Saturday, June 2, 2007

Blueberry and Almond Muffins

If you want a tasty weekend breakfast, but also need to get moving and do stuff in the morning (such as take your flatmate's dog out for a long walk to make up for short-changing him all week whilst she was away), muffins are my suggestion. They're easy to make (it's important not to stir the mixture for too long), quick to cook, and you can stick a couple in your handbag for later if you manage not to eat them all in one go.

Since this is my first recipe posting, it seems appropriate to start with a classic, hence, blueberry muffins. However, plain old blueberry muffins are a bit, well, plain. So we're going for blueberry and almond muffins.

  • 75g unsalted butter, plus a little for greasing the tins
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon each baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 25g light muscovado sugar
  • 200ml milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond essence
  • 1 egg
  • Approx. 150g (i.e. 1 small punnet) blueberries

  • Lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tray*. Preheat the oven to 190°C, placing a shelf in the middle.

    Melt the butter in the microwave. Meanwhile, measure all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and give them a stir. Break up any lumps of the muscovado sugar with your fingers or a fork. Beat the egg and almond essence into the measured out milk, then pour this over the dry ingredients, stirring with a fork. When all the milk and egg is in the bowl, add the butter, still mixing with the fork. Stop mixing as soon as the butter is incorporated - don't worry that it doesn't look perfectly smooth or aerated, it shouldn't be. Check that all bits of stalk and leaves are removed from the berries, then fold them into the batter.

    Dollop the mixture into the tin, trying to distributed it evenly between the 12 holes. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, until golden on top and cooked within (check by poking one with a cake-tester (, a skewer, a cocktail stick or even a piece of spaghetti - it will come out free of batter if they're done).

    Let them cool for 5 minutes in the tray, and then remove to a wire rack and eat as soon as temperature allows.

    Then go and walk the dog.

    *I have a non-stick muffin tray, and find that nothing sticks to this. If, however, I use paper liners, half the muffin stays attached to the paper when I try to peel it off, which is deeply irritating. By all means use paper liners if you are not confident of successful release from the tin without them.

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