Tag Archives: blueberries

Yoghurt, blueberry and oat muffins

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I went skiing with a few years ago and stayed in a chalet where the host only knew how to make one kind of cake: yoghurt. Every day he made a slightly different version. Different flavours of yoghurt, sometimes with icing, one time he even got really fancy and baked it in a Bundt pan. While I found this somewhat uninspiring to eat every day, the method for making it is pure simplicity. Basically, you use a pot of yoghurt, and then use that same pot to measure out everything else. I had a giant tub of yoghurt so I used a cup measure for this particular recipe, but a pot of any kind of yoghurt will do. There’s no butter or stiff ingredients, so you don’t even need elbow grease to make it all come together. And yes, I made it into muffins, but you don’t need to be fancy like me. I just wanted to use the muffin shape as an excuse to eat cake for breakfast. You can be extra fancy and bake it in a funny-shaped pan. I added 1 cup oats instead of 1 more cup of plain flour, but you don’t need to follow that. Change the fruit. Add cocoa powder. Ice it. Or don’t, it works great plain. This is pretty much the only baking recipe I know where you can’t go wrong. Have fun.

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Ingredients:
1 cup low-fat Greek yoghurt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
1 cup oats
1 tbsp baking powder (that’s 1.5 tsp (ish) per cup of flour+oats)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup blueberries

Makes 12-15 muffins
Calories: 310
Takes 5 minutes to put together, 25 minutes to bake

Preheat the oven to 180C/fan160C. Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl and it will come into a batter. Put it into whatever baking utensil you choose. Pop in the oven for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

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Blueberry cake

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Going swimming before making a cake is a terrible idea. It is really difficult not to eat cake batter when your head is saying, “You’re still hungry even though you had dinner, plus you exercised so you deserve to eat EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD. Go on, eat more batter. More batter. More batter.” But I persevered, and I’m glad because the baked product is actually far nicer than the batter, which I only ate a small(-to-medium) amount of. Honest. I used this recipe for a base, but I didn’t fancy cherries or cinnamon so this one has blueberries and vanilla. I love the way the blueberries explode in the oven and make the cake extra sweet and moist, but the crunchy topping stops it being soggy.

I like making cakes in a square tin. This cake is an advance cake for dinner tomorrow, but if I bake it in a square tin and cut it up I can eat a piece (or two) tonight and when I lay the pieces out on a plate tomorrow nobody ever needs to know. I also like making cakes with lots of fruit so I can label them as healthy, and actually this cake does a pretty good job of living up to the label. It’s sweet, but lots of that sweetness comes from the blueberries. You also get a decent chunk of cake for very few calories. The crunchy topping really makes a difference and only takes a couple of minutes to make. I sort of want to put it on everything now.

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Ingredients for the cake:
140g self-raising flour
50g caster sugar
85g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
1 egg
200g blueberries

Ingredients for the topping:
25g cold butter, diced
25g caster sugar
25g plain flour

Makes 8 slices
Calories: 250
Takes 10 minutes to put together, and 30-35 minutes to bake

Stage one: Preheat the oven to 180C/fan160C. Prepare a 20cm square baking tin. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, and then stir in all remaining cake ingredients except the blueberries. You should now have a smooth and very firm batter.

Stage two: Spread the batter out in the baking tin. Then spread the blueberries over the top of the batter, pressing them in slightly. Don’t worry if you have a few blueberries left over. Eat them. I certainly did.

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Stage three: Prepare the topping by putting all the ingredients in a small bowl and rubbing the mixture between your fingers until the butter, sugar and flour have come together in crumbs. Spread the mixture over the top of the blueberries and press down gently.

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Stage four: Pop the cake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Maybe with a little blueberry on it. Cut into 8 pieces and put them on a cooling rack, and serve sprinkled with icing sugar.

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