The sun is out, the flowers are in bloom, and absolutely gorgeous cherries are for sale (so of course I did not come back empty handed!) what a perfect day you may say! *Sigh* Why can't life always be that simple?
I was of course going to enjoy some of the cherries I brought back home on their own, scrumptiously raw and sweet, but I also felt like using them in some muffins. I have been in fruity muffin moods lately...maybe because the thought of waking up to a cup of coffee and a muffin studded with some summer fruits was something I didn't want to just be dreaming about at night- but waking up to it too.
But... cherry muffins? That sounded so...blah...bland? So I thought that maybe adding a touch of mahlepi to the batter could spark some muffin magic and make it intensely cherrylicious. In effect, mahlepi is the seed kernel of a sour cherry variety. In our family, we have used ground mahlepi in many traditional bread and cookie recipes and it always adds a unique flavour... it is said that it has the taste of bitter almond and cherry...but to me it is a truly mysterious taste- in a good way of course- and in all honesty, I really wouldn't know how to describe it. So my only suggestion is, if you aren't familiar with mahlepi, you'll never know what you're missing out on unless you give it a try!
This is what ground mahlepi looks like (below). The funny thing about mahlepi is that it doesn't really smell like anything, unlike other spices, but a small teaspoon of this just bursts with fragrance once baked!
And it would come to form a lovely duet with some cherries:
Yes, my muffin paper moulds did not fit...but sometimes you have to work with what you have! What I really wanted to show actually was the sprinkle of brown sugar on the muffin batters before popping them into the oven.
While they baked, I came accross a beautiful zebra-ish rose in the garden...thought I would share :)
And there they were, cherry mahlepi muffins -for real- so I no longer have to dream about coffee and fruity muffins for breakfast!
Recipe for Cherry - Mahelpi muffins:
makes 6 large muffins or 12 small muffins
100gr butter, softened
100gr brown sugar + some for sprinkling at the end
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon rosewater
1.5 teaspoons ground mahlepi
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
Cherries, unpitted, diced
Preheat oven to 180C. In a bowl, mix the eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla and rosewater. Then add the flour, mahlepi, baking powder and salt. Mix well until batter is smooth. Add the diced cherries and mix the batter gently with a wooden spoon or spatula. Fill up muffin moulds up 3/4 full, sprinkle some brown sugar on top and bake for 20 minutes at 180C. Once baked, let cool and enjoy