Blueberry Swirl Muffins

I’ve been having an idle look through my blog stats over the last week to get a bit of an idea of what the average reader of my blog is like. From what was given to me, it looked like the majority of my readers were from Australia (thanks to word of mouth probably!), as well as the US and scattered around Europe, all being in the 18-30 demographic. I’ve been doing well, but I wanted to see what you guys like better, and when I looked at the statistics for my posts, I have to say I was somewhat surprised.

You guys prefer the simple, traditional, domestic-goddess style baking! It seems my efforts to impress you through fancy shenanigans making Marshmallow Wagon Wheels have been in vain. I had a talk with my mum about it, and she said that while people agree that complex desserts look and taste amazing, they concede that it’s out of their depth and would not bother to attempt it. I guess not everyone froths at the mouth at a baking challenge, unlike myself…

Well, with a bake sale with Sweets by Sweets at Mac Uni coming up, I was right on track with a speedy crowd-pleaser 🙂 The challenge this time round was to bake with fresh, seasonal spring produce, such as blueberries. Well, everyone loves blueberry muffins, I thought. But before I get to that…

There is one particular taboo in baking…you’ve probably heard of it…

CAKE MIXES.

Aaaaand I will confess right here that I have an undeniable weakness for Betty Crocker’s Blueberry Muffins 😦

I scorn every other cake mix, but I have a guilty pleasure for these light, jammy muffins and every time they’re on special I grab them up. So much tastier than muffins simply studded with plain blueberries!

I was determined to re-create them myself, making a blueberry compote to swirl through the muffins. I love this recipe even more as there’s no creaming of butter and sugar with an electric beater required, meaning you can get the kids into the kitchen to help out with the cake bit. And no cleaning of electric mixer beaters either (ohmigosh!!)!

You will need:

  • 200g blueberries;
  • 25g icing sugar;
  • 2 + 1/4C self-raising flour;
  • 90g butter, chopped;
  • 3/4C firmly packed brown sugar;
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste;
  • 1C milk;
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten.

Make your compote by placing the blueberries, icing sugar and 25mL of water into a small saucepan and heating on a low heat on the stovetop. While simmering, stir with a wooden spoon and crush the berries lightly. Simmer until reduced and syrupy; this will take approximately 15-20 minutes. Place to one side and allow to cool.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius, and grease/line a 12 hole muffin pan. Sift the flour into a bowl, and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Stir in the sugar before making a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add the milk, vanilla, and egg, then stir gently, gradually incorporating the dry ingredients, until just combined. The mixture will be slightly lumpy, but that’s fine. If you over-work the batter, the resulting muffin/cake will come out dense and coarse. Golden rule of making muffins, heed it!!

Spoon half of the mixture into the prepared tray holes. Put in a teaspoon of compote into each, swirling it around with a skewer, before topping with the remainder of the batter. Top with another teaspoon of the blueberry compote and swirl it through again with a skewer.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Stand the muffins in the pan for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Beautiful, jammy, delicious muffins! The perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea, to be enjoyed whilst sitting in the warm spring sunshine this week. Who could ask for more 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week m’dears… soak up some sunshine when you can! xx

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