These are my new favourite muffin. To date I have over 20 muffin recipes on this blog and these are now my favourite. That says something.
They have an awesome amount of blueberries in them (check), get a good amount of tang from the lemon (check), and the cornmeal and yogurt make them moist and heavy WHILE being low fat (check and CHECK!!).
Blueberries are one of those super foods that contain anti-oxidants. I realise, as I write this, that considering I just splurged on a face serum yesterday due to its promise of anti-oxidant goodness, I should really know why that’s a good thing. (more…)
It’s time for a how-to post, meet my test subject, banana and chocolate chip muffins!
I’ve had a bit of feedback that ‘fold in all other ingredients’ isn’t that helpful if you haven’t been cooking much. So it’s time for a step-by-step guide. I’m going to use banana and chocolate chip muffins as the example because it’s a pretty normal recipe with the usual mix-dry-ingredients-add-wet-and-fold instructions.
I think I take for granted cooking basics. I was lucky, in my house while I was a young’n’ cooking, I could always ask my mum for clarification.
10 year old me: Hey mum, the recipe says cream the butter and sugar together*, what does that mean? Mum: Oh, no one actually does that darling. Just melt the butter and put it straight in.
Priceless motherly advice. Especially as her ‘it’ll be fine’ philosophy taught me not to be daunted by fancy-pants recipes. Not that I tend to make too many of them anyway.
*please note that although sometimes creaming butter and sugar is a grand old waste of time, for some recipes, like chocolate chip cookies, it makes them fluffier and is worth the effort. Just soften the butter on defrost in the microwave (but don’t let it melt!) and use electric beaters to beat the sugar and butter together until it’s pale in colour and fluffy, or work your arm muscles and do it yourself with a wooden spoon. Both will work.
This post will soon be followed by a basic muffin recipe you can adapt. But for now, let’s talk banana and chocolate chip.
Preheat oven to 180 C. In other words, turn the oven on when you start preparing your muffins.
Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin – either spray the tin with oil spray, or rub paper towel in some margarine or butter and grease each muffin cup. If using patty pans, spray lightly with olive oil.
Place flour and caster sugar (your dry ingredients) in a bowl and mix together. Form a bit of a well in the middle.
In a medium bowl or jug, mix up all your wet ingredients. If there is butter, melt it. Hold off on the chocolate chips.
Pour wet ingredients into the well you have just formed.
Then add your chocolate chips, make sure you eat a couple to check they’re OK.
Then, using a large wooden spoon, in a single action, run the spoon around the side, then along the base of the bowl. Now fold the mixture over onto itself.
The point of this is to combine the ingredients without knocking the air out of it. Air keeps it fluffy. Fold until the ingredients are JUST combined. It’s OK if there is still a bit of flour not mixed through. Muffins are supposed to be rough, and if you over mix, they get chewy and tough. Just give it a go, but if you want further instructions, then you can always watch an American girl called Casey on You Tube stirring some egg whites into a chocolatey thingy to get the technique down.
Spoon your mixture in to your prepared muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes, turning the tin around half way through the cooking time so they cook evenly. I should add here that this recipe makes about 12 small muffins, or 10 better sized ones.
Muffins are done when either one, or all of these things apply:
1. you give it a poke with your finger and it bounces back instead of indents
2. it is golden on top
3. you stick a skewer or sharp knife in it and it comes back clean. By clean, it means no raw looking dough. A bit of melted chocolate chip doesn’t apply.
As a general rule, if you think muffins are done, give them another 2-5 minutes. Anywhere before burning point is OK in my books. Note that with biscuits, the opposite applies, if you think they need two more minutes, pull them out there and then. Over cooked biscuits are only good for lobbying at siblings, whereas soft chewy biscuits are an art form.
Using tongs, remove the muffins from your pan and move to a rack to cool. This is important otherwise the muffins steam themselves in their little cups and go soggy. If you haven’t used patty pans and they’re a bit stuck, try giving the muffins a gentle twist, then use a knife to leverage one side out before grabbing it with your tongs.
Allow muffins to cool completely before putting in an airtight container, or yet again, they’ll steam themselves straight to soggy-ville.
These muffins are especially fun served sliced, with banana and whipped cream inside. Faaancy.
Healthy? 185 calories if you make 12
Gluten free: I’ve used GF flour and these work well, though slightly crumbly. Could do with an extra egg white if converting.
Storage: In an airtight container, or freeze well.
Savoury muffins are an awesome thing. Especially heated up a little, when the cheese melts and all the herbs get aromatic. Mmmm.
I didn’t make these muffins. I made apple and white chocolate chip cookies. And I am so mad, they’re not a cookie, they’re like a mini-cake thing. They’re all soft and squishy.
I actually yelled at my cookbook. It was new, and the first thing I’d tried, and now we’re not talking.
As a lovely coincidence Megan the Vegeterian, who you may remember from such posts as Moroccan lentil soup, emailed me this recipe and some pics. Which means I can let go of the bad cookie incident and instead drink wine and eat potato chips while writing up this blog. Neat, huh?
Take it away Megan!…
This muffin recipe comes via The Weekly Times from Joanne Heard in Cobrico. Yes, I am that person, who cuts out the recipes from the newspaper and cooks them,
Cobrico is a small town in Western Victoria. There are plenty of cows and dairies in the region, which may account for the reasonably large amount of cheese in this recipe.
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Place flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add cheese and rosemary and then mix.
In a second bowl, mix milk, egg, butter, tomatoes and pesto.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the milk mix until just combined.
Fill greased muffin pans to three-quarters. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly touched.
Healthy? Somewhere between Homer Simpson and ‘are you kidding me?’
Gluten free? Muffins with cheese usually translate to GF well if you swap out the plan flour for a GF substitute, as the cheese is an excellent binding agent. But check your pesto, baking powder and any other additives to packaged goods as you usually would.
Storage: In an airtight container. Or in your stomach. They also freeze really well. I find freezing them means I don’t eat 12 muffins in two days.