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Raspberry and chocolate muffins

November 4, 2011

raspberry and chocolate muffinsThere is a hole in my life where the Great British Bake Off used to be.  For the second year running this competition followed the highs and lows of the quest to find Britain’s best amateur baker.  Presented by witty comedy duo, Sue and Mel who were permanently eyeing up the cakes and sometimes ate vital ingredients, judged by culinary experts Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood who dispensed practical baking advice liberally and supplemented by snippets of food history from the origins of Battenberg to Henry VII’s role in recipe development, these were the ideal ingredients for a must-view programme.  We watched this as a family (rare in our household these days) until my teens boycotted it after Jason was voted off.  In the final episode there was a little bio on the contestants including Mary-Ann who was filmed browsing through her collection of 700 cook books.  My family turned and looked at me knowingly.  “I haven’t got 700!”, I shrieked defensively; however, it must be said that I can’t resist the allure of entering someone elses kitchen or menu through the pages of a cookery tome as the bowing of the bookshelves testifies.  As my collection grows, recipes languish and some books are neglected including  The Bourke Street Bakery book that I was introduced to via last year’s finalist Ruth of the Pink Whisk .

Chocolate and raspberry muffins mixture

Prompted by a moan from my teens that “you never bake anything we like” after they turned up their noses at healthy beetroot muffins, with a pang of ‘neglectful Mother’ guilt, I made the raspberry and chocolate ones from Bourke Street.  In a world where everything seems to be ‘the best ever’, will you believe me when I say that these were the best muffins I have ever tasted?  So good that the teens were in raptures, so good that I started eating muffins for breakfast (just to use them up you know), so good that I had to make another batch within two days.

Now this recipe is a bit controversial on internet forums I notice (especially in Australia) with people saying that they aren’t really muffins and that the very liquid consistency of the mixture makes them hard to deal with.  Nonsense I say – they were really simple.  I’ve adapted the recipe so that you get lots of smaller muffins rather than the BSB huge ones and I used frozen rasbs as the fresh are ruinously expensive here in Dubai.  This makes them a store-cupboard baking stand-by.

Baking tips

Five baking tips:

  1. Put your sieve and bowl straight onto your digital scales and set to zero. This way you can sieve and weigh at the same time.
  2. If you’ve used your sieve for a dry ingredient, it usually only needs a quick wipe with a cloth (they are devil to dry when you’ve washed one up).
  3. Use a teaspoon measure not one you use for stirring tea (to ensure accuracy)
  4. Use a sharp, thin, long knife to cut chocolate in very thin slices lengthways, then turn and repeat widthways.  You get even chunks and it’s quick and easy.
  5. An ice-cream scoop (the type with a little lever on the handle) is the best tool for scooping mixture into individual cake tins.

Raspberry and choclate muffins

Raspberry and chocolate muffins - adapted from The Bourke Street Bakery
Makes 18 standard sized muffins

400g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
300g vanilla caster sugar
310g unsalted butter
480ml buttermilk (you can make your own)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
225g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
225g raspberries, fresh or frozen
55g light brown sugar
Icing sugar, to dust

Raspberry and choclate muffins

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin plus half of another one and line with paper cases.
2. Sift the flour and baking paper into a bowl and add the sugar, mixing well to combine.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, then remove from the heat and stir in the buttermilk. Using a whisk stir in the eggs to combine. Pour over the dry ingredients and whisk to combine but making sure it is still a bit lumpy. Use a large spoon to gently fold through the chocolate and raspberries.
4. Use an ice-cream scoop to measure the mixture into the prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle the tops with light brown sugar. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C and bake for 20-25 minutes.
5. If cooked,the muffins will be firm if you push the top gently. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before eating. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

What are you waiting for? Go and make them now.  They contain one of your five-a-day don’t they….?

42 Comments
  1. November 4, 2011 7:35 am

    Who cares what they are ‘technically’, they look divine and these photographs are fantastic!

  2. November 4, 2011 7:50 am

    They look so moist!mmm delicious!I could have one right now!

  3. November 4, 2011 8:19 am

    Ooh, these sound delicious Sally – going to attempt a batch this morning – one question, do you defrost the raspberries first or can i pop them in frozen?

    • November 4, 2011 8:23 am

      Good question Tara – I defrosted mine first. Let me know how you get on.

  4. November 4, 2011 9:24 am

    Sally, these look amazing. Trip to Spinneys today and I might attempt tomorrow. Don’t judge me on the outcome, I’m no Paul Hollywood!

  5. November 4, 2011 9:42 am

    Muffin or cupcake who really cares when they are so yummy! And I noticed your lovely cupcake stand.

  6. November 4, 2011 11:18 am

    Lovely muffins! They must taste divine.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  7. November 4, 2011 11:25 am

    I have also done the sieve and way thing, but I have never actually checked that it is the same weight! Thanks for the tips :)

    • November 5, 2011 9:37 pm

      I just reset the scale to zero – I’ve never checked either! I do it with bowls though so why not?!

  8. November 4, 2011 12:00 pm

    Yum and gulp! :) They look very delicious!

  9. November 4, 2011 12:01 pm

    Thes look excellent. Glad they satisfied the teenagers! That’s a huge recommendation.
    I always use fruit straight from the freezer in my muffins and it works perfectly.
    Thanks for the tips. I only have analogue scales. I noticed in GBBO Paul Hollywood said that a proper digital scale is a must. Not sure if I’ll swap, though, as I got my scales as a wedding present.

