Tag Archive for Muffins

American Blueberry muffins

Very fluffy, light and flavoursome muffins with a crispy golden crust, and filled with sweet and moist blueberries. Because the batter is so light, the blueberries do tend to sink, but I don’t mind that.

I used a lot less blueberries than the original recipe suggested, because I suspected that it would otherwise be a bit much. And indeed, this amount was perfect for me. Also, apparently they tested the recipe with a muffin tray with larger holes, because I had extra batter for another 4 muffins that I had to bake in my second tray. So keep in mind that the amount of muffins you get is dependent on your muffin tray. You can either use fresh or frozen blueberries, if you use frozen don’t defrost them, but be fast when mixing them in, since it makes the batter a lot stiffer because the frozen berries lower the temperature. It will also make the cooking time a few minutes longer, because you start with a really cold batter instead of a batter at room temperature. When you want to make a double batch of these muffins, mix a portion of the berries through a portion of the batter, otherwise the batter will be too cold too quickly, making it impossible to evenly distribute the berries through the batter.

American Blueberry Muffins

American Blueberry Muffins (12, or more)
Adapted from “Sheila Lukins – USA kookboek”

125 g butter
250 g sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (optional)
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
220 g flour
40 g fine corn flour
125 ml milk
250 g blueberries

You can make this recipe by hand, but it faster and easier with an electrical hand mixer.
Preheat the oven to 190C. Line your muffin cup with paper liners.
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add 1 egg, mix until incorporated, then add the other egg and mix well. Add baking powder, vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon. Mix.
Mix the flour and corn flour together. Add half of this mixture to the batter and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Add the milk and mix again. Then add the other half of the flour and mix again. Make sure to mix for the shortest time as possible, until the ingredients are just incorporated, because this helps to make the muffins tender. Overmixed muffins tend to be rubbery.
Add the blueberries and use a spatula to fold in. Use two spoons to divide the batter over the muffin tin holes. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool for about 15 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a rack to cool further.

Whole grain apricot muffins

Without reading the recipe (or someone telling you), you would never know that these muffins are made with whole grain flour and extra bran as well. Most of the time, recipes use a mixture of white and whole grain flour, because baked goods made with only whole grain flour tend to be very dry and tough. But not this recipe, the muffins are lovely tender, moist, not too sweet and they have a lovely crispy top. Just from the oven they are delicious, but they stay that way for 3-4 days, so you don’t have to eat them all at once. And with all the fibre in them, they fill you up as well.

Apricot Muffin

Whole grain apricot muffins (12 muffins)
From “Gezond eten voor je darmen – Sophie Braimbridge”

75 ml sunflower oil
2 eggs
150 g sugar
150 g low-fat yoghurt
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of baking soda
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon and ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
150 g whole grain flour
50 g bran
75 g dried apricots, chopped

Preheat the oven to 190C. Put paper muffin cup liners in a muffin tray.
Mix oil, eggs, sugar, yoghurt, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla with a whisk. Add the flour and bran, fold through with a spatula. Add the apricots and fold through as well. As with all muffins, mix the batter as little as possible to achieve the best results.
Divide the batter over the cups in the muffin tray. Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until they are golden and a sateh stick comes out clean. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tray, then take out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Morish Carrot Muffins

Sweet and spicy middle eastern muffins. Delicious as a snack and perfect for potlucks and picnics.

Morish Carrot Muffins

Morish Carrot Muffins (12 muffins)

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ras el hanout
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce*
grated zest of 1 orange
1/8 cup oil
2 eggs
200 g grated carrot
1/2 cup dried apricots

Preheat the oven to 175C. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin casings.
Whisk sugar, apple sauce, orange zest and oil together. Add the eggs one by one, whisk well in between. Add the dry ingredients, whisk until barely mixed. Add the carrot and abricots, fold in carefully until barely mixed.
Scoop 1/4 cup of batter in each muffin hole. Bake 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven, or until a sateh skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a rack.
These muffins are very moist, so you can store them easily for a few days (airtight).

