Sunday, 6 January 2008

Banned: Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

No kidding.

Poppy seeds are not sold in Singapore. We have very strict drug-free laws and that extends to poppy seeds. The sale of poopy seeds is banned in Singapore due to the morphine content. Although the drug opium is produced by "milking" latex from the unripe poppy fruits rather than from the seeds, all parts of the plant can contain or carry the opium alkaloids, especially morphine and codeine. This means that eating foods (such as muffins) that contain poppy seeds can result in a false positive for opiates in a drug test.

So although many bloogers have written about lemon poppy seed muffins, do you see why they are very special if you lived in Singapore? I brought my own supply of poppy seeds just because I wanted to bake these muffins for my sis. She is addicted to these muffins (hmm...that may be a bad choice of words...). If I had more poppy seeds, I would love for my sister to try to this
Polish poppy seed cake from Margot's mom.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
(from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)
Makes 12 small-ish muffins

grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon soda bicarbonate
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup lite sour cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the lemon glaze:
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
up to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed

For the muffins:
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Coat a 12-capacity muffin tray with nonstick spray or line with paper muffin cups.
- In a bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers to draw out the lemon oils from the zest. The sugar will take on a yellow tinge.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the sugar and whisk till completely combined.
- In another bowl mix together the sour cream, eggs melted butter, lemon juice and vanilla extract with a fork till well blended.
- Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir quickly and gently with a large metal spoon or rubber spatula. Don’t fret if there are some small lumps – do not overmix! Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin tins.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the lemon glaze/drizzle:
Mix the icing sugar with enough fresh lemon juice until it reaches a nice liquid consistency. Glaze or drizzle artisticaly on top.


Anonymous said...

Woah, poppy seeds are illegal?! I had no idea! I would never encourage breaking the law, but if you were to ever need more innocent baking ingredients such as these... Just drop me a line. ;)

Em said...

That's a very interesting post. Now I understand why these muffins are extra special for your sister.
So although the sale of poppy seeds is banned, tourists or Singapore nationals are allowed to bring them into the country?
Have a good cooking day!
From increasingly jealous Em :-)

Tartelette said...

I can't help but think about an episode of Seinfeld where Elaine is scared of testig positive at a drug test because of too many poppy seed muffins. I can imagine how precious these must be! They look great!

Lydia said...

I had no idea that poppy seeds are banned in Singapore. And what a shame, because they are delicious in many cakes and muffins made with lemon -- it's a classic combination. I've made these same muffins from Dorie's book. They are delicious!

Aimée said...

Yum, these look great, Nora! Lemon poppy seed cake was always a treat growing up and I still think it is so elegant.

Susan said...

Given Singapore's generally strict policies, the ban does not surprise me, but it would disappoint me if I was living there. Poppy seeds' buzz is all in the flavor and texture. I would miss these sweet little muffins and all the other treats that the seeds make special.

Nora B. said...

Hannah, thanks for your offer. :-) But I will be back in poppy land in a week's time.

Em, I'm not actually sure about the details. I figured a small amount for making cakes would be ok.

Helen, yes Seinfeld did popularise the idea, but it's actually been proven to be true but it's only detectible in the blood for at most about 18 hrs, and you have to eat something like a whole loaf of poppy seed cake or a few poppy seed bagels.

Lydia, yes it's a shame. We can always drive over to Malaysia to get some though ;-)

Aimée, thanks. It's a late discovery for me, for obviosu reasons.

Susan, I guess I should not take it for granted next time I have a poppy seed muffin back in Sydney.

Bellini Valli said...

The amount of poppy seeds used in baking is not enough to produce a narcotic effect in cooking. I do remember seeing an episode of Myth Busters where they demonstrated that you could test positive for narcotics after consuming 4 poppy seed bagels. With everything with the potential for abuse, a person can make a tea from a large amount of poppy seeds and get quite a buzz. That is probably why they are banned. I had always thought that it was only the opium poppy "papaver somniferum" which is definitely illegal. What you learn on the internet Nora!!!By the way the lemony poppy seed muffins and breads are one of my favourites!

winedeb said...

I love it when I learn something new! Nora, I had no idea about those poppy seeds. Hey, hope you do not get picked up for smuggling! I adore lemon and poppy seeds. I make a lemon and poppy seed pound cake. It is special because it is a recipe from my grandmother and is OH SO GOOD. But your cupcakes with that icing...making my mouth water!

Big Boys Oven said...

oh this is my favourite muffin...... next time i will eat more in hope to get high!

Oh for the love of food! said...

I bet you are having a fantastic time savouring all the local delicacies, Nora, I'm so jealous! These Lemon Poppy seed muffins look fab!
Here's wishing you a 2008 that's filled with Love, Prosperity and Good Health! Enjoy the rest of your holiday! xo Carol

katiez said...

I've heard Singapore was strict... careful you're not arrested for smuggling baked goods!
I love those muffins - and with lemon.... I can get poppy seeds - and I will make these!

Kevin said...

Those lemon and poppy seed muffins look really good. Lemon and poppy seeds sounds like a nice combo.

tigerfish said...

I did not know that about poppy seeds and their absence in SG. Hmmm..I thought I saw poppy seeds breads or muffins in SG before...hmmmm....or my memory is failing me :O

Eva said...

Luckily you've made it through customs..;-) And hey, these muffins make me want to bake right now!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Would you have got into trouble if Customs had found them on you?

They look and sound fab! Though they could probably tip me over the edge with the amount of codeine already in my system at the moment.