It's my Book club meeting today, and our numbers have been depleted due to Covid and travel etc, but we are a group of booklovers who also love to tuck into a nice afternoon tea, after all there is a synergy between books, food, coffee or tea and good conversation isn't there? We are all taking a small plate of food, and I was asked to just bring something simple and sweet, and these muffins immediately came to mind. Everyone takes a turn at hosting the meeting in their home. I try to have all the ingredients on standby, just waiting for the right occasion, and if you have frozen raspberries or blueberries in your freezer, or packaged dried apple or even bananas in the fruit bowl, then you are good to go to whip up a batch of these very edible muffins.
I still need to finish the book to be discussed today, and just in case you are interested, it's a book written by Aussie author Jane Harper, titled "Force of Nature". (She also wrote "The Dry" which was made into a film.) It's a good mystery that really keeps the reader guessing with lots of complex characters, focusing on the tensions that develop between a group of work colleagues going on a challenging hike through the fictional Giralang Ranges as a team building exercise. So whilst these muffins are in the oven I am easing into a comfy chair and finishing the book, which I am reading on my kindle this time, as much as I love reading a paper copy book, after all I was a Librarian in a previous life, sometimes it is just easier to download the electronic variety, especially when travelling. I'm 90% through the book so it will be finished by this afternoon.
I like to bake the muffins in pretty paper cases, note to myself to be on the hunt for some more, which is less washing up in fiddly muffin trays. If you like to bake muffins you will understand what I mean. After I have filled the cases, I always pop a couple of extra frozen berries into the mixture as the quantity of berries in each muffin is hard to control, how disappointing to eat a raspberry muffin without finding many berries in it.
BASIC MUFFIN RECIPE: Adapted from the recipe by a favourite Aussie chef, Donna Hay.
N.B. Extra ingredients of your choice are added after basic muffin mix is made.
2 cups (300 g) all purpose whole-wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup raw sugar (110 g) plus a little extra for garnish
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 beaten egg
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (310 ml) ( or 1 1/4 cups full cream milk plus 1 tablespoon vinegar) and let it stand for 10 minutes to develop
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180 deg. C (350 deg. F).
Place dry ingredients into your main mixing bowl i.e. flour, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon and mix to combine.
Take a separate smaller bowl, and combine and mix the honey, egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.
Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until only just combined. (Never vigorously mix a muffin batter.)
Stir through the extra ingredients as listed underneath.
Extra ingredients for my raspberry muffins:
Add 1 cup (160 g) fresh or frozen (not thawed) raspberries and 1/2 cup (45g) rolled oats (not quick cook oats) to the basic mixture with minimal stirring.
Add paper cases to your 12x1/2 cup capacity muffin tray, spoon mixture into each paper case .
Sprinkle the muffins with extra oats, and a sprinkle of raw sugar. I like to pop an extra frozen raspberry into the top of each muffin for presentation and extra fruit content.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer, however when they are beautifully golden on top they should be cooked.
Serve warm or cold, Serves 12.
(These muffins will also freeze for 1 month.)
- I add the rolled oats to the dry ingredients before I add the egg mixture for even distribution.
- Add a couple of extra raspberries to the muffin mixture when the cases are filled to ensure everyone is delighted by raspberries in their muffin, how disappointing if somehow someone misses out. It's difficult to measure how many raspberries go into each muffin.
- I have already mentioned this but the difference between a nice soft muffin and a chewy one, is caused by over stirring the batter. Quick and easy does it.
- Plain all purpose flour and baking powder still produces a delicious muffin if you don't have any of the healthier whole wheat flour on hand.
- I never buy buttermilk, as making your own is easy.
- Substitute fresh or frozen blueberries for the frozen raspberries if that's wheat you have on hand. Delicious.
- I've given more suggestions for muffin variations below, or just use your imagination with what is available.
- Where I live, it's much more economical to use frozen berries in baking.
- If you are eating them the day after baking, warm them up slightly in the microwave if you wish.
- I think I prefer this kind of muffin to a patty cake or cupcake.
- Bran can be substitute for oats.
- Full fat yoghurt could be substituted for buttermilk
Muffins are one of my favourite thing to bake! These look wholesome and the combo of flavours is unbeatable.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much AngieDelete
You know, Pauline, I haven't had a muffin in years - literally years! And no real reason, either. I used to make them every weekend - or scones. I just got out of the practice. These sounds wonderful and I think the raspberry will be my favorite combination. What a nice way to start the weekend!ReplyDelete
You re very kind, thanks David. So much easier than making a cake when something tasty with a cuppa is required. Have a great weekend.Delete
These are definitely a must to bake. Thank you for posting the recipe. You mentioned honey in your introduction but I can see no sign of it in your instructions unless I need a new pair of glasses!
Thanks so much Merle, I have corrected my ingredients list and added the honey. I hope you can make them, so delicious. You don't need new glasses :)ReplyDelete
i've read jane harper. not bad. it's always great to add some berries etc to muffins. i use frozen ones as i often have them in my freezer. and i agree that muffins are better than patty cakes. and using paper liners is so much easier on the washing up! i think i have always put my recipe photos at the end of everything:-) but i like to see a photo here and there thru out a post. have a good week. cheers sherryReplyDelete
Thanks so much Sherry, great to hear from you.Delete
Hope you enjoyed book club, and that you managed to finish your book (which sounds interesting BTW). I think the dried fig option would be great for me. And yes, pretty cupcake wrappers are a must! Book club here is more about wine than anything else haha ;)ReplyDelete
Tandy, because we meet in the afternoon it is only afternoon tea not wine because we are all driving, and strangely we actually talk about the book, unlike some book clubs, always a nice afternoon. Thanks.Delete
I do love a good muffin recipe, and oats in muffins have always been a particular favorite! I enjoy the texture they bring to the muffin. I also love reading, although we haven't had much time for that as we recently moved to a new state. Soon enough though...I hope! Definitely putting these muffins on the list to try - they sound fantastic!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much David, I read on your blog that you had moved, hope it's gone well, it takes a while to settle back into a routine, these muffins are delicious and healthy.ReplyDelete
These look great! And you're right -- so easy to flavor the muffins with whatever you happen to have on hand. One of the things I like best about muffins -- they're such a flexible dish to make. Yours look terrific -- thanks.ReplyDelete
Thanks KR, these worked a treat.ReplyDelete
I love a good muffin recipe and with the oats, fruits and wholemeal flour - they're basically a health food! I love Jane Harper books although I didn't enjoy Force of Nature as nearly as much as The Dry. I hope the book club enjoyed both the book and the muffins!ReplyDelete
Hi Sammie, I was just looking up this recipe and saw your comment. A friend just made these muffins and loved them. The book club did enjoy the muffins.Delete