Summer is here. Bake something summery :)

June 30, 2012

Blackberry Muffins

Looking at my blog, I can't believe the last post was added more than three months ago! Plus there was an Easter offer in the menu a while ago :D All I can say, is that both April and May were the two most difficult  and exhausting months. I was preparing for my university entrance tests in April and for my school leaving exam in May. Fortunately, I passed them both and now I can say that high school is behind me. Finally! :) It was neither easy nor too difficult. Somewhere in the middle I think. Anyway, it's time to start baking again!

Since everything was quite complicated and intricate, I'd like to begin with something a bit easier. The recipe isn't difficult at all, but it's very basic. I beg children can bake them themselves without any troubles although I don't recommend allowing them to bake the muffins on their own. Muffins originated in the USA but nowadays they are getting everywhere in the world. Muffin is a type of quick bread which means there is no yeast but lots of baking powder or soda :) That's why their preparation is so quick (unless I'm the one who prepares them as I'm a slowpoke).

I remember me baking muffins for the first time pretty well. My friend baked them and when I took the first bite I had no idea what it was. Also baking was something absolutely unknown to me at that time (I was 13 years old) therefore I didn't ask her to give me the recipe immediately . However, my desire to eat them again became stronger and my friend showed the top secret box packed with awesomeness produced by Dr. Oetker. The box was filled with magic powder that - with the addition of several wet ingredients - created those utterly delicious muffins :D Thanks to that almighty doctor, beautiful muffins were baking in my house as well. No matter what was written on the box, mine always turned out perfectly baked on the top and awfully black at the bottom. Well, OK, this was my mistake :D Anyway, later on I and my sister were quite bored by this one vanilla muffin kind, so we added some chocolate in the middle, jelly, used frosting on the top, dipped them in chocolate or cocnut and so on. Still it was not a big hit. They kept tasting kind of dry even though my friend's muffins were wet and moist everytime. I knwe exactly what was going on - my box was cursed :D Because of that, we baked less and less til they disappeared completely.

Since then I have been preparing my own muffins without magic boxes and most of them have been - at least I think so - better :) Although the beginning was not easy at all. I hated baking, it took time and I did everything to make the hard work easier :D Stirring? For God's sake, no! My hand held mixer was there to do that instead of me. No wonder my muffins were quite tough, dry and thick. Now I know there's only one way to perfect muffins. Stirring, but not over stirring. It's not anything new, but usually using a hand held mixer or something like that is way more comfortable but it definitely doesn't deliver the much wanted result. Using a wooden spoon, all you have to do is to stir the dough a few times so that there are small flour lumps. Don't try to make it an absolutely homogeneous mixture, that hurts your muffins the most. Lumpy, not so smooth, dough is ideal :)

This dough is very basic, you can adapt it to your own taste and creativity by adding spices, colours, chocolate chips, simly anything you want! I really love blackberry muffins right after blueberry and strawberry ones because I don't have to chop this fruit :D Yes, I'm lazy, I know :D So bake some as well!
Ingredients:
200g (1 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
a pinch of baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
115g (1 cup + 1 tbps) sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
125ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
60g (1/4 cup) butter, melted
120g (4/5 cup) blackberries

Directions:
Coat blackberries in two tablespoons of flour. Whisk the leftover flour with pepper, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt. In another bowl, combine egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Now pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and add butter. Gently stir using your wooden spatula until moistened and just incorporated. Do not overmix, there should be lumps in the batter. Finally, stir in blackberries. Fill the muffin paper cases evenly to the top. Bake in preheated oven to 180C for 15-20 minutes until golden in color. A toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins has to come out clean.

  • The flavor of pepper is quite noticable in the muffins. It is a bit piquant at the beginning and than it becomes a little hot :D Not everyone will like that - especially children may find it too hot and spicy. However, adults are usually surprised by the taste in a good way :)
  • You can use either white or brown suger (or both).

Verdict:
The dough is soft, moist, not very sweet and acompanied by slightly sour blackberries. With brown sugar, they get a nice light honey flavour. Although they do contain buttermilk, they are not sour at all. If you decide to try the pepper variant, the taste of the dough will be ordinary at first, but after several bites you start feeling the hot, spicy pepper taste that works well with the taste of blackberries (I recommend using different spice with different fruit). You can eat them plain or with jelly, Nutella... :)


Linked to:
Southern Sundays
Sweets for a Saturday

18 comments:

  1. Catalina, these look delicious & I am sure the pepper adds nice element of surprise :)

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    1. Bibi, thank you :) Yes, the pepper is very interesting in these :D

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  2. Congratulations! So, you are now on a well-deserved break before you start university, right? Enjoy it.
    Interesting use of pepper in this recipe. There are no blackberries here yet, but when they ripen I'll follow your suggestion.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, you're right :D a short break before the next chapter of my life begins :D

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  3. All of your recipes are so yummy looking! I'd love for you to share one or more of your dishes on my linky party, Southern Sundays...it's going on right now. Hope to see you there! www.alisceofsouthern.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment as well as for the invitation :) I'll join for sure :))

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  4. These look so refreshing and delicious! Welcome back!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe on Southern Sundays. Hope to see you again soon!

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  6. Hi!

    I would love you to join My Sweet Party and the theme for August is Childhood favourites. Check it out:
    http://meandmysweets.blogspot.se/2012/08/my-sweet-party-august-childhood.html

    Cheers!

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  7. Hi your blog was really great and it is perfect for my blog in order to gain a wider audience. I will include links on Christmas recipes this year. The only requirement is a link back in your side bar or footer. If you are interested please email me at juliegallaher@gmail.com

    http://www.learnyourchristmascarols.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you a lot! Email has been sent :)

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  8. These muffins are so gorgeous!

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  9. I've just made these after finding your recipe via google because I picked loads of blackberries on Friday. Just tasted one and my word they are absolutely gorgeous. The black pepper adds a great taste to them.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so happy you tried them and enjoyed eating them! Thank you a lot for your feedback, I really appreciate it :)

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