Tag Archives: Mr Firehouse

Wild blueberry muffins with crumble topping

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Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week at Mister C’s school. It’s an American tradition, a rather nice one I’d say, where you spend the week honouring and celebrating teachers. C’s daycare did a whole host of things, one of which was a potluck breakfast. I asked Mr Firehouse to sign me up for some baking. We both agreed on muffins.  When he came home later that day and I asked him what he’d signed me up for, he confirmed that I needed to deliver some muffins on the Wednesday following.

“What flavour?” I asked, hoping for some helpful suggestions.

“Bacon”, he replied. I laughed, certain he was being ridiculous. “The teachers and I got into a big discussion and we all decided that a bacon flavoured muffin would be amazing.”

“True,” I replied. “But how about a blueberry one with a crumble topping?” He heartily agreed and I set to work making these wild blueberry muffins.

We delivered them as agreed on Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon I went to pick up Master C and as I’m walking past the staffroom I hear the director’s voice calling out to me.

” So, what happened to the bacon muffins?”

Now, I need to give you a bit of context. I never got in trouble at school. Mr Firehouse laughs at me, but I would tear up if the teacher looked at me the wrong way. Never mind the principal. The Principal at Mr C’s school (read Director) is a lovely lady, but when she called at me from the office I was seized by the same fear that had seized the 7 year old me…. ahh.

” I didn’t think you were being serious.” I stammered.

” We’re always serious about bacon,” she replied, looking stern and somewhat ominous . Thankfully, before I could feel too bad about it, and break down,  she informed me that a kindly parent had bought a tray of bacon.

So, I apologise that these contain no bacon. However, even Mr Firehouse, the great champion of bacon, declared they are pretty good. Even the teachers at Cal’s school agreed!  Originally inspired by a Bouchon recipe, I’ve simplified this recipe and made it nut free to cater to kids and schools alike.

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Ingredients

( Recipe based on a recipe from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 7 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. unsulfured blackstrap molasses/golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract/vanilla paste
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

for berries:

  • 1/2- 1 cup frozen blueberries ( I used wild and recommend them if you can get them)
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

for crumble topping

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown/raw sugar
  • 1/3-1/2 cup butter

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To make the muffins: In a small bowl, toss the frozen blueberries and 10 g (1 tablespoon) of the flour until the blueberries are coated. Place the bowl in your freezer.

Add the remaining flour to a bowl, add baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl and whisk to combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-low speed until it has a mayonnaise-like consistency. Mix in the sugar on medium-low speed until the butter-sugar mixture is fluffy. Add the molasses and honey, beating until well combined, and scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the eggs and vanilla until just incorporated. Alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk in 2 additions each, beginning with the dry ingredients and finishing with the buttermilk.

Give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula to ensure everything is combined, then cover the bowl and refrigerate at least overnight, or up to 36 hours. I usually do it overnight.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 F/220C. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Take the muffin batter from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes so it’ll soften slightly. Grab the blueberries from the freezer, and add them to the batter, folding to incorporate. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared liners, filling each about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Top each muffin with about 2 tablespoons of the crumble topping.

Transfer the muffins to the oven, and immediately lower the oven temperature to 325 F/ 170C. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the muffins to cool for about 5-10 minutes, then remove them to the rack to cool completely.

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Filed under Baby Friendly Food, Non-Sri Lankan Food, Uncategorized

Cranberry Orange Loaf with a Crumble Topping

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Here’s something ironic. I write a food recipe blog and I have trouble following recipes. I’m forever substituting, deleting, thinking I know better and generally being a know-it-all. Mr Firehouse is always commenting on this fact. Recently he spied me working in the kitchen, pen and paper in hand. He wanted to know what I was writing and I commented that I was writing down accurate measurements for a recipe, to blog about later. He was genuinely shocked. You see, I think he thought that my inability to follow a recipe was innate, something I couldn’t control. But often-times it’s not. Partly it’s my curiosity. Will it taste better with brown sugar instead of white? Will it cook faster if I parboil? And partly it’s a kind of experience. I know that the flavours of one recipe might be perfect, but I prefer not to follow the cooking instructions, because I’ve done it before, my way, and it’s worked. Sometimes, like for this particular loaf, it’s seasonality. I loved the idea of a yoghurty, moist, citrusy cake but blueberries are not in season and rather than use the frozen (and often just as good ones) I thought of trying a classic American fall combination of cranberry and orange.  The recipe for the cake comes from Donna Hay and was shared with me by my good friend and fellow baker Jill, all the way from Australia. I added the crumble topping for extra texture and also because as you now know, I can’t leave well enough alone.


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Ingredients 

  • 150g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup caster/superfinesugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. finely grated orange  zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted
  • 150 g fresh cranberries

Crumble topping

  • 2 tbsp. cold butter chopped
  • 2 tbsp. of brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. of flour

Preparation

Preheat oven to 160C /325F. Place the butter, sugar, eggs,yoghurt, orange zest and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the flour and whisk until well combined.

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Fold through the cranberries and spoon into a lightly greased loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper.

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In a separate bowl place all of the crumble ingredients and using just the tips of your fingers rub them all together until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.

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Sprinkle over the loaf  and bake for 1 hour–1 hour 10 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

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Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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Filed under Cake, Sweet Treats