Sweet potato with pineapple and fresh ginger.
Sweet potato with dates. Look at that fine crumb.
Prepared muffin pans with oat-brown sugar topping.
Filled to just about 1/2 inch from the top, leave enough room for them to rise.
Fresh baked muffins, mmm lekker.
In keeping with my goal of testing recipes multiple times, these sweet-potato pineapple muffins have been baked 4 times. The recipe has been adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup of candied ginger. Instead, I used 1/3 cup canned chopped pineapple, or dates. I add in 1 T of fresh grated ginger, along with 1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg.
Muffins are quick breads meaning that they don't need to leaven or rise. To bake muffins, mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, and all of the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and with a large spoon (not a hand or stand mixer) combine the wet and dry together with swift quick strokes. Avoid overmixing. The batter is ready when all of the flour is incorporated into the wet, a good rule of thumb is that the batter looks slightly undermixed. Drop batter by the spoonfuls into a greased muffin pan.
In general I try to make healthier modifications, but I find the proportions of this recipe work out nicely, and they aren't too sweet with a 1/2 cup of brown sugar, or heavy with 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. Subbing in whole-wheat pastry flour is fine. The pineapple and sweet potato make a delicious moist end product.
Sweet potato pineapple muffins
Yield: 1 dozen muffins
Ingredients listed in order of wet and dry:
1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (can use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup cooked sweet potato, mashed (canned or cooked pumpkin would work too)
1/3 cup canned chopped pineapple, or dates, or candied ginger
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (leave out if using candied ginger)
1/2 cup buttermilk (see note below)
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus a tiny bit extra to grease muffin pan
2 eggs, beaten
a heaping 1/2 cup of brown sugar (yes I know it's a dry ingredient, but add it to the wet ingredients first)
Note: if you don't have buttermilk, yogurt thinned with water works, or add 1/4 tsp of vinegar to a 1/2 cup of milk. Stir the milk and vinegar together and let stand 10 minutes.
Set oven to 375 ºF; grease a muffin pan or line them with muffin liners.
1. Combine the dry ingredients from flour to nutmeg in a medium-size mixing bowl. Stir together to ensure that it is well mixed. Set aside.
2. Combine the wet ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Stir together to combine. A sturdy spoon is sufficient as muffins do not require a hand or stand electric mixer.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. You should add the dry ingredients all at once. Stir together, scraping down the flour from the sides of the bowl. The mixing is done when the flour is mostly all incorporated into the wet batter. Undermixing is fine, but don't leave any huge clumps of flour.
4. Drop batter by the spoonful into a prepared muffin pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick or fork inserted comes out clean.
For the oat-brown sugar topping:
2 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp oats or more
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp brown sugar or regular sugar
small dribble of vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients. A fork works nicely to mash everything together. Distribute evenly over muffin batter once they are in the muffin pan. Seriously, I've been making this topping since my 9th grade home-ec class.