Blueberry Muffins

I love baking, and since I had half a pack of blueberries left I decided to find the old Delia cookbook and make some muffins. They’re really easy and involve a lot less sugar and butter than regular cake, so I like to treat them as a healthy alternative, and blueberries are actually excellent for improving your memory and making your brain work better. They’re yummy, although they’re a bit rubbery, but the blueberries taste gorgeous after they’ve popped in the oven.

1) Assemble your ingredients and equipment, and pre-heat your oven to gas mark 6, 200 degrees Celsius or 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

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You will need:

– 2 and a half ounces of flour. I recommend that you use self raising instead of plain and then adding a rising agent as they often make the bake taste a bit weird, but if you use baking powder instead then add half a teaspoon.

– 1 and a half ounces of sugar. White caster sugar would be best, but I’m sure whatever you have in the cupboard would do.

– 2 ounces of butter (I use slightly salted).

– 1 large egg.

– 4 fluid ounces of milk (110 ml). The shot glass there is actually a measuring glass, which I had to use because the measuring jug is full of gravy in the fridge. It worked just fine.

– A pinch of salt (I’m not keen on salt in baking, but you don’t really taste it in these, it just enhances the flavour. I recommend you don’t put much in if you’ve used completely salted butter).

– If you want to, put about half a teaspoon of vanilla extract in there too, but I forgot and they tasted fine!

– You will also need about twelve small paper cupcake cases and a baking tray.

– And, of course, blueberries. You will need about 110 grams, but I only had about 90 grams and they turned out fine so don’t worry too much if you don’t have many.

2) Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Also add any rising agent like baking powder here if you are using plain flour.

3) Mix the sugar, egg and milk together in a separate mixing bowl. I recommend that you beat these together with a fork so the egg gets beaten. I know it doesn’t look pretty, but that’s the way it is.

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4) Melt the butter on a medium to low heat. You don’t want it too high as it will just burn the butter and then it will taste strange. Let it cool (but not solidify) before adding it to the egg mixture – this is quite important, as if it is hot then it may well cook the egg and it will be no good to anybody. Make sure that you stir it in pretty quickly so that it doesn’t even have a chance to scramble the eggs!

5) I did things a little differently to the recipe here. I made a well in the flour (push the flour out to the sides of the bowl so there’s a little hole in the middle) and poured the liquid mixture into it, and then quickly folded it in with a large metal tablespoon.

I repeat: the mixture is not meant to look attractive! Trust me, if it looks gross, you’ve done it right! Here’s a picture of what the mixture looked like.IMG_1104

6) Here’s a trick I learnt from my mum. It’s always frustrating when the things like blueberries or chocolate chips sink to the bottom of your bakes, so what you do is you coat the fruit or whatever you are adding to your muffins or cakes in self-raising flour before adding it to the mixture, so that they don’t sink! Clever, huh?

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7) Fold the blueberries into your mixture. I did a few at a time so that I could get them evenly throughout, but if you’re in a hurry just chuck them in. One thing I would say is don’t throw the whole contents of the blueberry bowl into the mix, as you’d have far too much flour in there otherwise. Pick the blueberries out and then throw them in for a better bake.

8) Fill the cases evenly. They’ll make 12 little muffins and 6 large ones, but you can always double the quantities if you need lots (or are just a very hungry person. I relate to that).IMG_1109

9) Bake for about 20 minutes on a high shelf at the temperatures written in step 1 (if it’s the small ones) or for about 30 minutes if it’s the large ones. Do check on them though, since they go quite rubbery if they are over-cooked. They need to be golden brown (like most things, it would seem).

10) Take them out of the oven and let them cool in the tray for a little bit so you don’t burn yourself when taking them out of the tray.

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11) Then place them on a cooling wrack to finish going cold.IMG_1111

12) If they look a little messy then good! The blueberries will have popped in the oven and exploded over the edges, giving them a lovely rustic look and allowing their flavour to pour into the rest of the muffin.IMG_1116

Enjoy eating them!

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