Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blueberry Muffins and Mt Climie

Today's project was a quick batch of blueberry muffins; we had a bit of a walk planned with some friends (and new friends) and what could be better after an excursion into the hills than some freshly made muffins?

I always liked my mum's blueberry muffins, and she usually bases her muffins from Alison Holst recipes, though often adds yoghurt and other things as desired - generally if there's some in the fridge which needs using up it'll mean pikelets or muffins are on the way, and it's a pretty good addition! As it happened, we were almost out of milk, and didn't have enough for the double batch I wanted to make - but there was some natural yoghurt languishing in the fridge, so I didn't quite follow the recipe either.

Muffins vs Cupcakes
So, lest there be confusion on the intertubes, I thought I would make something clear: muffins and cupcakes are not the same. The most significant difference is that cupcakes are generally made the same way as cake; by creaming butter and sugar, and the mixture must be beaten until smooth. For muffins, you normally make a mixture of dry ingredients and one of wet, and the wet ingredients (butter is melted or often replaced with oil) are then mixed into the dry. The resulting 'cake' has a coarser texture than cupcakes. Muffins are also often larger than cupcakes, and cupcakes are usually (though not always) iced, whereas muffins are usually (but not always) uniced.

Thus consider yourself educated (but feel free to point out inaccuracies in my lecture, should you spot some!)

I chose to use cupcake papers for my muffins (I guess that's another difference - muffins are usually just baked in a greased tin) since I was in a bit of a rush, and knew I would need to take them out of the muffin trays pretty much straight after they came out of the oven - much easier if they're baked in cupcake papers. It didn't take too long, though - perhaps 45 minutes from start to finish, including the 15 minute cooking time.

Apparently I magicked the muffin batter into the awaiting tins... Let there be muffin!
Of course, the most important part of a blueberry muffin is the oh-so-delicious and essential topping of cinnamon sugar - crunchy and sweet and spiced, it maketh the muffin. Though it also maketh the muffin tins very messy, particularly when you are in a hurry to apply the topping to your muffins:

However, they tasted great, and after our three hour walk up Mt Climie, they were much enjoyed. Through some magic they were still slightly warm when we arrived back at the car (being trapped snugly inside an airtight container was the trick - also made them slightly soggy but the warmth triumphed over that) and they seemed to be happily gobbled down by our intrepid group.

And was the walk worth it? Definitely! Steep, but an easy track (a gravel road, in fact), and despite the fierce winds on the ridge we had some sun and stunning views.

Blueberry Muffins (from Alison Holst, makes 12)
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
100g butter
1 cup milk
1 egg
1-1.5 cups frozen blueberries
For the topping
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon 

Preheat oven to 200 C and grease a muffin tray. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Melt the butter and let cool a little, then mix with the milk and egg in a second large bowl. Gently fold the dry ingredients and the blueberries into the wet ingredients, then divide mixture into the muffin tray. Mix the extra sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the muffins. Bake for 12-15 minutes.


  1. How do you think Blackcurrent Muffins would turn out? Marcia gave me a supermarket bag full (frozen) and trying to think where to use them.

  2. I think blackcurrant muffins would work perfectly with this recipe. Keep them frozen till you mix them in and they'll stay whole through the stirring. Mum said she often makes this recipe using redcurrants, actually!


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