Recently, I was reading an amusing post on the differences between cupcakes and muffins. The brains behind Cakespy weighed up the evidence and even conducted an experiment. You've got to admire someone who take the issue of cupcakes so seriously. For me, the key difference is that a muffin is much, much larger than the traditional cupcake. While we're at it, let's be a little more British about the whole thing and give them their proper name: fairy cakes. A fairy cake is, in my mind, small. It would have to be, after all, as how else would the fairies stay so slender?
In these times of swanky cupcake boutiques, the cup/fairy cake has got a little on the large size. I think that this is perhaps where the confusion lies. I think that if we were to be true to both species we would certainly bake them in different sized tins. But what do I know?
Anyway, this is a diversion. I know of course, that there are different methods involved in cupcake and muffin bakery. And here I am led neatly to my inability to create the muffin of my dreams. I blogged about this before. More than once. My disappointment stems from my failure to achieve proper 'muffin tops'. Big puffy tops is what I'm after - muffins shaped somewhat like a rather fat mushroom. Such shapely muffins sadly elude me. I've decided that perhaps it is time to admit defeat and instead enjoy the slightly less puffy creations that usually appear.
I made these on Friday as I was off to a wedding on Saturday and we had a long car journey to get there. I felt certain we would need sustenance. Little did I know we'd also be digging into them on return to our hotel at one thirty in the morning. The perfect midnight snack. This is my newly-found favourite muffin recipe that involves no scales, just an ordinary kitchen mug. Brilliant. I just used the recipe for the kiwi fruit muffins from the Abel and Cole cookbook and changed the fruit.
Blueberry and raspberry muffins
1/2 mug milk
2 tbsp oil
1 1/2 mugs plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 mug caster sugar
1 mug mixed raspberries and blueberries
Butter for greasing and sugar for dusting
1. Pre-heat oven to 220C and grease a muffin tray (or line with muffin cases). Mix all the wet ingredients together in a bowl (excluding the fruit).
2. Sieve the dry ingredients into another bowl and then gently mix the wet into the dry. Do not overmix - it doesn't matter if the mixture is a bit lumpy.
3. Add the fruit and again, mix through very gently.
4. Fill the muffin cases about half-full and then dust with a little sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes and then remove and cool on a wire rack.