‘Toffee Apple’ Muffins with White Chocolate

Imagine a toffee apple dipped in white chocolate – now, have that luscious taste in a moist, light, and airy gluten-free muffin.

Butterscotch chips are available in most supermarkets in the baking aisle.

Makes: 24 muffins (but it’s easily halved if you need fewer)

 

Ingredients

  • 2 unwaxed lemons: finely grated zest, and juice
  • 250ml milk, at room temperature
  • 200g tart eating apple (approx. 2 apples such as Cox, Braeburn, etc), roughly grated (no need to peel, but you can if you like)
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 300g sugar (golden caster or golden granulated)
  • 4 large eggs (they should total 250-j270g when weighed in their shells)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 400g gluten-free flour
  • 3 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped into small chunks (or, white chocolate chips)
  • 75g butterscotch chips

Kit

  • Two 12-hole muffin tins
  • 24 muffin cases
  • A citrus zester
  • A citrus juicer
  • A vegetable grater
  • 1 large mixing bowl, 2 small mixing bowls, and a measuring jug; plus a plate for zest
  • An electric mixer (hand-held or stand), if not creaming butter/sugar by hand
  • A sieve
  • A cooling rack

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (165 C fan-assisted). Line muffin tins with paper cases.
  2. Zest the lemons onto a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the juice of one lemon to the milk in the measuring jug, and set aside. (Yes, it will go “chunky” – it will react with the baking powder & bicarb, providing extra lift.)
  4. Grate the apples into a small mixing bowl, and add the juice of the other lemon. Lightly mix the fruit with the ground almonds, to thoroughly coat them – because coated fruit will not sink to the bottom during baking.
  5. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl; add eggs one at a time with the vanilla, and beat until creamy and smooth.
    If doing this manually, pre-beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add some of it at a time.
  6. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb, and spices into another small mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon zest. Add to the butter/sugar/egg mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk, beating well after each addition.
    Remember, this is gluten-free, so you don’t have to worry about over-mixing the dry with the wet. In fact, incorporate as much air as you can.
  7. Fold in the grated apple and white chocolate pieces and stir until evenly distributed.
  8. Spoon into muffin cases no more than 3/4 full to allow for rising. The mixture should ‘dollop’ and not be runny, but hold its shape. Sprinkle butterscotch chips over the top of each muffin (see Tip).
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, turning trays halfway through for even baking, until golden brown and the tops spring back quickly with a light finger touch. (Don’t use a skewer to test, as the molten butterscotch will be slightly wet.) Remove from the oven, remove muffins from trays, and leave to cool on a cooling rack.

Tip
The butterscotch chips will melt down through the muffins during baking. Piling them into the centre of each muffin will create a column of toffee through the middle (as per the recipe picture); or, you can spread them over the whole top for more even distribution.

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