Sunday, 27 May 2007

Blueberry Muffins


I've never been a big fan of muffins they always seem like a mouthful of air and dry soapy crumbs - but that's because they aren't home made fresh and have too much raising agent in them. I found these in Nigella Lawson's 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' when I was looking for a quick treat to impress the other mothers at playgroup - something that doesn't have much sugar and that is quick and easy to make and easy for little hands to eat, but will also go down nicely with a coffee for the adults. These fit the bill perfectly because they aren't too full of sugar (there is a standard 5g teaspoon of sugar in each standard size muffin) but they still fall squarely within the realm of 'treat' for the little kids. The first time I made them I used mixed berries from some high antioxidant frozen berry mix that I found in the supermarket and I think they were better than this time, when I just used (thawed) frozen blueberries. When the berries thaw they ooze brightly coloured juice and some of that goes into the muffins (I try and keep most of it out) which makes the finished muffins kind of marbled with bright blue and purple, which I think is cool (and blue muffins will appeal pretty strongly to toddlers and little kids too). I'm going to continue to experiment with this recipe using different fuits.

Ingredients
75g unsalted butter, melted
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
75g caster sugar
pinch salt
200ml buttermilk (or 100g yoghurt and 100ml semi-skimmed milk)
1 large egg
200g blueberries

Method- Melt the butter and set it aside to cool
- Preheat to 200C
- Prepare your muffin tin with little patty cases. The recipe makes 12 normal muffins but I have been making 24 little tiny muffins (without patty cases, just with very well buttered trays) and 6 normal sized muffins. This is a pretty ideal amount for having a group of little kids and their carers around.
- Sift the flour and mix with the other dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Beat together the egg, buttermilk and melted butter
- Add the wet ingredients to dry, incorporating very gently, not worrying about lumps because you want to avoid overworking the mixture.
- Gently fold in the berries then pop them in the oven. I have been putting my large muffins on the middle shelf and the small ones on a shelf underneath and they have both been perfectly ready at the same time.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Eat and enjoy. Nigella suggest eating them hot with butter and blueberry jam but I think that negates the virtuous 'not too much sugar' feeling.