This is my trusty go-to recipe whenever I need to whip up a few (or more) muffins. It’s an incredibly forgiving recipe as the batter will last for 30 days in the fridge. Trust me, I’ve tried it and the last muffin is just as good as the first which is great if you only want to bake a few each time. It’s based on a recipe from Rachel Allen.These make both a great breakfast or a mid-ride refuel.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas mark 4 (350ºF/320ºF fan).
2. Take a pastry brush, dip it in vegetable oil and gently paint it all over the muffin tin. This will stop the muffins sticking to the tin if you’re not using muffin cases. If you are, place the cases in the tin(s). I make my own muffin cases from squares of greaseproof paper. (I explain how in my ‘handy hints’ section.)
3. Put the sugar and eggs into a large bowl and whisk to combine until air bubbles appear on the surface of the mixture.
4. Add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla and whisk again.
5. Sift and mix together the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda adding back the bran from the flour which will collect in the sieve.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and lightly combine. I find using a rubber spatula in a figure-of-eight movement works best. Ensure that no pockets of flour remain but don’t worry if the batter’s a bit lumpy. Lumpy batter makes light muffins. You now have your basic batter mix to which all manner of yummy ingredients can be added. See Sheree’s Handy Hints below.
7. Pour the mixture into a jug and fill the muffin cases ⅔ full, ensuring that you have equal amounts of batter in each case. Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes (depending on the size of your muffin tin) or until soft and springy to the touch. Cool on a wire rack and then enjoy!
8. The muffins will keep in an air-tight container for 3-4 days, but they never seem to hang around that long.
9. Leave any unused batter in a jug in the fridge. Place clingfilm (plastic wrap) directly onto the surface of the batter to prevent a skin from forming.
1. All ingredients should be at room temperature.
2. When I’m baking I always use a timer as it’s so easy to lose track of time. Once you’ve put the muffins in the oven, put the timer on for five minutes less than they should take to cook and then check regularly.
3. You can slightly under-bake small cakes as they’ll continue cooking for a few minutes after they come out of the oven.
4. Variations: Take 400ml (14fl oz), approx ⅓ of the basic batter – enough for six muffins – and add the following ingredients:
Fruit and nut
Carrot, apple and ginger
Banana and chocolate
Strawberry and white chocolate
Let your imagination run riot! Combine tastes and textures which you know go well together and, if necessary, add additional liquid in the form of dairy, fruit juice or maple syrup to maintain a soft pouring consistency.
5. Make your own muffin cases by cutting 15cm (6 inches) square pieces of greaseproof paper and put four into each muffin moulds. Push well down, pleating the sides and leave overnight to set.