*To make the apple sauce yourself, peel, core and cube 1 large apple. Place in a small pan, place the lid on top and cook on low heat until soft. Mash with a fork until saucy (although it is not a problem when a few small chunks remain).

– Use a different spice (mix): cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin spice, speculaas spice, garam masala, chai
– Use another fruit puree, for example pear
– Use lemon or lime zest instead of orange. Or leave out and add vanilla instead.
– Use grated courgette instead of the grated carrot
– Use another dried fruit, for example raisins, dates, cranberries; or use a mixture
– Add nuts, for example hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachio’s; together with the dried fruit or as a replacement

Double Coconut Muffins

As promised another muffin recipe, this time quite a tropical variant. And it is healthy too, with all that coconut and whole wheat flour and no butter. The double coconut comes from the virgin coconut oil and the shredded coconut.

Beware when you buy coconut oil! There are two variants, purified and virgin. Purified coconut oil is just the actual oil, all the other coconutty things are taken out. So it does not taste like coconut at all. It is still a nice fat to work with, it has a very nice mouth-feeling and you can heat it to high temperatures, I use it for example in my home-made cruesli instead of vegetable oil, but it is not the real deal. If you find coconut oil in the shop that does not specify being virgin or purified, it will probably be purified, especially if it is quite cheap. Check your toko or Asian supermarket for it.
And then there is virgin coconut oil. This really is just pressed coconut and tastes like all the coconutty goodness. Unfortunately virgin coconut oil is in many parts of the world not available or very expensive. In the Netherlands you can buy it at a health/bio food store, but it is extremely expensive. So I started thinking on a substitution and found one: santen (creamed coconut). It is ground, dehydrated flesh of a coconut and is usually sold as a white, solid block. In the Netherlands you can find it at a supermarket, toko or Asian supermarket. It can be used together with water to form coconut milk. It has a fat percentage of about 70% and tastes very coconutty, so I figured it would be a good substitution for the virgin coconut oil. And indeed, it worked very well.    

Some other things to think about when making the recipe. If you add cold eggs and yoghurt to the molten coconut oil/santen the fat will solidify again, which will make the batter quite stiff. For the baking itself it is no problem, but you need some muscle to mix the stiff batter. So make sure your eggs and yoghurt are on room temperature. Also here in the Netherlands sweetened coconut is not available, so I used unsweetened and added some extra sugar, which worked fine. Furthermore, the hydration of shredded coconut can vary quite a lot and because you’re using quite some coconut, it can influence the baking. If your batter seems very dry, add some extra liquid, if your batter seems very wet, add some extra coconut.

These muffins are cold definitely much better than hot, when hot the coconut flavour disappears completely, while cold they are very coconutty. The yoghurt gives them a nice slightly tart flavour and they are not too sweet. And while most muffins go stale very fast, these can be stored well for a few days.  

Double coconut muffins (10-12)

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
110 gram virgin coconut oil (or santen)
95 gram flour
60 gram whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
230 gram full fat Greek yoghurt, room temperature
65 gram granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
90 gram sweetened shredded coconut, divided (add 40 gram sugar when using unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 190C. Grease 12 muffin cups with butter or coconut oil, or line them with papers. Melt the coconut oil (I used the microwave), but don’t let it get too hot, or it will curdle the eggs. Whisk together egg, sugar, coconut oil, yoghurt and vanilla. Mix in the coconut, baking powder and salt. Then fold in the flour until just combined, don’t overmix! Divide batter over muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and leave to cool.

Blueberry Muffins

Lately I have been obsessed about muffins. A while ago I made very tasty coffee cake muffins, at the moment I am writing about a new blueberry muffin recipe, and there is another muffin recipe in the pipeline.

These muffins are awesome. They don’t have that nice, big, cracked top you see on some muffins, but I found out that it is not true that muffins should be like that. Peaked, cracked tops mean too much baking powder, causing a funny taste, and/or overworking the batter, which causing the muffins to become chewy. These are nothing like that, they have a lovely crisp top and are very tender. They are nice and moist, not too sweet and the sour cream and the fruit together give a nice fresh, sour taste, but nothing too overwhelming.

