffins freeze well for up to 3 months.