From Noble Pig
It's the middle of May and it's cold. I needed a reason to turn on my oven (since I can think of turning on the furnace in the middle May!). My children love anything that resembles breakfast food and muffins are the cream of the crop, so we thought we'd give these a try.
Makes 24 muffins
Nonstick Cooking Spray
10.5 oz (2-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
4.5 oz. (1 cup plus 2 Tbs) cake flour (I just used all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 oz (6 Tbs) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
6 Tbs granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/3 cups buttermilk, room temperature
Confectioners sugar, jam, maple syrup
Position rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400o F. Liberally spray two 12-cup muffin pans with cooking spray. Don't miss a spot.
In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a large, clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed to firm (but not dry) peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the mixer on the medium-high speed until thick, ribbony, and lemon-yellow, about 6 minutes. (This just looks pretty an decadent, I imagined myself working in a professional bakery while doing this. It was lovely).
To the egg yokes, add the melted butter, sugar and vanilla; mix on medium-low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add one-third of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Add one-third of the buttermilk and mix to combine. Alternate adding the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk, ending with the buttermilk and mixing until just combined.
With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter, leaving some streaks. (The batter may be prepared up to this point up to 2 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
Fill the muffin cups to the rim. Bake, rotating the pans after 10 minutes, until browned on top and puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out dry, about 20 minutes.
To remove muffins, gently swirl an offset spatula around each muffin and pop it out.
*We ate ours for lunch. This is a bit more time intensive then I usually have patience for in the morning, but I could see it being done--perhaps if I ever managed to wake up 1 hour before my children with nothing else I wanted to do. We ate them with homemade blackberry and strawberry jam, and of course my 6 year old had at least one of his with suryp. Putting the jam inside made this more of a finger-food (yeah!). The flavor of the muffins are very pancake-like, but they also remind me of a cream puff or eclair without the filling. Cold days are for cooking and today I'm especially grateful for a toasty kitchen!