Day 1 of the Home Made Challenge went swimmingly! Being a chocoholic of sorts, I made a bunch of reduced-sweetness and chocolate-adorned ginger molasses cookies from Isa Chandra’s Vegan with a Vengeance last night. That is one of my favourite recipes – it takes very little time to whip up and if you’re like me (read: lazy), you can make them as drop cookies instead of going through rolling and prettifying. Lunch was a parsnip and apple soup, an inspiration I got from Toronto’s Fresh restaurant. Although my version tasted fine, it’s really nothing to write home about.
But what I wanted to tell you about today, is a blueberry almond muffin (mini-coffee-cake) with praline topping. Even before the Home Made Challenge, I’ve been regularly baking up batches of muffins for breakfasts at work. The muffins and other baked goods they sell at work are deplorable, and with only a little foresight, I could eat free and delicious muffins whenever I want. The last dozen turned out perfectly. Really, they are muffins, but their soft cakey texture and slightly tart taste could qualify it as coffee cake.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Makes: 1 dozen
Oven at: 375 F
- 1 and 1/2 cup unbleached flour (any kind of wheat flour works)
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
- dash of salt
- Juice and grated rind of one lemon
- 1 and 1/4 cup yogurt (I used plain Balkan style, but any vanilla or plain yogurt will do)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 tbsp butter (half a stick), melted
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup fresh blueberries (if using frozen, do not defrost)
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinammon
These muffins are sticky, so I recommend using muffin liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, stir together wet ingredients. Then, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined – lumpy is ok! Now fold in the blueberries carefully.
Spoon equal amounts of batter into the lined muffin tin. The batter should be level with the top of the tin. Set aside, and mix together the topping ingredients in a small bowl.
Note: If you increase the amount of blueberries to say, 2 cups, do spoon about 1 tbsp of batter into the muffin tins before you add the blueberries into the batter. This will avoid the likelihood of too many blueberries resting in the bottom, affecting the structural integrity of the muffin. Holding a muffin in your hand and trying to eat it before it falls apart is no fun!
Spoon equal amounts of topping onto the muffins. Don’t worry about aesthetics here, the muffins will rise and take revenge upon their human overlords. I mean, expand to make enough surface area to spread out the praline topping.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes – until the cake tester comes out clean. I like to use toothpicks inserted into the largest muffins.
Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, and then release them from their tins to cool completely. One option is always eating them right away.
Because this is a delicious moist cake, they do not keep long. Eat what you can within 24 hours, otherwise freeze them. They defrost perfectly in the microwave or just left out on your office desk for an hour like I did this morning.