These muffins were originally meant to be a cake, but laziness won over, once again. The reason for baking at all was that I wanted to try a new ingredient, and I wanted to practice some minimalist cake photography inspired by a post from Rachel Korinek of Two Loves Studio.
The ingredient I wanted to experiment with was Skyr, which is an Icelandic cultured dairy product, similar to yogurt. I first heard about this while watching the Food Network in the UK, catching a show where British chef Paul Hollywood travels around the world to visit bakeries and patisseries. On that particular show he visited Iceland and made a sponge cake using Skyr, which I found interesting but thought I might have to replace the Skyr with maybe Greek yogurt as I’d never heard of Skyr before and was sure I wouldn’t find it here. Imagine my surprise when I accidentally happened upon it at a local supermarket. I have an inkling that Skyr could become one of those “hyped” products before long, like kale, chia, and turmeric…
As for why I made muffins instead of cake – I just felt it would be easier, and also I wanted to take the finished product to work the next day, and muffins just transport more easily.
I adapted one of my previous muffin recipes, adding Skyr, coconut, lime zest and raspberries to the batter. The smell coming out of the oven was heavenly, and I was looking forward to tasting the first one to see how the consistency would be. Skyr is quite firm, not as soft or liquid as yogurt, but more like German quark with a milder taste.
This baking experiment was interesting with regards to the Skyr, I had no idea how it would influence the taste. The Skyr gives the muffins a moist but much firmer consistency than a classic sponge cake would have, which I did expect. Whereas typical muffins are lighter, these have more the weight of a heavy piece of sheet cake. The raspberries, coconut and lime make them taste quite refreshing, so all in all it was worth the try. I’ll probably experiment some more with Skyr in the future.
The only thing about these muffins I wasn’t entirely content with was the frosting. Although this is my quick go-to frosting, the cream cheese was too dominant for my taste. I really prefer a proper buttercream frosting. However, with the current 32ºC we’re having, just taking a few test shots made me break out in a sweat, so I didn’t want to slave over making buttercream. Maybe next time.
As for the experiment in minimalist food photography – decide for yourself 🙂 .
4 medium eggs, separated
150 g Skyr
80 g flour
50 g cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder or cream of tartar
50 g desiccated coconut
zest of 1 lime
250 g cream cheese
zest of 1 lime
Beat egg whites until stiff, then add sugar by the tablespoon while still whisking. The result should be glossy. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F (fan oven).
Whisk together egg yolks and Skyr, then add flour, cornstarch, baking powder/cream of tartar, and coconut.
Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter using a spatula first, then a whisk at the end to get a smoother consistency. Carefully add the raspberries, fold in but do not whisk.
Divide batter among 7 muffin moulds and bake for 20 minutes on middle shelf. Let cool completely before starting on the frosting.
For the frosting, mix together the cream cheese and icing sugar, adding icing sugar until the mix tastes more sweet than cheesy. Fill mixture into a piping bag and pipe frosting onto the muffins. Sprinkle each muffin with lime zest and decorate with a raspberry.