Ingredients (makes 12):
- 110g low fat sunflower spread
- 50g granulated sugar
- 150ml semi-skimmed milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 300g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 200g fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 150ºC and line a muffin tray with 12 cases.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the spread and sugar.
- Add in the eggs and the milk and mix well, before adding the flour, baking powder and vanilla extract. Stir until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add in the blueberries, mixing gently to make sure they stay whole.
- Split the mixture between the cases and bake for around 30 minutes, or until golden and firm.
- When they’re done, remove from the oven and leave them to cool on a wire rack.
(Recipe adapted from Waitrose magazine)
Now, for this recipe I must thank my dear mother, whose baking speciality is most definitely muffins. When the hectic lifestyle of a primary school headteacher and mother of two allows, she makes up a bunch of these that are great as a mid-morning snack with a cup of tea or as a quick breakfast for an energetic start to the day. They’re wonderfully easy to make, and like so many baked delicacies, they can be left alone to cook once they’re in the oven.
The first time I made these was when I got back from the first stretch of my Year Abroad, where I was a student on a German language summer school in Vienna for a month. Having spent a month living in student halls, in a small student room with access to a similarly proportioned student kitchen, my setup there was never designed for baking. What’s more, I didn’t take utensils and the like with me because I was only there for a month and chances were I wouldn’t have time for lots of baking. That was still very much the case, but by the time I got to the end of the month, I was looking forward to getting back in the kitchen and baking something.
So despite getting back at 8pm on a Saturday evening after having set off at 10am, I was up early the following morning, as had become my habit in Vienna, and I decided to bake these for breakfast. The smell of baking is one that is almost universally adored, but there’s something particularly special about it when you’ve been deprived of baking for a while. I very much enjoyed looking at (and eating) wonderfully presented dishes in bakeries and restaurants in Vienna, but I was glad to get back to making my own after several weeks without.