Fast, fresh and simple: blueberry muffins

Blueberry muffinsI absolutely love blueberry muffins, so I have already tried several recipes to get that moist texture full of blueberries. I firmly believe it should not be a nice cake with some blue dots here and there were the berries are, it should be blue all the way. And I finally found a recipe that delivers on that and it’s fast and simple as well! I’ve been watching some episodes of Donna Hay‘s Fast, Fresh and Simple, which is were I saw her make this recipe. As an Australian, she cooks using cups. I’ve translated it in European weights, but I’m adding the cup indications as well as it’s even easier for those who use them. Finally, this really is a store cupboard recipe as well, so it’s great for a lazy Sunday, like mine!

First, preheat the oven to 180 C and line a muffin tin with paper cases. In a bowl, mix 375 g self-raising flour (2 and 1/2 cups) with 220 g caster sugar (1 cup)  and 1 tsp baking powder. As usual, don’t bother sieving it. Make a well in the center and add 125 ml vegetable oil (1/2 cup) – you can use sunflower oil for example, if using olive oil, use one with a neutral taste otherwise it will taste through in your muffins – 125 ml milk (1/2 cup – I always use semi-skimmed, but you can use whole milk as well, just take what’s in your fridge), 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla extract (or the seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod). Give the liquids a good stir to break up the egg yolk and bring the dough together in a few stirs. Now add 300 g frozen blueberries and stir again to disperse them evenly. Distribute the dough over the 12 muffin cases and give them a good sprinkle of granulated sugar for that extra crunchy top layer. Put in the oven for 30-35 min until golden brown and springy to the touch. Enjoy!

Yummie blueberry cakes

Blueberry cakes
Blueberry cakes

I’m a huge fan of blueberry muffins. In Belgium, they’re not easy to find (not if you want a really tasty one that is) so it’s always the first thing I buy when I get to London (and the second, and third…). My Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook contains a blueberry muffin recipe, and as I haven’t got a trip to London planned in the near future, I decided it was time to give the recipe a go. The result was delicious, but it wasn’t a muffin, more a cute little cake as you can see in the picture. Although that’s probably due to the fact that I used a cupcake tin instead of a muffin tin… another item to add on my wish list!

Preheat the oven to 170 C and line a 12-hole muffin tray (american size, which is bigger then UK size) with paper cases. Put 360 g plain flour, 370 g caster sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and mix on slow speed (the recipe suggest using an electric mixer but I did it by hand to avoid the cloud of dust – and also because I was lazy: my whisks where in the dishwasher and I didn’t feel like washing them by hand. In the end I thought my arm would fall off at any time, so maybe the electric option as the recipe suggest is not so bad after all). Put 375 ml buttermilk, 1 egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract in a jug and mix to combine. Slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat until all the ingredients are incorporated. Pour in 70 g melted butter and beat until it has just been incorporated, then turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until the dough is even and smooth. Finally, gently fold in 250 g blueberries with a wooden spoon until evenly dispersed.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 min, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. You can store them in a box to keep all week, but don’t put the box in the sun as I did, that makes them get really really sticky (but still good!). Enjoy!