24 April 2012

Blueberry, White Chocolate and Hazelnut Muffins

'Shine' by Estelle

Chosen because London has been grey most of the week, and I am so over it. If the sun is shy, then atleast Estelle can sing out loud in the kitchen to try and make it appear! Does anyone know what she is up to these days?

Midweek baking is always a bit of a luxury, normally I dust the flour off my shoulders on a Sunday, but today I wanted to use up some of my blueberries and make something blue and magical. I researched muffin recipes online and saw many methods, the two main questions were these- how do you get the rough muffin look and how to get them to rise so high that they burst over the tin? Paul Hollywood creams the butter and sugar first then suggests leaving the muffin mixture overnight, Jamie and Nigella seperate the wet ingredients then slowly mix them in with the dry. However, Mary Berry suggests rubbing the butter into the flour and Edd Kimber whisks the ingredients after mixing wet into dry for a short time. Who to follow? Who to trust? I had a whole lot of expensive blueberries I couldn't afford to waste! I then came across lovely Donna Hay who used oil instead of butter, she only stirs the batter, mixes wet into dry and uses a lot of self raising flour! Job done. Donna helped me with the basics of the recipe but obviously the time had come to Mita-fy it.
I think what inspired me to use white chocolate were the packets of milkybar buttons sitting on the counter, and staring straight at me was a succulent bottle of hazelnut oil. Holy oil from wherever you came from, this oil is off the hook. For those who are not familiar with my ridiculous jargon: this oil is well nice.
And there you have it, I knew blueberries and chocolate go well together and I am so over using vegetable oil in baking.

Go on, you know you want to try these out! Read the next 8 words carefully:

If I can do it so can you.

Remember I'm not qualified, didn't go to chef school, and haven't won a baking competition. I might not be selling myself here but after you have tasted these bad boys, you will trust my judgement on flavour just that tiny bit more. I suppose when I look at a recipe or method, I want to be able to trust who ever is recommending it. That's what I'm aiming for on this blog and on my food journey, whether I'm in a magazine, video, online or television - I'm aiming to build a platform of trust between my food and you.

Recipe for 12 muffins.

375g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
150ml milk
1 large egg
3 small packets of milkbar buttons or 50g white chocolate chunks.
120ml hazelnut oil
300g fresh or frozen blueberries

: Preheat oven to 200°c.
: Put the flour and baking powder in one bowl.
: Put the egg, oil, and milk in another bowl, and whisk.

: Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients bowl and pour in the wet mixture. Do this in batches.

: Then stir in the blueberries and chocolate buttons. Don't whisk, only stir with a butter knife or a large metal spoon. Soon you will see the mixture looking rough and ready.
: Fill the 12 hole muffin tin generously.
: Bake for 25 minutes. For the duration I leaned against the oven and felt the heat on my back and just waited for the aroma of sweet hazelnut and that classic 'bake and cake' aroma. You must know what I'm on about, it's when you walk near a bakery.
: Once golden and the blueberries have turned a sexy purple colour, take out the oven and cool each one on a wire rack.
Favourite Song:

ê 'American Boy' by Estelle featuring Kanye West