I woke up this morning a bit homesick. I’m not usually that way, but I woke up missing Southern California in the fall. The sun still shining but a chill in the breeze, perfect weather for a hearty Sunday brunch. There’s this place near where I grew up called The Kettle. They’re open 24 hours and you could get anything on the menu at any time. The best thing about The Kettle was that you could choose muffins as your side dish, and bran muffins at that. I know right? Muffins as a side? You might think it’s a bit strange but anyone from the South Bay knows that The Kettle’s muffins could be eaten anytime, anywhere and with anything.
So herein, folks comes my dilemma. Purchase a plane ticket upwards of $1,000 to fly from London to LA to feed my homesickness craving, or attempt the impossible: recreate those sticky-sweet, hearty, chewy, crave-worthy muffins right in my own little London kitchen. If only I could jump on that plane! Well, off to the kitchen.
I didn’t have very high hopes for this experiment. Those muffins are so high up on my favorite foods list that they must be so technically difficult, time consuming and physically draining to make, right? Wrong! They were surprisingly simple and taste just like the original. I told my husband what I was attempting and he told me that I shouldn’t get upset if they didn’t turn out right. The look on his face when he tried them said it all. I’ve done it folks! The weekend just got a bit sweeter and stickier!
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup wheat bran
- 4 tsp dry milk powder
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 3 Tbsp butter, soft
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 tsp water
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Start by making the glaze. Simply combine all the glaze ingredients into a small bowl or jug. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, wheat bran, dry milk powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, honey, molasses, vegetable oil, egg and water. Stir to combine.
- Distribute about 1 tbsp of glaze per muffin cup. Brush glaze up the sides of each cup, being careful to coat everywhere. This is important or else there won’t be that sticky sweet coating that you want on these muffins!
- Then make a well in the bowl with the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Don’t fill any more than that because they do spring up a bit in the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or when a tester comes out clean from the middle. Invert immediately onto a cooling rack covered with foil or wax paper. Let cool. Serve warm with slightly salted butter for a brunch treat.
Just look at how the glaze forms a sticky crust on the ‘top’ of these muffins. I think I might just go have another!