fancy blueberry muffins
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I have a new obsession: I got the ‘Professional Chef’ handbook using a highly generous birthday gift voucher I’d completely forgotten about.
I buy only cookbooks in paper format these days so as the voucher was destined for that, I’d searched for the most expensive cookbook I could find. Modernist Cuisine was beyond my price range – I think it’s beyond anyone’s – so I googled good, new, hefty and moderately pricey books for seeeerious cooking and came up with the CIA (no, no – Culinary Institute of America) publication lauded as THE Bible for chefs everywhere.
Now, since I considered myself a chef rather than cook (not anymore; the story unfolds) I plunged into it with great enthusiasm. I love cookery books that you actually have to read pretty much cover to cover, and you go away with a good, rich feeling of having expanded your knowledge. Bread books are very much like that; Samin Nosrat is like this, and bits of Heston Blumenthal.
So I was hugely hopeful. Little did I know – hey, you knew it was coming! – that it was actually a Bible FOR CHEFS. Real life ones. As in, employed by restaurant, top end, not as dishwashers. Or graduate trainee chefs. Or aspiring sous or commie chefs.
Not a home cook like me.
Overstating – I did learn. I learnt some useless stuff about what the dimensions of a julienne-cut vegetable bits should be; what a demi-glace is and how to make unbelievably posh sandwiches. Did I get inspo for amazing new dishes? Not so much.
This is a recipe out of Professional Chef. It’s good, it’s cheffy, the muffins stay fresh several days and they are not really muffins but more cakey things that you see in fancy restaurants for petit fours. But – but. Give me one of Nigella Lawson’s recipes, and she’s not a professional chef. Artists vs. artisans? Maybe.
fancy blueberry muffinsServings: 12 muffinsTime: about an hour
- 300g caster sugar
- 80g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 140g buttermilk
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 70g groundnut oil
- 370g plain flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 300g fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 tbsp. coarse or pearl sugar
Prepare a 12 hole muffin tin by lining it with paper cases, or butter and flour each hole. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5.
Beat the sugar, butter and salt with a handheld or in a standing mixer until combined. Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and oil in a jug and add it to the creamed butter in two or three goes, beating the mixture in between them.
Stir the baking powder and flour together and fold it into the liquid mix until only just combined. Stir in the blueberries.
Spoon the mix into the paper cases or muffin tin, filling each case to about ¾ full. Sprinkle the tops with pearl or coarse sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for a few minutes, then take out the muffins onto a rack to cool completely.