Blueberry muffins (12)
From Joe Pastry

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature (can be substituted with crème fraîche or yoghurt)
1/4 cup milk, room temperature
1 1/2 cups blueberries (I use frozen, which does stain the batter a little)
Or substitute berries with 3/4 – 1 cup chocolate piece or nuts
Optional: streusel topping from coffee cake muffins mentioned above

Preheat your oven to 175C. Grease a muffin mold or line with paper muffin cups. Cream the sugar and the butter until it’s light and fluffy. Beat the eggs into the butter/sugar mixture one at a time, then the sour cream and milk. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl and gently fold it all together, leaving a few spots of unmixed flour. Add the blueberries and stir until just incorporated. Don’t overwork! Fill the molds about 3/4 of the way to the top. Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and eat. As with all muffins, these are fresh the best, but the next day they still taste okay.

Coffee Cake Muffins

Most muffins nowadays are actually no muffins at all, but cupcakes that are called muffin to seem more healthy/trendy. I don’t mind a nice cupcake, but I would prefer people to call things what they really are. Muffins should be less sweet than cupcakes, and more bread-like than cake-like. Not light and fluffy, but slightly dense and moist. When I stumbled upon this recipe, I was really happy to read that people actually agree with me about how real muffins should be, and to have a good, real muffin recipe!
The muffins you make with this recipe are exactly what a real muffin should be. The spices give the muffin a slightly spicy taste, but nothing too overpowering. I think it is a great base recipe for muffins and I would love to experiment with other flavours, like blueberry, apple-cinnamon or coffee and chocolate chips, or fill them with some jam and glaze them with a simple icing, but I have not tried these variations yet. Too much to experiment and too much nice recipes, too little time…. (and not enough people to eat the muffins and other stuff for me).
The original recipe used another streusel recipe containing walnuts, which I did not have on hand, so I used my own trusty streusel recipe. I think the crunchy streusel texture gives a lovely contrast to the soft muffin, for me the more streusel on top the better, but I think you could also make these very well without any streusel or with a sprinkle of coarse sugar.

Coffee Cake Muffin

Coffee Cake Muffins (6 normal sized muffins)
Adapted from Sweet Cream

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp powdered vanilla (or use some vanilla extract/sugar instead)
1/8 tsp salt
30 gram butter
1 egg
1/4 cup buttermilk (or milk soured with 1/2 tsp lemon juice)

For the streusel:
20 gram brown sugar
20 gram sugar
30 gram butter
pinch of salt
some cinnamon and vanilla
50 gram flour

Mix all the dry ingredients. Crumble the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg and buttermilk and mix until just combined. The mixture will be still lumpy, that is ok. If you stir until the mixture is completely smooth, the muffins will be tough.
For the streusel cream the butter with the sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix in the flour, you will get a crumbly mixture.
Divide the batter over six muffin tins lined with muffin liners. Divide the streusel mixture on top. Cook in a preheated oven at 200C for 15-18 minutes, until the top is golden and a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool 10 minutes, serve warm (but cold also very tasty). As with all muffins these are freshly baked the tastiest, when you leave them longer the streusel will get soggy.

Blueberry (streusel) muffins

I adore this recipe! A long time ago, the albert heijn (a supermarket in the Netherlands) used to sell blueberry muffins. Those were my favourite. But all of the sudden, they did not have these muffins any more. Instead they would have vanilla muffins with fake chocolate in them… Since then I have been looking for a good recipe to make these muffins myself, and I think that with this recipe, I have found it. The muffins are very light and fluffy and packed with blueberries. And the streusel topping (something I nicked from German streuselkuchen, another pastry I like a lot) gives it a nice crunch.

