I made a variation of Vanilla Pear Muffins on Friday night. At the time I thought the muffin mixture would be a goood base for other fruit muffins and so I tried it out with Blueberries.
I also used a white sugar blended with Stevia which I have been wanting to test. About a decade ago, I used splenda in my baking but was left with a odd bitterness. To avoid this I used half sugar and half splenda and that was ok. Now with Stevia sweeteners on the market I thought is would be good to try an alternative natural sweetener.
One concern I have when using sweeteners is that the texture of the baked good will be different. When creaming butter and sugar, air is incorporated and an emulsion forms which traps the air and helps the baked good to rise. When butter and sugar is not creamed for long enough, the emulsion is not stable. You can see this when incorporating eggs and the mixture curdles.
See, I like my baking. And I like the science of baking. Why mess with a good thing?
In my muffin recipe, the butter is melted and mixed with the wet ingredients and sugar… so it is less important. But still 🙂
There were two main changes to the Vanilla Pear Muffin recipe – swapping the pear for the blueberries and brown sugar for a white sugar/stevia blend which meant using half the amount of sugar.
The kJ dropped from 880 to 790 per serve. Not bad for these couple changes 🙂
Again, the lemon and vanilla added to the flavour of the muffin. I think the nutmeg is important as it adds another layer of flavour but it is barely noticeable. I was very happy with these 🙂 They were good warm, they were good the next day. They were sweet enough with no obvious aftertaste and the texture was good. I like the sugar blend and will use it again. I have had a request for raspberry muffins. And I still need to test the sugar blend in a recipe where the butter and sugar is creamed…
230g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one lemon, finely grated
80g white sugar blended with Stevia (There is a blend called Smart White Sugar blend in Australia by CSR which is 99.6% sugar and 0.4% Stevia)
4 tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup unsweetened apple puree
150g frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 200’C (400’F). Prepare 14 muffin cases (I have a 12 muffin tin and then use 2 ramekins to put the other 2 muffin cases in so that I can bake all of the muffins at once.)
Mix the flour, baking powder, nutemeg and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Mix the butter, oil, eggs, lemon zest, apple, vanilla, sugar in a second large bowl. Combine the wet and dry and mix to combine. Fold in the frozen blueberries. Spoon into the muffin cases.
Bake for 25 minutes (I had them in for 28) or until the tops of the muffins spring back when you press them lightly with your finger.
Makes 14 muffins
nutitional info per muffin:
788kJ, 9.9 g fat. 2.91 g protein, 21 g carb, 1.1 g fibre