We’ve had a fairly busyish weekend, it was Girl Lacer’s (deliberately delayed) birthday party yesterday at Frankie and Benny’s (for those that don’t know it, it’s a chain of American-Italian themed diners, where the food is plentiful, usually delicious – I do like their steaks, and cheap, specially their kids’ meals). It was a good party, Girl Lacer’s friends are nice kids. The mother-in-law was down to and Girl and Boy Lacer ‘treated’ her to enforced wii playing for the rest of the afternoon.
Today was down the allotment with Girl Lacer and more playing on the infernal white wanded contraption, not by me most of the time I hasten to add and actually although I quite like the wii, in small doses, having it’s very obvious presence in the flat all weekend gets a bit trying.
Mr. Lacer had escaped into the bedroom to watch the Grand Prix on his phone, so my only choice of hide out was the kitchen, where I thought I might as well cook something (I hadn’t baked Girl Lacer’s birthday cake yesterday as I was still recovering from the sinus-flu thing I had and I had no idea how contagious I was). So I baked blueberry cornmeal muffins from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen.
Now I used to bake blueberry muffins quite a lot when I was first teaching myself to cook, from a recipe from the Friends Cookbook, which alongside The Naked Chef were the only two cookery books I used (now I look at my groaning shelves full of recipe books). And despite all those cookbook additions I’ve never found a blueberry muffin recipe that beat that Friends recipe and well, um, I still haven’t.
The two recipes are quite similar, both include buttermilk (if a blueberry muffin recipe doesn’t include buttermilk in my book it’s not even worth trying) but whereas the Friends recipe includes butter, the Nigella recipe uses vegetable oil, so healthier but it misses out on the all important yummy buttery-ness. The big difference though is that, as the title suggests, Nigella’s blueberry muffin contains cornmeal, which adds a delicious crispness to the top and a lovely grainy texture to the rest of the cake (however it does mean the muffin top is quite flat). However this grainy-ness is counterpoised by the runny mass of burst blueberry, which at times can be a good juxtaposition, with the grainy-ness of the cake against the soft blueberry and at other times the runny-ness of the blueberry into the muffin batter can appear to make the muffin just look plain un-cooked, it’s a fine line, which is less problematic with the Friends recipe. So, this was a nice recipe, but I’d be tempted to reduce the number of blueberries by half and to skip the step where you stir the blueberries into the batter, instead just adding the half a quantity of blueberries that you are adding to the top of each cake before you put the cake tin in the oven.