Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Grapefruit Buttermilk Muffins

Turns out getting half a grapefruit to stand up and not look funny is quite difficult (especially when it was zested)
Grapefruit has been something that I have kind of always despised due to engrained hatred from my childhood following the tragic destruction of my village by renegade grapefruit rolling down the mountainside (or the fact I found them kind of super bitter for an overgrown, brightly colored orange). Recently, however, I have started to appreciate them thanks to their risotto flavoring abilities and the general awesomeness that is Shiner's Ruby Redbird summer seasonal. After seeing some particularly tasty looking ones at the farmer's market, I decided to find a way to incorporate them into some sort of baked good for my inaugural voyage with my apartment's oven.
Stop trying to fool us, fake oranges!

Grapefruit Muffins
Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24 muffins
Proceed to eating now!

1 cup butter, room temp
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Grated zest of 2 grapefruits 
1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp grapefruit zest + 1/2 cup sugar for topping

Avoid drinking the batter because there's really nothing more embarrassing than an egg white mustache
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the egg yolks one at a time and beat until well mixed.
  4. Mix in the grapefruit juice, zest and vanilla until combined. Note this will probably look pretty gross, but flour will fix this.
  5. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
  6. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk to the grapefruit mix. Be careful not to overmix.
  7. Take some time to shovel 1-50 spoonfuls of the world's most delicious batter. 
  8. Stop yourself when you remember you promised people muffins.
  9. Beat the egg whites into soft peaks. Fold them into the batter with a rubber spatula.
  10. Fill lined or greased muffin tins 2/3-3/4 of the way full with batter.
  11. Make the topping by stirring the grapefruit zest and sugar together.
  12. Generously sprinkle the topping on to each cupcake muffin.
  13. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the toothpick test comes back clean.
  14. Let the muffin tins cool on a wire rack for five minutes then remove the muffins to allow cooling to finish.
This is not nearly enough sugary, grapefruity topping.
Normally, I rush right in to talking about the delicious baked goods I have just eaten ungodly amounts of while reassuring myself that it was for my blog to avoid the shame and night crying. Today, I find myself needing to devote some time to talking about the batter. Following the magical batter tasting (which I'm pretty sure was scored to "Take My Breath Away"), I found myself not content with a single tasting. Rather, I had to ensure that the stand mixer paddle attachment was completely clean (so it wouldn't mess up the dishwasher...). Prior to adding the egg whites (because that looks far less appetizing for tasting), this might have been the greatest batter I ever tasted thanks to the incredibly powerful and refreshing grapefruit punch. This base definitely needs to be incorporated in future treats.

Now to figure out a grapefruit icing because, let's not kid ourselves, this is essentially a cupcake
The end result was a fantastic citrusy breakfast muffin with a delightful cakeyness. Sadly, some of that great grapefruit power was weakened post baking, but that didn't stop these fresh treats from being devoured faster than any of my baking that I've ever brought to work. Fortunately, this can be easily remedied by buying extra grapefruit for zesting, so you can properly encase the tops in a sugary grave. 

The Scientific Dynamics of Muffin Topography in Greased vs. Lined Systems
T. Kennair, Science (awaiting acceptance and for the editor to stop laughing)

These muffins not only tasted amazing, but they also provided an important lesson in the baked sciences. I've had issues with muffins getting stuck to baking tins before, so I decided to fill half of them with liners in case thing went awry (plus, I still had some pretty sweet heart decorated cupcake liners from Valentine's Day). The naked muffins produced more of a traditional muffin top, while the lined ones were more of a super flabby love handle. Despite their physical shortcomings, the vertically challenged variety won the taste contest by proving more moist. 

Stay tuned as I contemplate how long I can go without posting following 3 entries in half a week (and as I regret forgetting to take out the trash from baking prior to leaving for three days)!

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