Today had so much sunshine and warmth and I got to wear a pretty floral shirt without feeling unseasonal. And listen to the original version of Michael Jackson's Love Never Felt So Good five kajillion times in a row with a little bit of the Bee Gees thrown in for good measure. And take photos of these nommy, moist coconut muffins with sticky crumbly orange coconutty streusel that I baked with Ambika yesterday! Solid Wednesday.
Ambika is Revathi's roomie, and she's my downstairs neighbor! There's something fascinatingly dorm like about the apartments where we live. I think it's because a good handful of us in school live here, and we randomly walk over to each other's places for things in our pajamas. Which is clutch for times when I start baking things like apple cinnamon muffins and then am like, oh crap, I don't have milk, good thing Ambika has some almond milk in her fridge, I'll just go over and pour myself and cup and all will be good! Not that that's happened or anything. Heh.
But anyways these coconut muffins are pretty bomb, a little sticky, and have lots of orange flavor. We took some orange marmalade and swirled it in the muffins, which are already chock-full of coconut and the whole thing melds into a wonderful winter-to-spring flavor. We topped them with some makeshift coconut brown sugar streusel, with some orange zest added in. Because sugar on top of your muffins always wins.
An interview with Ambika:
Where are you from, and where did you go to undergrad?
From Munster, Indiana, went to IU... I feel like I should yell out "Go Hoosiers!" but that's just not me.
What do you like to do to de-stress from medical school?
Definitely Netflix. I really like to talk to my sister because she went through the med school thing already and has really good advice. Definitely hanging out with friends too, and kinda a foodie so I like to go out and eat at restaurants. I also like to go home and chill with my family too, they center me, keep me grounded.
Where are some of your favorite places to eat in Indy?
I have to say Santorini, because obviously they have really good Greek food, but they also have this really amazing chocolate ganache cake, omg it's so good. I remember the first time I had it and I stopped like mid-sentence because it was that good. I always joke that I'm going to cater it for my wedding.
Hmm... what else... I also love the Bakersfield margaritas because you only need one. Best bang for your buck.
What's been the highlight of medical school?
Probably all the friends that I've made. Even though I'm close to my undergrad friends, I'm just so much closer to my medical school friends. I feel like people have just lived more of life, so we can make a deeper connection. We also have that common interest in medicine and all want to be doctors that are caring and compassionate. Even people I'm just acquaintances with in school, I love talking to them. We just all have a good support to fall back on.
Any favorite spots in Indy?
I really like that I live close to my cousin, who lives in Fishers. She has this really nice deck with two sun chairs, and I just sit with her - we make bloody Marys or pour some wine and enjoy the nice weather. She lives in this nice house looking over a lake, it's super picturesque.
What's your favorite thing to cook?
I like to experiment with my cousin, we're into watching Chopped and just "follow our taste buds," we always say that. In med school I guess I don't cook too much, especially this year, but I like to just throw things in from time to time.
Favorite type of food?
Probably Thai. I really like panang curry or pad kee mao or red snapper.
And last, favorite dessert?
That's a hard one. I love dessert. Probably that Santorini chocolate cake, it's like amazing! I usually don't like cake, so that really tells you something. But I'm a sucker for ice cream.
It was so much fun to take a break and bake with you Ambika! You're probably the one of the most family oriented people I have met in my life, and I truly admire that. I also love that you're a fellow wine-o and that we bonded over the fact that we're both gigantic fans of white wine. Sauvignon blanc ftw!
Recipe is below, and till next time everyone! Have a happy happy Easter weekend!
Love love, Erica
Orange marmalade coconut muffins
For the streusel
4 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup sweetened coconut
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of 1 orange
For the muffins
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Nonstick cooking spray for the muffin pan
For the streusel
Combine all the ingredients together until you have made crumbs. Set aside.
For the muffins
Heat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix.
Make a well in the center and pour in the egg mixture, and mix the whole thing until just combined.
Add the butter, and stir until just smooth.
Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray, or you can line the pan with cupcake liners. Fill the liner 3/4 full. Spoon a small amount of the orange marmalade into each liner, and swirl with a chopstick. Top with the streusel.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a cooling rack, then enjoy! They're a little sticky from the orange marmalade so be sure to lick your fingers when you eat one!