The secret to a scrumptious orange poppyseed muffin lies within a good orange. One that is sweet, aromatic and picked at the height of the season. I came home from work one day with a dying urge to make a whole load of orange poppyseed muffins. Pretty random and impulsive but I guess we women are like that somehow. The urge was like an insect bite that needed a hell of a good scratch. With every passing minute, I got more and more angsty so I ventured down the road to my local supermarket and bought two oranges. Much to my dismay, the only oranges that were available were imported all the way from the USA. All the way from the other side of the planet! Needless to say, they didn’t taste all that great and those muffins could’ve been better. Still tasty but you know, what would you rather have? A sandwich or a piece of cardboard?
The second secret is a good recipe. I have been on a hunt for a good orange poppyseed muffin for a very, very long time. The search ends here for now. These muffins are fabulously moist and soft and bursting with flavour.
* These muffins are great for icing as they bake with a flat top and lack the distinct ‘muffin dome’.
ORANGE POPPYSEED MUFFINS
Makes: 12 muffins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
225g self-raising flour, sifted
150-175g caster sugar
1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
zest of a whole orange
2 large eggs
50ml freshly squeezed orange juice
50ml natural yoghurt
125g butter, melted and cooled
50ml vegetable oil*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
A few drops of natural orange essence (optional)
* For a denser muffin, omit vegetable oil and use 175g of butter
1. Heat oven to 180ºC and line a 12-hole muffin tin.
2. Mix the flour, sugar, lemon zest and poppy seeds together in a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs into the yoghurt, then tip this into the dry ingredients with the melted butter. Mix together with a spatula or whisk until lump-free. It shouldn’t take more than a minute. Do not over mix or you will end up with tough muffins. Fill the cases 3/4 full.
3. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Cool for 5 mins in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool further. Ice with sugar icing or cream cheese frosting, topped with a sprinkle of candied peel and poppy seeds. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.
1 cup icing sugar
2-4 tbsp milk
1. Stir milk into icing sugar. Keep stirring until all icing sugar is dissolved. If it is too runny, add more sugar. Too dry, more milk.
2. Drizzle a tablespoon onto each muffin. Top with candied peel and poppy seeds.