I have a new favorite baking book. Not that I ever had a particular favorite before since I actually only own 2 at the moment. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I bought the Baked Explorations book while I was in Estonia and fell in love with it. But the thing is I actually get most of my recipes and inspiration from the internet on sites like Foodgawker or Tastespotting. These sites offer such a wide variety of different food recipes and have a personal touch to them since all the recipes are posted by fellow food bloggers who, in addition to the recipe, share little stories of their lives and happenings.
For my birthday I received my second baking book (from my brother and incredibly gorgeous and amazing sister-in-law, who I am hoping will read this) and I am literally obsessed with it. I got Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. It’s a heavy book filled with amazing looking recipes and pictures. Her desserts vary from breakfast treats to cookies of all kinds, cakes, tarts, pies and even ice cream. I feel like I don’t ever need to look up recipes for desserts again since I’ve basically got it covered with this book. I also really love the French influence in many of her recipes. If anyone of you has ever been to France you’ll probably know that this country, with its pastries, tarts and macarons, is truly dessert heaven.
Anyway, moving on to the first recipe I made from Dorie (I love calling her by her first name, it makes me feel as if we’re friends). I knew I didn’t want to make anything too sweet or heavy since we just celebrated me and my niece’s birthdays with the decadent chocolate almond torte and I’m sure most of us were still digesting it the next day. So I opted on muffins for breakfast. I looked through the muffin recipes in the book and the Orange Berry Muffins appealed to me immediately. Firstly because of the blueberries. I honestly don’t know a single person who doesn’t like blueberries. In fact, I think our population is divided into people who either love blueberries or are completely obsessed with them and consume them in unmeasurable amounts when in season. Unfortunately I had to use frozen ones since I didn’t find fresh ones in the supermarket anymore. I thought I still saw some last week but I guess these were the last ones. Now the fruit/vegetable section is slowly stocking up on the different types of pumpkin, sweet potatoes and apples. I’m looking forward to making fall desserts!
The other reason this muffin recipe appealed to me was also the fact that it used some orange zest and juice for flavoring. In this case the zest is mixed in with the sugar which makes the sugar wonderfully aromatic and delicious! I made the sugar/orange zest mixture the night before. I even topped the muffins with some extra orange zest sugar while they where halfway done baking in the oven.
I left out the baking soda from the original recipe because I realized this morning that I had run out and I couldn’t be bothered to run to the store and get some. I suggest adding it though, since you’ll get more of a ‘muffin top’ with the soda which my muffins were lacking a little.
I find that these muffins are best eaten a little warm, maybe 5 minutes out of the oven, with some butter, jam and lots of good coffee.
To the recipe:
Orange Berry Muffins (makes 12 medium sized muffins)
via Baking: From My Home to Yours
Grated Zest and Juice of one orange
About 3/4 cup (about 190ml) of butter milk
2 large eggs
3 tblsp. honey
118 g unsalted butter melted and cooled
65 g sugar
240 g all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries – fresh or frozen (not thawed)
Decorating sugar for topping (I just mixed another zest of an orange with about
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-sized muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups or cut out square shaped pieces of parchment paper to give the muffins a more bakery style look.
Pour the orange juice into a large glass measuring cup or a bowl and pour in enough buttermilk to make 1 cup or 250 ml. Whisk in the eggs, honey and melted butter.
In a large bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrance or orange strong. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough – the batter will be lumpy and bubbly, and that’s just the way it should be. Stir in the blueberries. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Bake for 22 to 25 minutes (mine baked for 24 and were perfect). If you want to top the muffins with decorating sugar, sprinkle on the sugar after the muffins have baked for 10 minutes. When fully baked, the tops of the muffins will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins will come out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.
I find them ideal for breakfast but they’re delicious as an afternoon snack with coffee or tea as well.
Have a nice thursday!