Saturday, 25 July 2009

Classic Blueberry Muffins


Last weekend, I bought punets of blueberries which were on a great discount. They were just under two dollars for a pack. I once bought a batch...which was also on sales (no surprises, I only get blueberries when they are on sale), they tasted horribly tangy and most of the berries were miserably tiny. This latest batch is really value for money. The berries are very fresh...firm, plump and covered with this whitish bloom...the natural shimmery silver coating which protects them against the sun...a sign of freshness. Most importantly, they are sweet! Maybe the origin counts? These are from Oregon. Or could it be that fruits that are bought when they are in seasons would naturally taste better?


I used up one pack to make these classic blueberry muffins. They are wonderful breakfast treats for our family. These are so simple to make that my younger child did almost 90% of the work. I did the remaining 20%...the additional 10% was the extra effort needed to clean up the mess he created during the preparation. I should have taken a video clip on the way he 'cracked' the egg...it was almost like performing a magic trick ^-^ I couldn't spot a single bit of egg shell in the bowl and that was despite the fact that he unceremoniously squashed the egg shell with his hands!


During those earlier days when I first started out baking, I was always seeking for the secrets to making muffins that could rise high and mighty upon baking. It was much later that I finally discovered the techniques behind, upon reading this online article "The Secrets of the Dome" (the title sounds so Harry Potter!) I have since tried out all the three tips mentioned in the article:

1. fill the muffin cups to the brim;
2. use a recipe that yields fairly thick batter;
3. bake the muffins at a very high temperature of about 210 degC for the initial few minutes.

The first tip is real easy to accomplish and it works! The second one will depend on luck...I have came across muffin batters which is very runny and I ended up with very flat muffins. I have long since given up on the third one. The problem lies mainly with my oven...the temperature is almost beyond my control. Yes, I can easily preheat the oven to 210 degC, but I have no control over what the final temperature will be if I were to turn it down to 180 degC after 8 mins. It could easily drop all the way to 150 degC ;(


For the mixing of the batter, I prefer to adopt the 'muffin-method'. I find this method much easier and usually less fat is required as compared to muffins made by the 'creaming-method'. I also prefer the texture of muffins made with the muffin-method. Somehow it gives me a more wholesome, 'breakfast' feel as compared to those using the creaming-method which tends to yield more cupcake-like crumbs. I must add, these muffins will only taste good when they are served warm...either eat them fresh or heat them up again before serving.

I hope I'm able to post another blueberry breakfast treat soon ;)


Classic Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:
(makes 12 small muffins)

250g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
60ml vegetable oil
175ml milk
125g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g (about 1 cup) blueberries

Method:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180degC (350 degF).
  2. Wash and drain blueberries. Dry with paper towels and toss them in a tablespoon of flour.
  3. Place egg, oil, milk, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. With a manual whisk, whisk until thoroughly combined.
  4. Sieve together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre.
  5. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. With a spatula, gently fold all the ingredients to form a wet batter. Mix until the flour is just incorporate into the batter. Add the blueberries and fold in gently. DO NOT over mix. The batter should appear lumpy.
  6. Spoon batter into paper muffin cups. Bake for 15~20mins until muffins turn golden brown or a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.
Recipe source: adapted from Bread baking by hand or bread machine, by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno

45 comments:

  1. I made a cake with blueberries recently and altho the berries were fresh, they were so bland and tasteless :( I am tempted to give them a try again, after looking at your pretty breakfast muffins.

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  2. My family loves blueberries and I always stock up when they are on offer :P My recent batch is big, fat and juicy, unlike those I bought in Jun, really small and tart. So I used them in muffins. Like you, I prefer the "muffin method" too ;) Your pics look great, as usual.

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  3. Hi HHB,
    Oh yes! I bought a few punnet of that same batch of blueberries too! I know what you are talking about. And the best part was, it was really really very sweet. I wanted to bake some blueberries thingy out of it, but it was just too good to bake. So we finished them all!
    Your muffins are very well done too! So sooner, your boy will take over your space in the kitchen for baking? ;)

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  4. Lovely muffins! I always buy fruits when in season, especially berries. Like here in Perth, there are strawberries available in the supermarkers but they taste watery and bland. Better to wait for late spring when they're in full season and much cheaper!

