These fluffy saffron muffins were inspired by a short trip I took to Stockhalm, last year . Many of the traditional Swedish sweets contain this spice and I found that fascinating. The spice is so strong (with this one…sorry, couldn’t help referencing to SW ) , that just a few strands of it gives so much color, flavor and fragrance. No wonder it’s the most expensive spice in the world . But I promise the price is totally worth it .
Golden scrumptious fluffy saffron muffins
Some fluffy saffron muffins seemed like a great choice. I really sought to bake something simple, that would let this wonderful spice shine and take center piece. Muffins seemed perfect. And I usually go for some extras in my muffins. Cranberries are just ideal for this recipe as they don’t overpower the saffron.
Cranberries and podcasts
Especially during Christmas, cranberries are a staple. I don’t recall seeing much of them in Romania, though I don’t recall seeing much of many foods back there. Mostly cause I wasn’t so absorbed by this topic and wasn’t paying much attention. But cranberries are definitely a staple in the Polish cuisine. Cranberry sauce is generally served along side duck meat dishes or with oscypek, a smoked cheese. The latter is present at all the festivals, fairs or markets, always serving the cheese grilled, with a dollop of cranberry sauce.
Talking about cranberries, for some weeks now I’ve been listening to a compelling podcast called FoodStuff. In case you haven’t figured it, the topic is FOOD. More specifically, every episode focuses on a food item and everything connected to it. Or as much as a 45-minutes episode can contain.
The ladies hosting the potcast present the history of the particular product, dig out a few curious facts, how the food is used or cooked and so on. In addition, they discussed the current aspect of it, how the product is being used nowadays, if it’s still popular or best locations to serve it. If you’re a food geek like me, this podcast is going to be such a treat. What I’ve listen to so far, to name a few, were the episodes on cranberries, quiche, ramen, rice , cinnamon and there’s even an episode on Eggos , if you’re a Stranger Things fan.
But back to MUFFINS now! Next time you crave muffins, try these phenomenally fluffy saffron muffins and make sure you listen to FoodStuff while baking them .
1 teaspoon saffron (0, 7 grams )
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vodka
115 grams butter, at room temperature
2/3 cups (150 grams) brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups (220 grams) flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (30 ml) milk, at room temperature
150 grams dried or fresh cranberries
Yields 10 muffins
The day before baking
- 1 day before baking the muffins, infuse the vodka with the saffron. The vodka will extract all that wonderful saffron flavor and it will evenly distribute it thru the batter. You will notice that it will turn a bright yellow – orange
Day of Baking
- When it’s time to make the muffins, first pre-heat the oven at 220 degrees Celsius
- Whisk the soft butter for 1 minute. Add the sugar and whisk until light, fluffy and a pale yellow, for about 2-3 minutes. It’s crucial to have the butter softened at room temperature, to allow the sugar to mix well and incorporate in the butter. During baking, these will create pockets of air and result in super fluffy muffins. Add the eggs and buttermilk and mix until well incorporated
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Pour the eggs mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Add the milk and saffron infused vodka and give it a good whisk. Add the cranberries and mix with a spatula to evenly distribute.
- Line a muffin tin with muffin linens (alternatively grease the tin with butter and flour and remove the excess). Fill the linen all the way to the top. Unlike cupcakes, these should grow during baking as high as possible
- Bake them for 5 minutes at 220 degrees Celsius, then decrease the temperature to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for about 20 more minutes until golden. Baking them at high temperature in the first 5 minutes will result in high risen muffins and we all aim for those
- When they are done, let them cool for 5 minutes then remove them from the tin and place them on a rack, if available. Enjoy simple or with a bit of butter.
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