Everybody needs a good muffin up their sleeve, and these Blueberry Muffins are just that. It’s like mastering the queen of cakes, the Victoria Sponge – once you know how it works, you can adapt it to make all sorts of variations. I love my muffins toweringly tall, sweet and moist within, just like those wrapped in squares of greaseproof paper in good (trendy) cafes and bakeries. The secret ingredient to get the lift I’m after is that ever present storecupboard stable, Bird’s custard powder. It is primarily cornflour with a little almond extract to give it the characteristic taste memory of steamed puddings and custard from all our English childhoods! Whilst I can’t swear you can taste it in these fruity muffins, it gives a little summin’ summin’ that rounds out the flavour of those plumptious berries and it certainly enhances the lift and texture. If you can get cake flour where you are, that would be a close substitute with a teeny tiny drop of almond extract (if you like it, I know it’s a bit of a Marmite ingredient) for the taste, in which case you should use 300g plus 4 tbsp cake flour. I use sour cream thinned down just a little with some milk for richness and to give that delightfully almost doughy texture which I love from sour cream cakes and of course, some of my now vintage homemade vanilla extract for extra nostalgia evoking, sweet taste memories.
- 300 g plain flour
- 4 tbsp custard powder or use a ¼ cup measure
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda level
- 180 g caster sugar
- 200 ml sour cream half fat is fine
- 50 ml milk
- 90 ml vegetable/rapeseed/rice bran oil
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 g frozen but not thawed blueberries
Preheat oven to 200⁰C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
Whisk the flour, custard powder, raising agents and caster sugar together in a large bowl.
Measure all but the berries into a jug, beat well then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir to combine, leaving a few lumps.
Pour over the blueberries and fold in.
Divide between the muffin cases and bake for 22 minutes – they will pretty much double in height and when a skewer is inserted into the centre, no raw batter should be evident. (Start checking at 20 minutes and be prepared to go to 25).
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to finish cooling
I prefer to use frozen berries as they are more convenient. Just don't be tempted to thaw them first as you'll end up with a soggy mess!
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