It's been a little quiet around here. I'll be remedying that soon! I have so many excellent recipes to share with you guys. Sometimes the heat of the summer sends me running from the oven (and there have been plenty of those days), but I've had some great successes lately with new recipes and also tried-and-true favorites.
Despite plenty to say, I fall into the trap of writing and re-writing the same items on my to-do list, only to not cross them off...then with each passing day, it feels like a more monumental task to accomplish something simple! The best way to counteract this, for me, is to break my items into smaller, more manageable pieces. Case in point: Do I need to write a novel here since I've haven't posted in nearly 2 weeks? No! I can leave you with a fantastic recipe to try, and a few thoughts, and frankly that's probably all many of you have the time or inclination to read in your own busy lives. (Okay okay, busted, that was me trying to convince myself that a short post is better than none at all. Let me own it! I'm owning it! But GUYS, you probably are busy, because we're all humans out there just doing our thing.)
Back to the topic at hand. Oh wait. I have not told you the topic at hand! Okay here it is: TURMERIC.
Before you roll your eyes at me for getting all up on the golden milk/turmeric latte bandwagon, let me say that sometimes bandwagons are jumped upon because the aforementioned bandwagon is delicious. I do confess that I have been drinking turmeric lattes whenever I see them, or I make them for myself at home. For those uninitiated, a turmeric latte (often called golden milk) is a blend of warm milk (often almond milk) steamed with a turmeric spice blend. It's usually sweetened: my favorite version includes turmeric, ginger, vanilla bean paste, pink Himalayan sea salt, cinnamon, coconut powder, coconut sugar, black pepper, cayenne, and ginseng. It's sweet and spicy and creamy and downright comforting.
Or perhaps you already love turmeric! Common in lots of Indian and Asian cooking, it's a neat spice that works equally well in both sweet and savory dishes. It also has a tendency to turn everything in your kitchen a bright, vivid yellow if you aren't a naturally tidy cook, but that's neither here not there, and I'm sure Martha Stewart or someone can tell you how to remove turmeric stains from your [insert shorts, shirts, hands, etc. here].
In addition to being a fun flavor to cook and bake with, turmeric is supposed to have some pretty excellent health properties, notably as an anti-inflammatory. So basically eating one of today's muffins is like taking a preventative Advil. (You're welcome.) The inspiration for the recipe was an old cake I found in the Food52 archives for a vegan Lebanese tea cake. I loved the idea of the flavor profile, but wanted to transform it into muffins with a lighter texture and more spice.
The flavor is hard to pinpoint: earthy and warm and pepper-y. It's assertive, but not so much so that you can't pair it with other spices. In fact, I think it's ideal when you tame it with some sugar and some sort of richness, be it dairy or butter or a creamy almond milk.
Whether you love turmeric already, or whether you're wary of the flavor, try these muffins. You'll taste the spice but it's not at all overpowering. They're moist and tender, like a cross between a dense cornbread and a delicate muffin. They will rise in the oven but they stay less light and lofty than a traditional muffin, as the semolina flour makes a tighter crumb than a muffin with all all-purpose flour.
I've tried baking them with both all-purpose flour and a gluten-free flour blend, and both work beautifully. I've also made them with whole milk, 2% milk, and almond milk, and all three work well. If you do use almond milk, bear in mind that every brand is a little different: some are thicker than others, but make sure to choose an unsweetened variety. I've only tried these with Califia Farms so if you try another type (or a soy or coconut milk), report back and let me know!
TURMERIC CARDAMOM CORN MUFFINS
2 cups semolina flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or a gluten-free flour blend)
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
1 cup vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, or grease the wells.
Whisk together the semolina flour, all-purpose flour, turmeric, baking powder, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, and black pepper. Whisk in the oil and mix well to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and milk until the sugar dissolves some (doesn't need to dissolve entirely).
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently until well-incorporated.
Scoop the batter (it will be thin) into your prepared pan. I like to fill the wells up quite high so the the muffins rise better.
Bake the muffins for 25-35 minutes, or until domed and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.