Thursday, 14 November 2013

Strawberry & Blueberry Muffins

Hi all, its going to be another recipe today as after my puffy face went down from the tonsillitis its re-puffed again from an ear infection which has made parts of my face swell up...ah the joys of Winter illnesses!

Anyway until that goes down I cant really do make up reviews as my face looks horrendous. So for now Muffins!

This is a really taste recipe. It was in its original form an Ina Garten The Barefoot Contessa Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffin recipe.  But I changed it somewhat and even did a chocolate variation.  Which I am really sorry to say I don't have a photo of ...sorry.

Oh and of course Barefoot Contessa is a US show but we get it here on Food Network UK  now you can see a video of her full original recipe here recipe but if you are in the UK you cant watch it (alot of my views on this page are US located) I dont know why we are not allowed to watch the clips of the show here in the UK considering its shown here on our tv screens ....oh well.

Anyway details

Prep and cooking time together about 40 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (about 180 Celsius) 

Ingredients needed (in US measurements but I use the cup measurement at home alot as its so easy.     you can pick up a set of cup measures in ASDA for £2.00) :-

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature ( I used Stork Marge)
1 1/2 cups sugar ( I used Caster)
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature ( I did not have extra large and used large it was fine)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract ( I used Sainsbury's Madagascan Vanilla drops)
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( i know the pic shows self raising I did swap it for plain)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt ( I used normal Saxa salt)
2 half-pints strawberries and blueberries (I used Sainsbury's frozen mix of the two defrosted)

Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and cream them together.  Ina Garten always uses one of those lovely machines with the paddle attachment like a Kenwood Chef Machine. I dont have one of those nor am I ever likely to so I used electric handheld beaters bog standard ones and they worked fine.  So cream butter and sugar next add the eggs one at a time:- 
keeping the beaters on low at all times until all the eggs are incorporated.  Then with the beaters still on low add the vanilla, sour cream and milk :- 
Once mixed in get another bowl and sift in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt then you need to add the flour to the wet ingredients its recommended that you leave the paddles on low whilst you do this, that's if you have one of those lovely machines I don't and the electric hand beaters are to harsh for this step so I used a spatula and folded the dry ingredients in but using a faster motion than normal and this worked fine. :-
 Next fold in the blueberries and strawberries you can dust them with a little flour first so they dont sink in the mixture when baking.  Add them to the mix and fold them in do NOT over mix or beat the batter or you will not get that fluffy open texture that muffins have:-

I used muffin sized cases for mine but you can make your own muffin wrappers there are lots of YouTube videos on the method .  Then I popped them into a cake pan.  Fill them really well so they rise up and crack slightly like those muffins you buy in the shops. Ina Garten uses an ice cream scoop for measuring her mixtures and that's a fantastic idea... I need to get a scoop though.  I used a large steel spoon and judged by eye, hey they are home made!
Pop them in the oven do not open the oven for at least 12-15 minutes at first, then check the progress of the bake.  In total I found them to take a full 30 minutes as they were very full cases. But ovens as you know do vary . Use the thin knife or cocktail stick to check they are cooked.  The usual if it comes out clean they are done method.  It is quite a spongy finish to the bake though so dont expect them to feel very firm or to be smooth.  The strawberries sometimes explode a bit which I quite like as then you bite into the muffin and its like a jam...yum!

There are the finished products and very nice they are too.  I also did a chocolate variation and added two tablespoons of coco powder to the dry mix and a tiny bit more milk to compensate and then instead of fruit I added dark chocolate chips and caramel chips.  I am sorry I missed taking a picture I do have kids and well you know......  Hope you try these as there are endless variations you could try with this excellent base recipe.  

Let me know if you do try and please do subscribe to my blog lots of ways to on the right information bar here.  I will get back to more make up reviews soon I promise.  When my face is less puffy.

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