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  5. I was viewing your blueberries muffins empty stomach..arhh, i'm salivating now..hahaa! I will try out baking your scones recipe later and I hope I will success with it. Happy Sunday!

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  6. Blueberries!! One of my favorites berries:P You've got beautiful baked muffins, I like the top rise up round in shape. Very cute!

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  7. Hi HHB,

    May I know where did u get these good-value blueberry? I always want to make muffin with fresh blueberry but due to the price I always hesitate.

    I also prefer making muffin with the so called 'muffin method', not only it's much simple less washing but also due to the same reason as urs, it give me a more wholesome feel.

    Btw, ur muffins look great!! I like the very dome. :)

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  8. Hi,

    I am curious when I see most recipes needs to toss them in flour. May I know what is the reason for it?

    Thanks in advance.

    Mixue

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  9. hope you don't mind, i had link you to my page!^^ I like your blog so much~~ found that your chiffon cake pan is quite special, how can i get one also? hehe... thanks ya!

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  10. I have not visited your blog for a while.. had been busy. Now that I have, I am delighted by all the wonderful bakes that you have. The muffins look great and the chiffon cake looks so gorgeous! Can't wait to bake a chiffon!

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  11. Hi The Little Teochew, I agree with you that sometimes, upon baking, the blueberries were bland, tasteless, and mashy :(

    Hi Blessed Homemaker, wow you have tried so many different blueberry recipes ;)

    Hi Jane, it was really a good deal!

    Thanks CY for the tips!

    TinTin, I hope you will like the scones recipe, do tell me about it.

    Hi Grace, not all of them came out with a nice round dome, a couple of them were lopped sided...guess it is the haphazard way I filled up the paper cups ;p

    Hi Cook.Bake.Love, I got them from Carrefour...but I went back again yesterday, and they were no longer on sale :(

    Hi Mixue, this is to prevent the blurberries from sinking. It applies to other fruits such as strawberries (cut into chunks), or dried fruits such as raisins.

    Hi 蛮头, you have got such a cute name ;)
    I bought the chiffon pan (17-18cm)from Phoon Huat a local bakery supply store here. I think it is made in Japan, as I have seen the same thing from many Japanese cookbooks.

    Nice to hear from you again, bakeAstory!

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  12. thanks for sharing the recipe. my muffins taste like cookie. so hard on the top. i will try it your recipe. can i use olive oil instead of vegetable oil? Thanks.

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  13. Hi, i have award you for the best blog. Come to my blog and grab, you deserve! :)

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  14. Hi Jo, yes you can use olive oil. Hope you will like this recipe.

    Pink Lady, Thanks so much for the award!

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  15. what is granulated sugar. help needed thanks

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  16. The tangy blueberries are from New Zealand & its always tangy! But if you get the American blueberries from California or Oregon imported to Spore, then its juicy & sweet which is what I prefer too. There certainly is a great difference in taste between NZ & USA blueberries.

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  17. Thank you for your tip on getting a DOME. I will give it a shot. Sometimes my cupcakes will have a nice dome and after it is out of the oven it sinks a little??? Hmmmmm i cant maintain the Dome. Please advise.

    How do I put a name onto my photos like yours... Happy Homebaking or Berries???

    I Love your blog. Thanks for sharing... you are a great baker.

    Jacqui

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  18. your muffin look just tempting, will try it out one day.

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  19. Ah, we're of the same wavelength, it seems. I just posted my blueberry crumb muffins as well! :P And yup, I'm like you; I only tend to buy blueberries when they're on discount. I used juicy organic blueberries for my muffins, but am going to try the discounted blueberries I bought the other day, to see if there's a difference in taste/texture. I never thought the place of origin would matter, but best to experiment!

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  20. Hi Anonymous, "Granulated white sugar or table sugar has fine to medium-sized granules and is the sugar most often used in recipes" You can find out more info from here: (http://www.joyofbaking.com/sugar.html)

    Hi Jacqui, I am not sure what went wrong with your cupcakes...as I hardly bake any cupcakes. Sorry I am of not much help.
    I use the free software "Picasa" to add in the text in my photos.

