Everybody should have a good, no questions asked muffin recipe. You can have them for breakfast, for tea, or just because. I enjoy them a lot, although I confess I mostly have them outside of home. For some reason, even though they are easy to make, and absolutely heavenly to have when freshly made, I never developed the habit of making muffins at home.
But I do now. I've realized that they are so much better when homemade. It's crazy! Back in February I had a traumatic muffin related experience, and that is when I began my quest in the search for a high quality muffin recipe. Pre-requisites being that they should be airy, soft, crummy, moist and with a lot of flavor.
Many recipes went by my kitchen, but none of them were keepers. Don't get me wrong, they were good, and I liked them, but never went crazy for any of them. Until I made these muffins, that is.
So, because muffins are mostly an American treat, I decided to go to the roots. There's one American chef that I admire a lot: Thomas Keller
. I knew that if someone would have a killer recipe for these beautiful pastries, it would most definitely be him. And I was right.
Originally his recipe calls for blueberries though. I have made a lot of changes, and adapted the recipe so that it would be easier to replicate at home. In the end, my recipe is a very free adaptation of Mr. Keller’s.
The key to making muffins, good muffins anyway, as is with many cakes, or even madeleines, is to rest the batter in the fridge overnight and up to 36 hours. This will permit the flour to absorb the liquid in the batter, and you will end up with a very moist, irresistible muffin! And to top it all off, you can have freshly baked muffins for breakfast without a lot of work. What a better way to start the day right?
Makes 12 - 16 Medium Size Muffins
For the Muffin Batter
Adapted from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery
All-purpose flour 200 g
Baking power 7 g
Baking soda 1 pinch
Salt 1 pinch
Vanilla powder 1 pinch (or vanilla extract 1 or 2 drops)
Butter 100 g
Sugar 100 g
Honey 50 g
Brown sugar 40 g
Eggs 70 g (1 and 1/2 u)
Milk 60 g
Lemon juice a few drops
Raspberry 100 g
White chocolate 80 g
Brown sugar 50 g
Leave your butter at room temperature.
Add the drops of lemon juice to the milk.
Cut the raspberries in half, toss with a little flour in a small bowl, and place in the freezer.
Mix together all the dry ingredients (if you can, sift them together, it's even better). By dry ingredients I'm referring to the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt.
Check the butter. We are looking for softened butter or "beurre pommade", which means it should be the consistency of mayonnaise. If it is not hot enough outside and you won't get this consistency just by leaving it over the counter, you can use the microwave. Heat for 5 seconds at a time, and mix. We don't want melted butter. So, no more than 5 seconds!!
Once you have obtained the "beurre pommade" or almost (you can finish the process with your mixer), place it in a bowl of a stand mixer or a regular bowl if you are doing it by hand.
Add the sugars (brown and regular) and whisk until the mixture is fluffy. If you are using the stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.
Add the honey and mix until it has been incorporated into the mixture (low speed).
Add the eggs and vanilla powder (or extract) and mix to combine.
Add half the flour mixture and combine. Add half the milk and mix until combined. Repeat the operation.
Make sure the batter is homogenous, and transfer to a container. Refrigerate overnight and up to 36 hours.
For the Finishing Touches
Pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
Remove the muffin batter from the refrigerator. Let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
In the mean time, line a muffin pan with muffin papers and spray with non-stick cooking spray (if you have any. I didn't use it :) ). Or if you use individual silicon muffin molds you can spray those. I used both; I did 6 and 6 just to try it out. No need for muffin pan if you have individual silicon molds because they hold up quite nicely on their own!!
Remove the raspberries from the freezer. Using spatula mix in the raspberries and the white chocolate chips into the muffin batter.
Using an ice cream spoon (I found this very helpful!! But if you don't have one, use 2 spoons instead), divide the muffin batter evenly between the muffin papers (If you have a scale: 50 g each).
Sprinkle the muffins with brown sugar.
Place your muffin tray in the oven and lower the temperature to 160 degrees Celsius.
Bake for 30 minutes approximately. You should check using a skewer or knife; if it comes out clean then your muffins are ready.
Transfer onto a cooling rack and cool completely!
Because each oven is different, don't trust the timing 100%. The first time you make these muffins you will be testing your oven as well as the recipe! In my case, I have a small electric oven, and it does not cook evenly, so I must turn the tray around half way the cooking time. Just saying. Most ovens don't cook evenly after the first month, so you might also need to do this! Also; it might take less than 30 minutes, so just keep an eye on them!
Mr. Keller says that muffins are better the same day they are baked. But, if you have leftovers, they would still be good after 2 days if wrapped in plastic paper and kept in an airtight container. He also says that you can freeze them, very well wrapped for up to a week.