The sweetness of the vanilla, slight tartness of the berries and a teeny spicy cinnamon kick complement each other perfectly, in my opinion. There's quite a large quantity of berries in relation to the rest of the mixture, which means every mouthful is bursting with flavour.
While baking these babies this morning, I put on my Christmas playlist for the first time this year. Oh, how I’ve missed these tunes! Michael Bublé, Mariah Carey, the Glee Christmas Album, Band Aid, Wizzard, Slade, Cliff Richard, Shakin’ Stevens, Chris De Burgh and of course, classic carols… They just all make me feel so good! Memories of dancing round the kitchen as a little girl (OK, and a big girl) just come flooding back. It really is the most wonderful time of the year, people.
|Let's focus on the nearest muffin|
|Ooh and now let's focus on a further away one.|
Just like cupcakes, muffins aren’t a particularly German thing, so I am continuing my baking education of Germany with these little blueberry mountains. And I am thrilled to say my wonderful housemate, Steffi, is a big fan of these muffins. It’s only a matter of time before a Victoria Sponge appears on the scene, and that, my friends, is going to be a good day.
In my opinion, it’s important that muffins have a good muffin top, so be sure to fill the paper cases to the top – you want the mixture to rise up and spread out. I find watching that happen in the oven a bit too entertaining. Try it. It's cool.
In most chain coffee shops (naming no names), muffins are usually the size of small house and thus very indulgent. My muffins, on the other hand, are smaller and thus won't leave you feeling guilty. Or... You can justify having two. There's no judgement here. You've gotta get your five-a-day, right?
My recipe made 11 muffins.
100g soft butter
125g caster sugar
1 packet vanilla sugar (or if you're in the UK, substitute 1 tsp vanilla extract)
2 eggs (at room temp)
200g plain white flour
1 packet backin (Brits, try 1 tsp baking powder)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (to taste)
2 tbsp milk
150g frozen blueberries
A handful of oats
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a muffin tray with paper cases. Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric whisk until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla sugar and salt and beat until fluffy and light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well inbetween each addition.
|Beautifully smooth mixture|
3. Stir in the blueberries with a large spoon or spatula until evenly distributed but don’t overmix...
...the batter should be swirly but not completely purple! Generously fill the paper cases with the mixture, sprinkle a few oats on top of each muffin...
...and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes – the tops should be well-risen and golden.
4. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully. (Or not, the choice is yours… These muffins are particularly great warm, Just sayin’.)