Blueberry streusel muffins (for about 8 muffins)
Adapted from The professional Pastry Chef – Bo Friberg and Advanced Bread and Pastry – Michel Suas

45 gram vegetable oil
45 gram molten butter
180 gram sugar
2 eggs
140 gram milk
240 gram flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
150 blueberries (don’t defrost frozen ones!)

Streusel topping
40 gram brown sugar
40 gram sugar
60 gram butter
100 gram flour

Prepare the streusel topping first. Cream the sugars, butter, salt and vanilla together. Mix in the flour, the mixture should be crumbly. If not, add some more flour. It is a bit more than you need, but you can freeze this mixture very well! I use it as a fast topping for fruit crumbles, for example. You can use it directly from the freezer.

Sift together the salt, baking powder and flour.
Mix the oil, butter, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients, don’t over mix! Fold in the berries. Scoop in a lined muffin tin, sprinkle some streusel on top and bake for 20-30 minutes on 190C. Let cool for 10 min in the tin, then take out to prevent sogginess and let them cool until room temperature. You can also grease and flour the muffin tin, but I found the muffins quite hard to get out without breaking them.

Muffins are best eaten fresh. So bake them, let them cool and eat them. If you leave them overnight, the streusel will get soggy and the muffin itself will get dry. I read that the batter actually can be frozen very well (pre-divided in muffin liners) but I did not try that yet, I think it is easy enough for me to make the batter fresh when I want.

Easter breakfast (blueberry streusel muffins, chocolate pancakes, brioche, oven egg dish)

I don’t think Easter is a very important holiday. I always have lots to do because it’s in the middle of the year, and I have to study very hard for some deadlines. But this year, I wanted to do something special. So I made an Easter breakfast. We had: freshly pressed grapefruit juice, coffee, Easter chocolate eggs, jam and butter, blueberry streusel muffins, chocolate American pancakes, brioche and a boiled egg. I wanted to make an oven-egg thingy too, but we had already to much to eat, so I made them a few days later.

The blueberry streusel muffins were very good, it were the best muffins I ever had, warm and cold. They are incredible airy, but not dry. And the crumbles on top (that’s why they are called streusel) give them a nice bite. I forgot to buy blueberries, but without worked very good too. We ate them with blueberry jam.

Something went wrong with the pancakes. I am used to baking Dutch pancakes, thin ones, with a rather runny batter. But American pancakes have a more solid batter, so you get those nice puffy small pancakes. I really don’t know what the right consistency of such a batter has to be. I believe I did something wrong, either with conversing the cups to metric, or with making the mixture. So the baking was rather difficult. But when ready, the pancakes tasted really very good. I think I’ll make the recipe again and try to make a better batter, the taste is worthy of making these. We ate them with ready bought chocolate sauce, because that was a leftover from an earlier dessert. You can also make your own, spread them with some butter or serve them with some fruit. They definitely need something moist to serve with.

Making the brioche went very well. Because it takes some time, I made this the afternoon/evening before. It’s an easy process, but not very quick, and it’s rather messy. So if your lazy, don’t like mess or don’t have much time, just buy brioche. I think this brioche is less sweet and less sticky than the bought variant, so making it yourself is worth the time and effort. I love to have a slice plain, with just some butter.

Blueberry streusel muffins (12 muffins)
from Once upon a plate

60 gram butter, softened
70 gram sugar
1 egg, whisked
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
375 gram flower
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
250 ml milk
350 ml blueberries (1,5 cup; frozen or fresh)

For the crumbs:
100 gram sugar
55 gram flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (you can omit this, or use vanilla instead)
60 gram cold butter

Cream the butter with the sugar. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Add the flower, baking powder and the milk. Fold in the blueberries. Fill the muffin cups (grease and flower them, or use a paper liner) for 2/3. Crumble the ingredients for the crumble together, it should be crumbly. Put the crumbles on the muffin batter. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes on 200 degrees Celsius.

