Lemon Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling




4 small lemons
150 g (5½ oz) cream cheese
100 g (3½ oz) sugar
¼ cup (55 g) vanilla sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup (200 g) plain yoghurt (3.5% fat)
1⁄3 cup (75 ml) canola oil
1½ cups (220 g) plain flour
1⁄3 cup (30 g) blanched, ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
Butter, for greasing
Flour, for dusting
1 small lemon
¼ cup (60 g) sugar
Icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Butter a 12-hole muffin tin and dust with flour. Wash 2 lemons under hot water, pat dry and finely grate the zest. Juice 4 lemons. You’ll need about ½ cup (120 ml) juice.
2. Whisk the cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and 1½ tablespoons of the vanilla sugar until creamy. Combine the eggs, yoghurt, oil, remaining sugar and vanilla sugar with 90 ml (3 fl oz) of the lemon juice and the lemon zest. Combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and add to the egg mixture.
3. Measure 1 tablespoon of the batter into each muffin hole. Top with each with 1 heaped teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture, then divide the remaining batter on top. Bake the muffins until golden brown, about 22 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, wash the lemon under hot water and pat dry. Use a vegetable peeler or lemon zester to remove fine strips of lemon zest. Bring the sugar to the boil with the remaining lemon juice and simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken to a syrup. Add a little water if necessary.
5. Remove the muffins from the oven, drizzle immediately with the syrup and garnish with the lemon zest. Set aside to cool briefly and then remove from the tin. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Extract from Fairytale Baking by Christin Geweke