    Hi Anonymous, thanks for the useful info! I didn't know that there's a difference between NZ and USA blueberries...now I know which type to buy ;)

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  21. Hi HHB, I love reading your blog as usual. I've passed you an award. Check it out at my blog. ;)

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  22. My blueberry muffins failed on me.. Yours look very good and I must try!

    I have given you an award on my blog do check it out :)

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  23. oh my gosh. your muffins are beautifully dome shaped!
    i just read ovenhaven's post this morning on blueberry muffins too.
    and tempted me to bake something similar! hahaha.
    good job btw!

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  24. Hi,

    Can I use frozen blueberry :p ?

    Thanks

    Rose

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  25. Hi Rose, yes you can use frozen ones :)

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  26. Your muffins make me drooling now! I had made muffins before but had problems with the muffin tins I bought from Phoon Huat. Do you have any suggestions where I can get a good muffin tins? Or is muffin cup (the one in your photo) a better choice?

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  27. Blueberry muffins are always a great choice. So tasty every time. Thanks for this excellent recipe.

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  28. Hi Food for Tots, sorry, I do not have a muffin tin so I'm not able to comment on this. I always use these paper muffin cups as I couldn't find a muffin tin that comes with at least 9 muffin cups and yet able to fit into my small 20L oven :(

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  29. Hi Great Muffins. Couldn't wait to try out the recipe soon. Cheers Olivia

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  30. Yes, blueberries from OR are the best! I know because I live here! We just brought my parents who are visiting from S'pore to the farm and picked over 10 lbs ... so glad you can get OR blueberries in Singapore too! Thanks for sharing your recipes!
    -fay

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  31. why do the blueberries turn green in the muffin?

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  32. Hi Ivan, I don't know the reason, maybe it is some reactions with the other ingredients?

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  33. hello happy homemaker

    can i just use baking powder and not use baking soda? will the blueberry muffin still turns out without the b.soda? thanks. ur blog is very informative :-) luv lyza

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  34. Hi Lyza, I'm sorry, with my limited knowledge in baking, I really do not know whether it will affect the outcome of the muffins. Sorry I'm of not much help here.

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  35. You are such a dedicated housewife...i love all ur recipes.

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  36. Dear HHB,

    I have question on cupcake mixture. Can i prepare the mixture for cupcake, leave it in the fridge and bake only the next day? Will the mixture turns hard?

    Thanks HHB for sharing all the wonderful recipes : )

    Carol

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  37. Hi Carol, I don't make cupcakes, but I understand most cakes need to be baked right away, otherwise the batter will deflate and the cake will not rise upon baking.

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  38. Yummy muffins.
    I love your page.
    Regards

    olguis.

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  39. Hi. Can i use dried blueberries for this as fresh blueberries are not available in India.

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  40. Hi, although I have not tried using dried blueberries, I don't think there is a problem replacing the fresh ones with dried ones.

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  41. Hi, I was looking for blueberry muffins that uses veg oil instead of butter and found yours! Wonderful recipe that yields nice soft muffins. I posted pic of my blueberry muffin at:

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1212219&l=cba95efccc&id=1074601363

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  42. Dear HHB, i baked a batch of blueberry muffins today as i have a pack of fresh blueberry. I followed your recipe and bake for 25-30 mins before it was done. My skewer came out clean but my muffin taste as though it was undercook and it was pale in colour. it did not has a golden brown like yours. Did i do anything wrong?? i only mix about 10 times as i know overmixing is a no no...

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  43. Dear HHB, i baked a batch of blueberry muffins today using your recipe. My muffins always turn out hard and it always taste undercook. This is the first time that i'm using your recipe and the muffin method. But it still fail. I think i did not overmix, only fold in over 10 time. pls help... thanks

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  44. Hi seren1805, sounds like your oven is not hot enough? Did you preheat the oven to the required temperature? Do you use an oven thermometer to check that your oven temperature is accurate?

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  45. Dear Happy Homebaker,

    you'll find the ans for the difference between baking powder and baking soda in the following website:

    http://chemistry.about.com/cs/foodchemistry/f/blbaking.htm

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