Jul 3, 2010

A Quiet Day Of Muffin Baking. Masterchef and the Rise Of Faux Foodie Vocabulary.

I love go slow, stay at home Saturdays.  I had a bit of a sleep in and took my time doing all my chores and jobs for the morning.  There was no rushing out the door and no need to battle the traffic.  

Breakfast was croissants and peach jam.  I didn't need the butter after all.  I had the news on in the background.  To the soundtrack of political analysis of the implications of PM Gillard's truce with the mining industry, I read about (the Latest Version Of) The Edelstens.  I tell a lie, it wasn't technically reading.  I looked at all the photos and pondered the coverline "Inside the showy, shiny life of multimillionaire Geoffrey and his new bride, Brynne".  Indeed, there was much show and shine to be absorbed, if not necessarily embraced.

At least half my attention was devoted to the big issues facing Australia in July 2010.

Sydney was blessed with glorious weather today.  The sun warmed both the air and the pavement which was the only reason I needed to go for a walk after breakfast to the secondhand bookstore for a coffee and the next couple of novels in the Flowers In the Attic series.  I will not rest until I've read them all.

I also found more decor plastic containers.  I'm planning to use these to store and freeze  unused portions of cream.  Does anyone else find that they never use an entire container of cream?  Though the containers are all resealable, I never seem to get around to using it again before it expires.  I read somewhere that cream can be frozen and then used straight away in most stovetop recipes.

I got home and looked at my tray of assorted breads and decided that perhaps there was a way that my stash of refined carbs needed a bit of a Trinny and Susannah in their lives.  How to make the most of the rounded figures of my croissants and dinner rolls?  I'd make them even more rounded - I'd use them in muffins.  

My church is having a fundraiser tomorrow and I am signed up to provide muffins for a muffin and coffee sale.  I love baking for crowds.  It's my excuse to try new recipes and generally go overboard.  Just because.  We are to contribute a dozen each but I decided to try two recipes - one using my baked good and the other using frozen blueberries.  

My first batch of muffins were the Bread Pudding Muffins from Joy Of Baking.

I'll spare you too much of the method but basically, a variety of breads are chopped up (Joy Of Baking suggests brioche, croissants and french sticks as examples) and soaked in a mixture of cream and milk.  I ended up using all my cream (for once) so didn't have any leftovers to freeze for future use.

The second mixture is made of eggs, sugar and vanilla.  There is a third mixture of the dry ingredients and lemon zest.  These are all combined with the soaked bread.

As with all muffins, be careful not to over mix.  The final ingredients are some sultanas and a granny smith apple peeled and chopped.

Yes, an old fashioned ice cream scoop really does make it easier to fill the muffin tin evenly and neatly.

Anolon baking tins are the best.  They are heavy but nothing seems to stick to them.  I didn't need to line the tin, just lightly greased it instead.

The muffins just before they got baked.  The final reveal will happen at the end of this post.

My second offering are the Blueberry Streusel Muffins from the same site, Joy Of Baking.  This was more labour intensive.  It involved crumbing (is that a an approved term, Masterchef producers?) chopped butter into the dry ingredients.  It's so therapeutic, crumbing.

Reserve one cup of this mixture for the streusel.

Add lemon zest to the remaning dry mix.

Add your frozen (do not defrost) or fresh blueberries.  Before adding the wet mixture of eggs etc.

Ice cream scoop the batter into your prepared muffin tray.  I didn't get as any muffins (11) as the recipe suggested (16-18).  But they ended up being rather rotund by the time they had finished baking.

The streusel mixture is just melted butter forked (I blame Masterchef for my faux foodie vocabulary) into the previously reserved dry mix.

These are the Blueberry Streusel Muffins.

Seriously Good.  These muffins have a light texture and the streusel isn't too sweet.  Make these and you'll never go back to store bought blueberry muffins again or the mix in a box variety either for that matter.

The Bread Pudding Muffins.

These were more like miniature bread and butter puddings than muffins.  The sultanas and apple add sweetness and the different textures of croissants and bread rolls added interest.  You have no choice but to make these from scratch, I don't think they come in a mix nor are they at Muffin Break.  

I'm all set for tomorrow's fundraiser.  The muffins are all packed and ready to go.  Complete with hand printed (it's way more legible than my cursive...) signs.  There are so many food intolerances out there, it's better to be safe than sorry.  I think it goes without saying that these are both gluten rich baked goods, so I left that off the signs.

Have a lovely evening wherever you may be and stay warm if you're anywhere in Australia.  It seems pretty cold most places.  I'm making a start on my cups of hot tea in order to both keep warm and stay up for Germany v whoever they wish to crush tonight.


  1. Oh my goodness, those muffins look sooooooooooooo yummi. I need to stop looking at food posts when I'm starving??? *lol*

  2. They look delicious and destined to bring in the cash :) Have fun tomorrow.

  3. Dear SSG, what yummy muffins, I am inspired to try both, really like the idea of using up old bread! Thanks for telling me about them! Bx
    P.S in Blightyland I think "crumbing" is called "rubbing in" but don't take my word for it, I am expert only in chicken dippers!

  4. Those muffins look delish!
    I am hungry now...
    Have fun raising money tomorrow...

  5. The bread pudding muffins look delicious. I will make bread pudding traditionally today - thanks for the inspiration.
    You are a domestic goddess

  6. Oh my. I so envy you. I have totally lost my interest in food making and baking. And I don´t know why. Food has lost it´s lust for me. But I do eat, I´m not just enjoying it. Maybe this is also a sign of depression, as is my inability reading books, which I loved to read earlier. But- those muffins truely look delicious!!

  7. The muffins looked delicious - am sure they all went - you are so clever! x


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