My mother has gone back. You know that cold silence after a resounding downpour? That quite sums it up. With her around there was always some clamour in the background – her tirelessly humming old Tamil songs or the knocking of pans and ladles in the kitchen.
Considering orange is one my favourite flavours in cakes, I realize I don’t use them much in baking. It’s an extremely generous fruit don’t you think? Apart from the fruit and juice, its zest provides a flavour like no other fruit, to cookies, cakes, tart shells and what have you?
It is rather a breakfasty fruit; I like waking up to a tall glass of freshly, squeezed orange juice. But what also makes for a delicious breakfast are muffins. Blueberry, banana, apples, walnut, honey, you name it; muffins take in flavours in a way that only muffins can.
I thought I’ll transform the quintessential orange juice into muffins this time and when you think of oranges for muffins, how can you leave out cranberries? Unfortunately, fresh cranberries are not readily available in India so I used dried ones instead. These muffins are a hundred percent eggless – I don’t know, my faith in eggless recipes with certain cakes is becoming surprisingly strong.
The tang from the oranges punctuated by the burst of cranberries is incredible. You don’t need jam or butter, just the muffins will do. I baked a batch for my mother to take with her for my cousins back in Madras.
- 320 g (2 ¼ cups) plain flour
- 200 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- Zest of an orange (Maltese), grated
- Juice of an orange
- ¼ cup canola oil (or any neutral flavoured oil)
- 1 2/3 cup milk
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup dry or fresh cranberries
Makes 12 muffins
- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a muffin tray with wrappers. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest.
- In another bowl, whisk together orange juice, oil, milk and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the cranberries. Fold just until combined.
- Ladle the batter to the prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes until risen.
- Allow muffins to cool down before serving.