Chocolate pancakes(15-18 small pancakes)
from Desserts for breakfast

225 ml full-fat milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225 gram flour
60 gram cocoa-powder (dutch processed)
60 gram sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
115 gram butter

Mix 170 ml of the milk with the egg and the vanilla extract. Add the flower, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking powder, mix. Heat the remaining milk and the butter until just simmering, add to the mixture, mix until just combined. Bake small pancakes in a non-stick frying pan.

Brioche (2 loaves, or one big braid)
adapted from “The Conran Cookbook”

30 gram fresh yeast (or 15 gram dried yeast)
2 tablespoons sugar
4 eggs
5 tablespoons tepid milk
2 teaspoons salt
565 gram strong white bread flour
115 gram butter, softened
beaten egg with some milk to glaze

Cream the yeast with 5 tablespoons pf tepid water and add 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar. Leave in a warm place to start working and become frothy (or follow the directions on the package of dry yeast). Beat the eggs with the milk, salt and the rest of the sugar in another bowl and leave in a warm place.
Warm a large mixing bowl and put the flower in it. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast and egg mixtures. Mix thoroughly to a rough dough. Turn the dough on to a clean work surface and knead until smooth, sprinkling on a little more flour if the dough feels too sticky and unmanageable. When you have a smooth ball of dough, cover loosely with cling film and let is rest for a few minutes before you start incorporating the butter.
This is a messy business, but all the butter will be absorbed eventually. Flatten the dough and put a few dabs of butter over the surface (about 15 gram or a bit more). Then fold up the dough and knead it well until the butter is smoothly worked in. Let the dough rest for a minute, covered with cling film, then repeat. Keep on adding the butter, kneading and resting the dough as before, until all the butter had been mixed in. Let the dough rest again, then knead in to a smooth ball and put into a buttered bowl. Cover with a sheet of cling film and a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for 1,5 hours.
Knock back the dough and knead it for a minute, then re-form it into a ball. Return it to the bowl, cover with oiled cling film and a cloth as before and leave to rise a second time for 1-1,5 hours.
Prepare a baking tray, line it with baking paper or use a silicon sheet. Divide the dough in three pieces, form them in long “sausages” and make a braid with them(on the baking tray). Tuck the ends underneath. Cover again and leave to prove until well risen and rounded. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Glaze the top of the loaf with the egg-milk mixture for a nice crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until it sound hollow when tapped on the base. Leave to cool on a rack, eat warm or cold.

Oven egg thingy (4 thingies)

3 eggs
a splash of milk
8 slices bacon (or as much to cover 4 holes of your muffin tin)
1 small onion, diced
some mushrooms, diced
fresh herbs (I used rosemary, thyme and oregano)
salt and pepper
a little grated cheese

Sauté the onion and mushroom a little, otherwise they wont cook fully in the oven. Meanwhile cover your pans with the bacon. Whisk the egg with the milk (like making an omelet). Add the onion, mushrooms, chopped herbs, a little salt and some pepper. Pour this mixture in the tins. Grate a little cheese on top. Put in the oven (200 degrees Celsius) for about 15-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Apple muffins

This morning I woke up with the plan to make something for breakfast other than the usual. These apple muffins directly came to my mind. But early as it was, I couldn’t get myself to converting all the cups to grams. So I used a muffin recipe from one of my cookbooks and swapped the blueberries it asked for with apple and used whole wheat flower in stead of all purpose flower.

But unfortunately, it didn’t work as I hoped it would. The muffins were nice, but really not sweet and a little dry. I ended up eating them with a little sweetened whipped cream. If I make these I’ll use some more sugar or honey and I definitely will give the recipe of Smitten Kitchen a go.

Apple muffins (6 big ones)
adapted from “De Ultieme Keuken – Michelle Cranston”

2 eggs
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
1 apple, in small dices
180 ml milk
250 gram whole wheat flower
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat the oven on 180 degrees Celcius. Mix the eggs, honey, sugar and oil slightly, add the apple and milk, stir. Add the flower, cinnamon and baking powder, stir until just mixed. Overworking your batter will make the muffins tough. Put the batter in a muffin tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. Eat immediately.