If I could wish for anybody in the world to come to my house and make me food, it would probably be Dan Lepard. This is a very good, very easy recipe from one of his (in my opinion) best books. I’ve made it a couple times and never fail to be amazed at how little work really goes into it, despite the fact that there’s icing involved. The single modification I made to his recipe was to add raspberries to the mix.
These guys come out of the oven looking the way shop bought muffins could only ever hope to. They will scent your kitchen with berries and vanilla. The cake is incredible – soft, light, and packed with flavour, with a gorgeous density and sweetness at the edges. The centre is made of heaven – burst, baked berries that tinge the cake purple and pink. To top it all off, there’s an icing that echoes the creamy undertones of the cake, sweet with a tarty twang. Altogether, this is one damned fine recipe.
Thanks go out to the member of my SLT class who gave me the heads up on discount blueberries…!
Ingredients for Muffins (makes 12):
3 Large Egg Whites
200g Icing Sugar
75g Butter, Softened
150g Creme Fraiche
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2 Tsp Almond Extract
275g Dove’s Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour
2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
200g – 300g Fresh Blueberries & Raspberries
Ingredients for Icing:
300g Icing Sugar
100g Creme Fraiche
1. Preheat that oven: 160 celsius for the fan lovers, and 180 celsius for the fan haters. Line your tray! Put this music on. Grab a medium mixing bowl, and put your egg whites in there. Take out that electric beater, and go at ’em for just a minute or so, ’til you’re seeing lots of bubbles and froth. Tip half your 200 grams icing sugar into the eggs, and attack with the beater until the mix is what we call ‘soft meringue’ – very dense, white and thick, forming peaks when you pull out the beater.
2. In a large mixing bowl. cream the soft butter (attack it with vigour with a spoon or with the beater, depending on your energy) until it’s fluffy. Add to it your creme fraiche, vanilla and almond and beat further until combined. Now add the rest of the icing sugar to this mix – beat to combine. Finally, 100g of that flour – beat to combine.
3. Next, tip approximately a third of the meringue mix into the butter mix. Using all your own energy, or the energy handily supplied by an electric mixer (up to you!) beat it into the mix. When combined, go and blend the remainder of your flour with your baking powder. Add a third of this, and combine the mix again. Repeat this by thirds of meringue and flour til all is combined. Finish the batter by tipping in your berries and stirring gently through to assure even distribution.
4. Spoon evenly into your liners and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (mine have taken between 25 to 27 minutes, in a fan oven). Cool on wire racks for at least an hour. In available spare time while all that’s going on, prep your icing by beating icing sugar and creme fraiche together ’til smooth and thick. The last step before serving is to ice your cakes – do ensure that they’re cool before you do this if you want them to look pretty (although if you don’t, ice ’em warm – they still taste good!)