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Sunday, 7 March 2010

Blueberry muffins/ ブルーベリー・マフィン

A few months ago, I had the occasion to have a drink with several pastry chefs.  One of them, who is an executive pastry chef at a famous five-star hotel said "I always make my muffins with vegetable oil.  Not butter".  Then a heated discussion took place: whether you should use oil or butter, and how the fat/ oil changes the flavour and texture.
There was only one way to find out for myself  - so I baked muffins.
I found a recipe that uses a combination of strong flour and plain flour, with vegetable oil.  To this I added blueberries and lemon, and topped with some streusel to add a bit of texture.
The result was.. interesting.  I mean, good-interesting.
I normally bake muffins with butter and plain flour.  This gives a flaky texture, cake-like quality and wonderful aroma.
This time, with the mixed flours and vegetable oil, the muffins had a more bouncy texture.  Although you lose the flavour of butter, I think the kick from lemon worked pretty well.  Also it was soft and moist- even when it cooled off.

Overall, I think I like it, although I cannot say whether I like it "better than" using butter.  The good thing is that you can make the muffins when you want to (i.e. no need to keep the butter at room temperature), and the recipe is quick to make.  Also, it tastes less rich, and less cake-like, so it made me feel healthier and therefore more suitable for "breakfast".  However, butter-based muffins have a rich aroma and flavour, which is perfect for an indulgent weekend breakfast.

Anyway, my husband and I enjoyed the muffins.  Juicy sweet blueberries, nice light crunchy topping, and refreshing flavour and acidity from the lemon.  Yum.

I would have shared the recipe if I thought it excellent - but I think I want to tweak it a bit.  So, perhaps after an experiment or two, the recipe will be posted here..








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