Never thought, baking these simple muffins would become so challenging. On one of the crazy Monday mornings I decided to make these muffins (wrong day I know!), when the daughter would be away to school and hubby off to his office. I find myself most relaxed on Monday mornings coz when these two are away, I am able to plan my day and the week ahead.

However, I also needed to re-stock my fridge and pantry. After my domestic help left, post cleaning the house, I soaked the saffron in milk (so that the flavours would steep in the milk & would attain beautiful colour by the time I was ready to bake these beauties) and make a dash for the market at noon. I was back home just in time before daughter arrived home from school. Post snacks and chit chatting I headed to the kitchen and opened the fridge and there were no eggs. Darn. Went again to the market and bought eggs.

Came back and took out the mixing bowl and measuring spoons and rest of the paraphernalia to start prepping the muffins. Out came the ingredients and there was half a cup flour. Like seriously!? What was I thinking when I went to the market!?! Aren’t these the basics that one checks when one is planning of baking something. In my enthusiastic endeavour to bake these muffins (I am a sucker for saffron), I forgot that I had, on my daughter’s demand, baked the Chocolate & Orange Cake couple of days back and was running low of flour. A visit again to the market for flour and back. I even ran out of caster sugar and compensated the balance amount with coconut sugar. (Honestly, by now I was exasperated with myself)

I finally made these muffins in the evening by seven (so much for planning my day) and my only consolation was that these muffins turned out really good. Beautiful texture and warm spicy flavors of saffron (although the saffron lay soaking in the milk for nearly eight hours) with subtle hints of cardamom and almond – almost felt like having a dessert.

¼ tsp crushed Saffron

1 tbsp Milk

1½ C All Purpose Flour (Maida)

¼ C Quick cooking Oats

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/3 C Oil

1 scant C Caster Sugar & Coconut Sugar (equal amount of each, to make one scant cup)

2 Eggs (Ones I used were 60 grams each)

¼ tsp Almonds Essence

175 grams Ricotta Cheese

Almonds flakes to sprinkle on the top (optional)

In a small bowl, heat milk and add crushed saffron to it. Mix and set aside for atleast 2 – 3 hours.

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, oats and baking powder.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil for two minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time and whisk till incorporated.

Add almonds essence and ricotta and whisk till just incorporated.

Add flour (I added whole of it in one go) and whisk till just incorporated. Do not over mix.

Spoon the batter in baking cups or muffin liners. Fill until each is a little less than ¾th full.

Sprinkle each cup/liner with almond flakes.

Bake in the oven for approximately 20 – 25 minutes or till the muffins are done (insert a skewer in the centre of a muffin and if it comes out clean, the muffins are done)

Note – I had to keep ricotta on a strainer lined with cheese cloth (for nearly an hour) to get rid of excess water.

Note – The amount of saffron will depend on the quality of saffron you use. I had used Kashmiri saffron and one fourth teaspoon of crushed saffron was sufficient. Any more, and it would have become over powering in the muffins.

Yield – 6

Thanks for your visit and see you soon again with another exciting recipe!

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