Category Archives: Cupcakes

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry-Muffins-(6541)A very good friend of mine always asks me for more muffin recipes. I get this. Unlike cakes, my personal preference if I were to choose (I don’t think so), muffins are charming little things. Even though I may have a muffin with my coffee when out running errands, I prefer homemade ones. Somehow shop-bought ones seem too big, too out there if you know what I mean.

Sometime ago I was invited to a YSL event at a local store. In one corner the ladies prepared a spread of pretty little cupcakes, which seem to be all the rage nowadays. To me they looked more inviting than all the expensive stuff in the shop. They were good, a bit on the small side, but good nonetheless. One would argue that you cannot look sophisticated while devouring a large chunk of cake! I went home and I wanted to bake something in between.

Homebaked muffins will be smaller than the huge things you might get at the store but don’t let that deter you. You can make the mixture in five minutes flat and they are so convenient when you have people round for afternoon tea. All you need is coffee! Blueberries are great here, but you can use whatever you want…strawberries, raspberries, or perhaps a mixture of both. Makes 12.

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 120g unsalted butter, softened almost melted
  • 120g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100ml milk, preferably full-fat
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 180g blueberries

Line a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin cases and preheat the oven to 190ºC.

In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.

In another bowl, beat the butter together with the sugar, eggs, milk, lemon zest and juice till everything is just combined.

Fold in the flour mixture gently into the wet ingredients preferably with a spatula. Tip in the blueberries, and don’t overmix. A lumpy batter is exactly what you want here!

Using an ice-cream scoop, distribute the mixture evenly in the tray and bake for approximately 15 to 18 minutes. They should be ready by then but always check by inserting a skewer in the middle of one muffin just to be sure.

Place them on a cookie rack to cool, and eat them when they are slightly warm on the same day. They should keep in an airtight container until the next day – good excuse to invite a good friend for tea. Enjoy!

Rob x

(Adapted from River Cottage Handbook No. 8: Cakes, Pam Corbin, Bloomsbury, 2011.)

It’s Chocolate Week…

Chocolate-and-Banana-Muffins-(6355)

Everyday-Brownies-(6359)

…so I baked my favourite chocolate brownies to date and Nigella’s chocolate and banana muffins from Kitchen, which I adapted to some degree. Only because my oven has a mind of its own. I will write about these again very soon. As for the photos, I took some with my mini camera, but they turned out to be really grainy, so here are some updated ones. You will find both recipes on this blog (links are above). It’s Chocolate Week here in the UK so do yourself a favour and bake some of you favourite treats. We only live once!

Rob x

Easy cupcakes

Cup-Cakes-(4524)

I’ve been really busy these past few weeks and haven’t had time to bake. After moving and a few other hassles, I went down with a small bout of fever. No time to think and definitely in no mood to work. My mind couldn’t stop thinking about what to do next though and this morning I remembered that I had this cupcake recipe in line for ages now. When I was young a cupcake-making day was always exciting, so for old-time’s sake here is one I found on Nigella Express (page 187). I didn’t follow through with the coloured cream though, since I had some leftover chocolate icing in the fridge and used that instead. Here’s the recipe.

  • 125g soft butter
  • 125g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/392ºF/Gas Mark 6. Line a 12-muffin tin with muffin papers of baking paper.
  2. In a bowl if mixing by hand, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy and changes colour to a pale yellow.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and continue beating. Fold the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and vanilla extract.
  4. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin papers and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the little cakes turn golden. Tip the cupcakes onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Cover with any icing you prefer.

So easy to make and perfect for these summer evenings, when you still feel the urge to bake but you know you won’t cope with the oven for very long. Enjoy!

Rob x