It’s been a long time since I’ve made muffins first thing on a weekend morning. It’s such a pleasurable thing to do: mixing the batter while the coffeemaker drips and hisses and the heating oven warms up the cold kitchen, while nearby a cat who’s eaten his fill of kibble licks a paw and tends to his bath in a patch of sunshine. The rising scent of baking — batter, spices and additions like fruit or nuts — perfumes the air while I empty the dishwasher, tidy up and set the table. Through the oven window I see the muffins swelling and browning. Anticipation becomes keener once the timer signals it’s time to remove them from the oven for at least a cursory cooling before devouring.
Sitting down with the newspaper and a platter of muffins, still too hot to eat but tempting enough to take the risk, I mull over whether to slather one with sweet butter or simply savour it as is. Usually, in the way of fools who burn their tongues, I rush in and enjoy at least the first one in all its unadorned, steaming glory.
Is there anything better than a fresh newspaper, hot coffee and warm muffins enjoyed in a kitchen fragrant from baking?
For this recipe, I decided to go tropical. I’ve been using a lot of coconut lately in dishes like these macaroons, and it was calling out to be paired with the bag of mango chunks in the freezer. For a hint of warm island spices I added cinnamon and allspice. The result was a gustatory getaway to the tropics on a spring morning that still felt like winter.
I’ll definitely be booking my ticket for more tropical breakfasts right here at the Urban Cottage.
Coconut Mango Muffins
Coconut Mango Muffins
© Marlene Cornelis, Urban Cottage Life.com
Like most of my muffin recipes, this one contains some whole wheat flour and bran as well; after all, fibre is our friend. Instead of milk or sour milk, I used kefir in this recipe, a probiotic-laden fermented milk that’s like runny yogourt in texture. You could try substituting buttermilk, milk soured with a tablespoon of plain white vinegar, or plain, unsweetened yogourt.
Preheat the oven to 400℉ and line a 12-compartment tin with large (extra-large if you can find them) paper baking cups.
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup wheat bran
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1-1/4 cups kefir
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup canola or grapeseed oil
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped mango (half-inch pieces; I used frozen)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
In a large bowl, mix the flours, bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
In another bowl, combine the kefir, maple syrup, vanilla, oil, egg and sugars. Stir with a whisk until well combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until mixed together well. Fold in the mango and coconut.
Using a large ice cream scoop with a built-in scraper, divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups. They will be about 3/4 full.
Bake in the 400℉ oven for 25 minutes, or until the muffins have risen high and are nicely browned; some of the tops will be cracking.
Remove the tray from the oven and set on a rack to cool for a few minutes before decanting the individual muffins onto the cooling rack. While I’ve been known to eat one or two while they’re still hot, I think they’re best while pleasantly warm. That said, cold muffins make a great snack throughout the day.