    • November 5, 2011 9:36 pm

      Thanks Lou – that’s good advice. I thought it would probably work but without trying it personally was loathe to recommend. Love my digital scales – wouldn’t be without them.

  10. Nicola Philbin permalink
    November 4, 2011 12:29 pm

    I loved GBBO too – although I thought Mary Ann should have won!!

    Am going to try these they sound wonderful – but can I use off yoghurt (a Dutch delicacy!) instead off buttermilk??!

    Nicola

    • November 5, 2011 9:35 pm

      Loved all the finalists although agree that the early expulsion of Jason was shocking!

  11. November 4, 2011 1:36 pm

    Oh I loved GBBO too, I’m so happy it’s Great British food revival now, to fill the gap ;)
    I can see your family sitting there with you, how lovely they join in on the GBBO fuss ;)
    These muffins sound and look delicious!

    • November 5, 2011 9:34 pm

      I’ll have to check out Great British Food Revival – sounds right up my street Regula.

  12. Ren Behan permalink
    November 4, 2011 1:37 pm

    Gorgeous muffins and photos and writing as always Sally. You are such an inspiration. I’m glad the mob enjoyed them too!

    • November 5, 2011 9:38 pm

      Thanks Ren – my lot act like they’re Masterchef judges so it’s always a relief when they are enthusiastic.

  13. November 4, 2011 2:47 pm

    Love, love, love these muffins and muffins in general but I never seem to get around to baking any. Hmmm, have to rectify that.

  14. November 4, 2011 10:07 pm

    You got me at best ever!!! I’m glad I’m not the only one that uses frozen berries!!! Thanks for the great tips as well :)

    • November 5, 2011 9:32 pm

      I think they taste better than the air-freighted ones sometimes as well as being a bit lighter on the bill.

  15. November 5, 2011 1:35 am

    I agree – you can never have too many cookbooks. And your muffins look perfect.

  16. November 5, 2011 4:49 am

    These look amazing. I think they’d qualify as a muffin as you mix the wet ingredients into the dry and there’s no frosting. I am bookmarking to try as I love the flavour combination too. It’s my first time on you blog and I really like it – your photos are fantastic.

  17. November 5, 2011 12:12 pm

    I haven’t made muffins for a while, but after seeing these I will now! They would not last long in our house either…..x

    • November 5, 2011 9:30 pm

      Laura, Baking Addict and Hotly spiced – thanks for visiting and your very nice comments. Really appreciated.

  18. November 5, 2011 6:01 pm

    These look fab and because I trust your judgement, although I am not one to make much ado about muffins (I’d usually rather have a cake) I will give these a try. I even managed to get hold of the ice cream scoop with the lever thing of someone the other day.

    • November 5, 2011 9:28 pm

      I agree with you entirely – I would usually shun a muffin for a cake any day. I hope you agree with my verdict :)

  19. November 6, 2011 12:00 am

    I also watched the Great British Bake off on BBC2! I loved every episode!
    These delightful & rich muffins look so delectable & lovely too!
    Could U use less butter or use coconut oil instead?

  20. November 6, 2011 10:32 am

    Love the pictures of the chopped chocolate!

  21. November 7, 2011 1:57 pm

    Classic combination, raspberries and chocolate, in one of them most carbaliciously yummy forms ever – loooove these muffins honey, you wouldn’t have an extra one would you? Just to help you finish them off…. ;)

  22. November 8, 2011 7:10 am

    Great muffins, wonderful to brighten up one’s day or evening or weekend! No wonder the boys were happy with that one/ Will try soon.

  23. November 8, 2011 8:35 am

    I was at Bourke St Bakery in Sydney last week.. and took a photo of this very muffin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/45849109@N05/ I didn’t eat one. I had the apple galette and it was wonderful. We met friends there and we chatted for several hours. I meant to buy the book and caught up in the moment, totally forgot.

  24. November 9, 2011 3:19 am

    Wow, such beautiful food! Blogs like yours make me want to be a foodie, but alas; I can either make something that tastes good OR looks good – never both!

    I’m glad you used my icons! They match you theme fabulously!

  25. November 11, 2011 8:05 am

    I agree with your teens! The all-ladies thing just didn’t seem right :) I used to watch Great British Bake off during Ramadan while fasting :D One question, where do you usually get your buttermilk?

  26. November 13, 2011 10:49 am

    Yum. As funny as this sounds, using frozen raspberries has not yet occured to me. But what a great winter treat, when raspberries are out of season. Now on my shopping list, and also a new recipe to try. Thanks!

  27. November 13, 2011 4:18 pm

    The muffins sounds delicious and I just love the pretty cake stand!!

  28. December 7, 2011 4:58 pm

    There is something s[pecial about the combo of raspberries and chocolate, isn’t there…! Love the sound of these and adore the shots of the chopped chocolate.

    • December 8, 2011 7:46 am

      Thanks Jeanne – I was quite pleased with that shot.

  29. January 15, 2013 3:57 pm

    The muffins look heavenly! I have to try out this recipe very soon!

    • January 15, 2013 3:58 pm

      They are my very favourite muffin recipe EVER – and I don’t usually go into overdrive like this.

  30. January 19, 2013 3:02 am

    These worked perfectly to cure me of the Great British Bakeoff lapse! Thank you.

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