You know me, I LOVE to bake. I go through spells of obsessing about things: recently it’s been fresh bread (including these yummy iced buns), all sorts of different flavoured brownies, and muffins, especially breakfasty ones. It’s funny how things change but at one stage the boys would happily scoff a big breakfast in the morning: eggs on toast, bacon sandwiches… that type of thing. Recently, they’re not as keen (probably because they’re always late) and I hate the thought of them going out into the world with empty stomachs. Bring on the breakfast muffin: easy grab and go food, and not too hideously bad for them (better than a McDonald’s breakfast, no doubt). I absolutely love the flavour combo of these fresh orange and dark chocolate muffins, although obviously you could add things like blueberries or chopped banana instead (I only add a scant 75g anyway).
With muffins, you really only have to remember a couple of golden rules: one is that you need to assemble the wet ingredients and the dry separately, then stir the wet into the dry as briefly as possible – in fact, you’re positively encouraged to leave a few powdery bits.
For the dry ingredients:
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
125g golden caster sugar
For the wet ingredients:
125 ml milk
1 small orange, zested and juiced
2 eggs, beaten
75g chocolate – either chips or a bar chopped into shards (optional)
Firstly, make sure you have everything weighed out and ready to go. Pop the paper cases into your muffin tin and preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
In a large bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar. You can leave the salt out but it really does enhance the flavour.
Put that bowl to one side. Next, melt the butter on a low heat in a saucepan.
While it’s melting, whisk the milk and eggs together in a large jug, and stir in the orange zest and a big squeeze of juice (don’t use all the juice, especially if it’s a larger orange – muffin batter is better if it’s not too liquid). Lastly, pour in the melted butter, mixing to combine.
Now just pour the wet ingredients into the dry. As I said, don’t over mix – this keeps the muffins light – if there’s a tiny bit of powder left that’s fine. Stir in the chocolate chips too.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases – I like these a little bigger so usually just make 10 or 11.
Bake for about 20 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and a gentle push on the top makes them spring back up.
I’ve started buying those takeaway cups, so I can shove a coffee and a muffin at them as they rush out the door. Of course, you could always bake them as a teatime treat like normal people too, but then what’s nicer than cake for breakfast?!