I will admit that I was inspired by this recipe while perusing Better Homes and Gardens web site. They had a cake on offer which was orange and ginger. That cake was everything you'd expect, fat and sugar included. I didn't want to adapt the cake recipe, but the combination of ginger and orange sounded intriguing. It also reminded me of an episode of Fawlty Towers in which the main character, inn owner Basil Fawlty, is repeatedly asked for a "ginger and orange" drink by a guest and repeatedly fails to make it for him.
In the first experimental batch, I made this with two teaspoons of ginger, but I think that one teaspoon is a better balance. The ginger totally overwhelmed the orange flavor. I also put very thin half slices of orange on top of the muffins, but I would not recommend doing it for future efforts. It may look a little nice, but the orange adds nothing and may taste a little bitter depending on the variety of orange you are using. Mine also dried out and got a bit darker than expected.
The muffin itself had a good texture and rose very well. These are large muffins, and not quite as sweet as some my other offerings. I reduced the Splenda because I think that more weakly flavored muffins tend to be overwhelmed by sweetness if there is too much sweetener in them. I'm experimenting with pumpkin muffins and I have found that the pumpkin really faded into the background behind the sweetness so I need to tweak it some more.
Ginger Orange Muffins (sugar-free, low-fat, whole wheat):
juice and zest of 1/2 of a large orange (or one small one)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
3/4 cup Splenda granular
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
- Add the vinegar to the milk, stir, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Whisk the juice, zest, applesauce, milk mixture, Splenda, oil, ginger, egg, and salt together until smoothly combined.
- Sprinkle the flour over the liquid mixture and gently stir just until the flour is moistened. Allow this to rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (190 degrees C.). Spray the bottoms of 6 muffin tins with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle the baking powder over the mixture and stir until just mixed.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared cups. They will be quite full.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs. Do not overbake as it will dry out the muffins.
- Allow to cool in the tins for at least 15 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges to loosen, pat gently if they stick to the bottom. Place on a rack for cooling.