The trick to maximising flavour in this recipe is to toast the flaked almonds yourself. Yes, I know you can buy ready-toasted almonds but I find that they always taste a bit stale and I prefer to put them in a hot pan, watch them like a hawk, and toast them until they're golden brown. Nuts burn incredibly quickly and once they go black, throw them out as they'll ruin anything you bake with a bitter burnt taste. The golden syrup gives the muffins a beautiful caramel taste and colour, while the apple keeps it all moist.
The beautiful crockery was a birthday gift from my lovely friend Rosanne
Toasted Almond, Apple & Syrup Muffins
125g Soft Light Brown Sugar
100g Caster Sugar
125ml Vegetable Oil
1tsp Vanilla Extract
480g Plain Flour
2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
50g Golden Syrup
100g Toasted Almonds
350g Cooking Apples, peeled, cored & chopped
Preheat your oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4. Line 2 x 12 hole muffin tins with muffin cases & place the tins on baking sheets (this catches any overspill and makes it easier to manoeuvre tins in and out of the oven).
Whisk the eggs and sugars together. Add the milk, vanilla, golden syrup & oil, and mix well.
Now add the flour, bicarb & salt - mix well to make sure you don't have any sneaky lumps of flour hiding at the bottom of the bowl - and then add all the apple and 3/4 of the toasted almonds. Give it a good stir before pouring the mixture into the muffin cases. Only fill them 3/4 the way up otherwise they may well explode in the oven.
Sprinkle with the reserved toasted almonds and bake for 17 minutes until golden and firm. Remove from the oven & allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.