Muffins are somewhat of a gamble. The café ones look delicious sitting there at the counter and luring me into buying them, but often they leave me disappointed, being too dry and crumbly, or not being made up of what they pretend to have in them. If I buy a blueberry muffin, I want it moist, brimming with plump blueberries. But too often, you end up with a cheater that only has a few sad blueberries in the top, visible part and where the rest of the muffin is dry and tasteless crumbles. Or, maybe even worse, one that is filled with overly sweet, industrial blueberry jam. Yuck. And then there are those muffins with fluffy toppings whose prettiness just begs you to get one. But if you manage to take a bite without smearing fluff all over your face (seriously: how are you supposed to eat that huge thing?) you get something so sweet that it makes your teeth curl up and cry.
Having said that, muffins can be really good, especially if they have something extra (by which I do not mean pink, über-sweet sugar goo on top). Plain ones often bore me, so I usually add a crumbly topping or a filling of some kind. Tonight's recipe is a total experiment: I decided to add a cheese cake filling (adapted from this recipe which is super yummy and you should totally try!) to my basic apple muffins.
Now, these did not turn out the way I wanted. They are still delicious, but not what I had in mind. I wanted them to have a cheese cakey center, but my filling got too loose and floated out on top of the muffin batter instead of staying in a nice little dollop. That was entirely my fault: I realized too late that I didn't have normal cream cheese but instead a new kind made partly of yoghurt and thus not as solid. Mixed with the egg, it got way too runny and impossible to use as a filling. Instead it kind of floated out and mixed with the muffin batter. The result was to my liking though: an incredibly moist muffin, as far from dry and crumbly as you get. The cream cheese also adds a little salty tang which was really nice.
I found that I only had four muffin paper cups, so I made quite a small batch. My paper cups were the large "American" kind, if you use smaller cups you'll probably end up with twice as many muffins.
Apple muffins with "failed" cream cheese filling
Makes 4 large muffins or 8 small ones
For the muffin batter:
1 dl sugar
25 g butter
½ dl milk
1½ dl flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
Dash of nutmeg
1 tart apple
For the cream cheese "filling":
1 small egg
100 g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia Yoghurt)
40 g sugar
Cinnamon for sprinkling
Start with the muffin batter: Beat the egg and sugar until light and fluffy. Melt the butter, remove from heat and add the milk. Stir that into the egg mixture. Mix the flour with baking powder and nutmeg and blend until just incorporated. Dice the apple (peel it first if you want to, I didn't) and add to the batter.
For the cream cheese stuff, just blend all the ingredients together using a mixer. Fill your muffin cups about half full with batter. Pour over some of the cream cheese filling. Add the rest of the batter, and top with remaining cream cheese. Sprinkle over some cinnamon and then swirl around gently using a small spoon. Bake at 190 degrees C for 18-20 minutes.