I don’t have much of a sweet tooth though I have a few sweet things I like. On the list are cakey brownies, dark chocolate and milk chocolate so long as it’s not too sweet. I cannot resist mysorepak. The list is slightly longer but I guess you get the idea. I do not really like frosted confectioneries. I don’t mind the occasional muffin and if they’re citrusy like these Lemon Ricotta Muffins, that’s a plus.
Muffins are not unfrosted cupcakes. Cupcakes are really mini or individual cakes. They’re made by creaming butter and sugar, then beating in the other ingredients like for cake. They tend to b frosted or iced but cupcakes from my childhood were mostly plain on the top. Muffins on the other hand, are quick breads. So the process of making them is by minimally mixing the wet ingredients with dry ones.
Ricotta is an ingredient that’s difficult to source where I live. So I make a version of it at home whenever I need some. Ricotta is a fresh milk cheese made by reheating the whey used to make other cheese like Mozzarella. I make a cheat’s version of Ricotta much like I make paneer.
If you don’t have Ricotta you can use paneer but I would recommend using freshly made crumbly paneer. Dry store bought paneer doesn’t have the same level of moisture that Ricotta would have.
You’ll notice, in the recipe below, that I rub the lemon zest into the sugar before making the muffins. This releases the oils from the zest and gives the sugar a real lemon flavour. This lemon sugar produces a more lemony flavour than if you just added it to the batter.
This recipe makes Lemon Ricotta Muffins that are somewhat less sweet. You can increase the sugar to between 2/3 cup and 3/4 cup for sweeter muffins. Else you may can sprinkle granulated sugar on top for some crunch and added sweetness on the muffins. The other option is to drizzle a lemony sugar glaze on the baked muffins.
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 75 gm unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Granulated sugar for sprinkling optional
- Start by putting the lemon zest and the sugar in a smallish bowl. Rub the zest into the sugar using your fingers for a couple of minutes. Keep aside.
- Lightly whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the egg, melted butter, ricotta, milk, lemon extract and the lemon sugar, adding the lemon juice last, in a medium sized bowl till smooth.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, and mix together in a folding motion. Do not over mix. Fold or stir everything together till just mixed. Over mixing will produce very dense and chewy muffins.
- Using a large spoon or ice-cream scoop, fill each paper lined muffin cup with batter to just under 3/4th full each. Sprinkle the top of each with granulated sugar or drizzle with glaze after baking.
- Bake at 200C (400F) for about 20 minutes till they’re done. These muffins are pale so do not brown or they will over bake. Remove from oven and remove each muffin from the cup. Cool completely.
- If drizzling with glaze, mix together some icing sugar with about a tsp or two of lemon juice and some lemon zest. Mix till smooth and of reasonably thick but pouring consistency. Drizzle on the muffins and let it dry before serving or storing.