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When I was little I wanted to make muffins. I found a recipe, I followed it and they turned out great. Then I did another one, and another one and, well, a lot of them. And I realised that they were all basically the same recipe and used the same basic ingredients.
Baking is a game of proportions and adjusting for whatever ingredients you are using. That’s why people usually say that baking is a science: mess up the proportions and your lovely cake becomes a messy puddle or a tooth-breaking rock.
This recipe is based on the very old-fashioned and traditional pound cake. It’s very easy to make, even by the most amateur of cooks. And a great recipe for children!
No matter which ingredients you have, you will be able to make edible muffins. Some combinations of ingredients will work better than others, but they will all be nice over a cup of tea or coffee.
Keeping the recipe for muffins assures that they will cook thoroughly regardless of the ingredients used. Don’t switch to a loaf or a larger cake if you haven’t tried the particular combination you’re using before. And, write down (and share) those that you love.
Preheat your oven to 180 C (350F), and prepare the muffin (or cupcake) cases. The amount will vary depending on the exact ingredient and size of case you use.
I like to use silicone cases because they can stand on their own and I don’t need to be buying paper cases over and over again. They also don’t need to be pre-prepared with butter or non-stick spray to avoid the muffins from sticking to them.
Dump and mix
In a bowl mix 1 cup of flour (if the flour is not self-raising add 2 teaspoons of baking powder), 1/2 cup of liquid (milk, water, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice…), 1/2 cup of fat (butter, oil, nut or seed butter, coconut milk, ice-cream), 1/2 cup of egg (about 2 large eggs or any of the alternatives), up to 1 cup of any dry ingredients for flavour (fruit, vegetables, cheese, meats, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices…), and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
If you want sweet muffins add up to 1/2 cup of sweetener (sugar, honey, syrup, apple sauce…),
Divide and bake
Divide the batter into the muffin cases and bake at 180 C (350 F).
The baking time will vary between 15 and 45 minutes depending on the ingredients. A basic flour/milk/eggs mix will take about 15 minutes, while a vegan fruit muffin could take up to 45 minutes. If no fruit, vegetables or moist ingredients were used, you can test for doneness by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, your muffins are ready.
If you have too much batter for the amount of muffin cases, cover the remaining batter and keep it in a cool place until you can bake a second batch.
You can batch cook this recipe and freeze the extra muffins. Leave out for a few hours or microwave for a few seconds, and they will be ready to eat.