I didn’t really understand the joy of a good muffin until I lived in Canada for a year in 1988. They just weren’t really a thing in Australia at that time, despite mum very occasionally baking them for an after school snack. Before you think “oh you poor deprived child”, she mostly baked cakes, slices and biscuits. I don’t think she ever baked a cupcake. Yes, we were very lucky.
However Canadian muffins, like cinnamon rolls, were a meal in themselves. Sometimes two meals. These are not like that. At all. These are snack size. A generous and moreish snack size.
Upon returning from my year away, I moved into a self-catering college at the Australian National University, and – shock horror! – had to learn to cook. Fortunately, fairly shortly after arriving at ANU I became friends with a beautiful girl called Rachel. Beautiful in spirit as well as every other way. Rachel also loved a good muffin (we had a shared love of Canada), and had a cookbook that only had muffin recipes! Gosh! Never had I seen such a thing! We were destined to be friends for life (sadly we lost touch after I moved to Brisbane – if you read this Rach, I think of you often, and please get in touch).
Anyway, Rachel lent me this wondrous book and from it I cooked many muffin recipes.
Fast forward more years than I care to count, and I still bake muffins on a regular basis. Not however, as regularly as The Accountant would like. Last week I foolishly mentioned in passing, and within his earshot, that I haven’t had a good blueberry muffin in ages. And that I had a bag of blueberries in the freezer. For the next 24 hours he asked me when I would be baking some. By which I mean he said “you promised me blueberry muffins, where are they” every 15 minutes. ARGH! I promised NO SUCH THING!
Eventually I baked. And he was happy. End of story.
For today at least.
These muffins are more blueberry than muffin, which is just how I like them. I hope you do too.
by Mel Kettle, The cook’s notebook
What you need:
- 85g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 100g rapadura sugar (or 90g brown sugar)
- 230g buttermilk (or 150g buttermilk, 120g plain yogurt)
- 210g white spelt flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp bicarb soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 100g chopped pecans (optional)
- 150g blueberries (I used frozen)
What you do:
- Preheat your oven to 180c. Put baking cups in your 12-hole muffin pan.
- Whisk the egg with the sugar in a large bowl, then stir in the melted butter and buttermilk/yogurt.
- In a second bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Mix in the pecans and blueberries.
- Spoon the batter into the 12 muffin cups in your muffin pan. Bake for about 18 minutes (check at 15 minutes) or until cooked. Cool the muffins on a wire rack.
- Serve with (or without) lots of butter and a cup of tea.
I store them in a Tupperware container in the fridge for a few days, but they freeze well too.
Do you love muffins? What’s your favourite? Sweet or savoury? Fruity or nutty? Or both!?
P.S. I have to say I felt a little risqué every time I wrote the word “muffin”! Please don’t be offended 🙂