Friday, January 20, 2017


I love coffee cakes. Basically, I love coffee, so anything that pairs well with coffee will naturally be my favourite. But, I don't like the crumbly texture coffee cakes usually tend to have. So I made these lovely soft muffins to pair with my morning decaf. I love how cinnamon and cocoa enhance the coffee flavour and the crunchiness in the topping is just a bonus.
It does melt into the muffins just a little as they bake, but it mainly stays on top and crunchy as they cool. They are so delicious and fragrant, perfect for a quick snack with coffee. Now, because of the buttery topping, the bottoms of the paper cups will be a tad bit greasy. You can solve this in two ways.
You can put a teaspoon or two of uncooked rice (any kind) on the bottom of each of the holes of the muffin tin, before placing in the paper liners. By doing that, the rice absorbs the grease during the baking, and the liners are left (somewhat) grease-free once the muffins are baked and ready. Or you can just transfer the cooled muffins to new liners and discard the ones they were baked in.

For the muffins
120 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
60 grams butter, softened
100 grams sugar
1 large egg
120 grams sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
For the topping
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cocoa powder

To make the muffins, place the softened butter in a large bowl, add the sugar and beat with an electric mixer on high for about a minute or two, until light in colour and completely creamy. Sift the flour into another bowl along with the baking powder. Add the egg to the butter, along with one tablespoon of the flour mix and the almond extract. The flour will just help emulsify the batter. Beat the egg and butter until creamy and smooth. Add the rest of the flour and the sour cream, then beat the batter with an electric mixer on low until just combined. Divide the batter evenly between six standard size muffin cups and set it aside for the time being.
For the topping, place the butter in a medium bowl, add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cocoa powder and blend it all together using a fork or a pastry cutter. Do not use an electric mixer because it will make it smooth and batter-like, and you need it to be crumbly. Continue pressing and mashing with a fork until the topping resembles coarse sand. Sprinkle it evenly on tops of the muffin batter and bake in a preheated oven, at 180˚C (350˚F) for about 12-15 minutes. Check them with a toothpick to make sure they do not overbake. Let them cool completely, then serve with coffee. Yields 6 standard muffins. ©Tina Vesić 2017