First of all, and this has nothing to do with the recipe, I just learned this morning that CBS has adapted the Great British Bake Off for American TV!!!!! Yea, the American Baking Competition doesn’t have a title that rolls of the tongue like its British counterpart, but hey, its still has delicious looking baked goods. And no, before you ask, it does not have brief little segments that talk about culinary history and what not. Its a bit disappointing but remember this is American TV so I’m going to take what I can get. Even a writer for NPR.com acknowledge the emergence of the American Baking Competition, seeing it the way I do: as a harmless reality tv with a touch of decadence. Its a straightforward formula that has worked (and not worked) in the past so I’m curious to see if this show will be as successful as its British inspiration.
*I really like how at the bottom she insists that any show with Gordon Ramsey is a Gordon Ramsey show, not a competition show. It’s true though. I don’t care about the contestants (except for Masterchef) I just really want to see Ramsey call someone a donkey*
Alright, I’m done wasting time. On to the main event.
Muffins, like cupcakes, are one of those that I just absolutely love to make. Doesn’t matter what the recipe is, I will gladly throw my apron on and jump into the kitchen if it means I get a chance to bake a batch of these tasty beauties. So I’m going to confess something: I may be a novice cook but when it comes to baking, especially cupcakes and muffins, I’d like to consider myself something of a pro. Does that mean every cupcake or muffin I make is going to come out of the even with a heavenly glow and angelic choir screeching out of them? No, but I can almost guarantee that they will taste good, about 95% of the time. Usually. Given such this decent track record, my mom’s work buddies asked me to bake something yummy for a co-worker who was retiring. While at first I had a million ideas going through my head. I could make cake, cupcakes (both meant I’d get to make icing!!!), bread, tarts (something new for me), or brownies. The possibilities were endless. But then mom threw me the curve ball. Well two curve balls. 1). They were going to be eaten on the train my mom’s friends took into the city and 2). They were going to be eaten at 6:00am. Well, that criteria kind of killed a bunch of my ideas, save for one. MUFFINS!!!!!!
While I was initially going to use a use a recipe from a blog that I follow, I was at my local library (not surprising) when I stumbled upon a cookbook dedicated towards producing delicious muffins. After flipping through a few recipes, I decided the book was worth checking out. As I would soon discover, the book, Moufflet: More than 100 Gourmet Muffin Recipes That Rise to Any Occasion was written by fellow blogger, Kelly Jaggers of http://www.evilshenanigans.com. Divided into six chapters, the book covers muffin recipes that range from the decadent to the super savory. The last two chapters features a variety of spreads, glazes, and crumbles to top off your muffin creation. But with so many choices how on earth was I going to pick one? Well, since I had previously selected a recipe, mom had already told the others that I was baking muffins with blueberries. Given that little stipulation, I was considerably limited in which recipes I could go for.
As the title of the post says, the winning recipe was Blueberry Compote Sour Cream Muffins. Certainly a mouthful but with such a promising result. And while I have made blueberry muffins before, the incorporation of a compote presented a new challenge for me. The combination of the sweet berries mixed with the tartness of a lime juice ultimately produced a result I was extremely proud of. When combined with the sour cream based batter, the pale white mixture gradually turned a light purplish blue along with streaks of darker blue. It was quite the sight to behold.
Then of course, came the fun part, and no, that does not mean eating the left over batter (which I did do :P). To fill the cupcake liners, one had to follow a specific process: fill them up halfway with the batter, then the compote, and then finally, more batter to top it off. After that, its just a scant twenty minutes in the oven before you have yourself a lovely plate of muffins.
I really loved the sort of tye-dyed effect that they had on the surface, it was different and, most importantly, it looked natural. No bizarrely colored muffin messes here! While the recipe said it would make about 18 muffins, I somehow managed to shrink the recipe down to 15.
Not sure how that happened but it is what it is. I kind of wish now that I made more just to keep on the side I’d need to go the store to get more blueberries.
Oh well, there is always next time.
Fresh Blueberry Compote Sour Cream Muffins
Makes about 18 Muffins
From Kelly Jagger’s Moufflet
1 ½ cups fresh blueberries*
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup half and half
*I followed the recipe exactly but in the end, I didn’t have enough compote for all the muffins. If you want to try the recipe, eyeball the amount of blueberries you use for the compote. Throw more in there if you think there should be more*
1. In a medium saucepan mix 1 cup of blueberries, the cornstarch, sugar, water, and lime juice. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thick and the berries have burst, about 10 minutes. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then fold in the remaining blueberries
2. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare 18 muffin cups with nonstick spray, or line with paper liners
3. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Once sifted, whisk in the sugar until evenly mixed
4. In a separate bowl add the butter, vanilla, sour cream, half and half, and eggs. Whisk until the mixture is well combined
5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. With a wooden spoon or spatula, gently fold the mixture until just combined, about ten strokes. Do not overmix. Add half the blueberry mixture and just swirl it into the batter, leaving large streaks of blueberry
6. Divide half the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups, and top with the reserved blueberry compote. Then top with the remaining batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when gently pressed in the center and the tops are golden brown. Cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy warm!