Saturday, August 12, 2006

Blueberry muffins

Hello everyone,
I hope you are all having a very nice summer.
Our vacation in Greece and France were fantastic: seeing one's family on too rare occasions makes one cherish each and every moment with them. When these powerful moments happen on beautiful backgrounds such as the breathtaking landscapes of Crete or those of Burgundy, it's even better! We are still in the process of sorting our pictures and memories...
Foodwise there would be much to talk about. In two weeks we ate at home maybe twice... All other meals were taken at restaurants where we had such a diversity of amazing regional dishes that it would take me hours to enumerate all of them. Maybe I will, in another post, just to salivate again at the thought of all these treats.
But for now let me tell you about the blueberry muffins I baked last Saturday.

When we came back from vacation our frontyard was a jungle: weed (there's very little grass in the patch of land facing our house) had grown higher than our knees, making the house look like it was abandoned. In our absence a neighbor had contacted the city council to complain about this pittyful display. And our landlord, who is always extremely kind to us, came to mow the "lawn". Last Saturday he came back with his wife to fill the stretch of weed and dirt along sideway with clean, flat and never-to-grow-an-inch concrete (this now looks much better indeed). As they were working in our yard under a burning sun, I felt very guilty (my plan for that afternoon was to read a novel in the much nicer-looking backyard where we've installed a very comfortable hamoc among fragrant flowers and aromatic herbs)... I decided to bake a few cakes to thank them for their efforts. But since I was in a hurry I could only use what was already available in the fridge and cabinets... This is how I came up with this modified version of a muffin recipe found on Marmiton. As mentioned on the web page, the recipe is based on "g√Ęteau au yaourt" (yogurt cake), which isn't truely a muffin type of cake. You shouldn't be looking for a true American muffin recipe here. But if you are interested in a lighter muffin-shaped blueberry and yogurt cake, you are at the right address!

Note that the yogurt's cup is used to measure all ingredients. What is called "cup" below is a yogurt cup.

For 12 muffins:
  • one 7 oz. (200g) greek yogurt (FAGE 2%) - 1 "cup"
  • 3 "cups" all-purpose flour
  • 2 "cups" sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 "cup" canola oil
  • 3 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • one 11 oz. (314g) box fresh blueberries
  • 150g (3-4 handfuls) whole hazelnuts and walnuts
  1. Start by emptying the yogurt in a large bowl. Rince the cup. You will use it to measure the other ingredients.
  2. Add the sugar to the yogurt and stir well until the sugar has disolved.
  3. Add the whole eggs and beat to incorporate.
  4. Sift the flour over the mix, little by little. Stir from the center outwards to incorporate without creating lumps.
  5. Add the oil, then the whipping cream. Stir until smooth.
  6. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts and walnuts. Add them to the mix.
  7. Rince the blueberries and incorporate them gently to the mix without breaking them.
  8. Pour into oiled muffin molds until almost full. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.
  9. Eat when they are still a little warm inside... Or keep in an air-tight box.