Blueberry Muffins With A Crunch

When I was at university I spent a year living in San Francisco and was introduced to the wonderful world of muffins, or super-sized, beefed-up, fairy cakes.

They’re hearty, full-bodied and enough for a breakfast snack on the go or a mid-morning pick-me-up with a cup of coffee.

The flavours on offer are limitless but this recipe (which you can substitute for other berries if you wish) is a safe bet and the crunchy topping gives it an interesting extra layer.

You’ve not only got the soft, cakey muffin mix, oozing with blueberries, it’s topped with a crunchy cinnamon layer to give these muffins a little more character.

I’ve used coconut oil here, but you can substitute with butter if you prefer. I was sent in some by Kirly-Sue’s Kitchen and after my success with a banana loaf, I decided to use some in this recipe as well.

The result – not only the numerous health benefits of the oil – it also gives the texture a really gooey, squidgy feel which melts in your mouth and contrasts brilliantly with the crunchy crumble layer.

You can use fresh or frozen blueberries for this one – I opted for frozen as they’re cheaper and have longer shelf-life.

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Ingredients…

180g plain flour

110g caster sugar

2 tbsps coconut oil

50g butter, softened and unsalted

2 large eggs, at room temperature

100ml milk (whole is better but semi skimmed will do)

1 tsp nutmeg

1tsp baking powder

For the crunchy topping…

50g plain flour

50g caster sugar

1tsp cinnamon

50g unsalted butter, cold

How to make…

Preheat the oven to 200C, 180 Fan, Gas mark 6. Fill a cupcake/muffin tray with paper cases.

Mix the sugar with the coconut oil and butter until light and fluffy (around three minutes with an electric mixer, five without). Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then slowly pour in the milk, while stirring gently.

Sieve the flour, nutmeg and baking powder into the wet mixture and stir everything together until it’s just combined – be careful not to overmix.

Add in the pinch of salt and then throw in the blueberries and give the whole thing another stir.

Set aside to rest for 10 minutes in the fridge.

Now it’s time to make the crunchy topping. Mix the cold butter together with the flour, sugar and cinnamon with your fingertips until it looks like fine bread crumbs. This will work better if the butter is fridge-cold.

Now spoon the muffin mixture into your paper cases until each one is two-thirds full. Then heap on a teaspoon of the crunchy mixture on top and pop the tray into the oven for 35 minutes.

The muffins are done when you can press one gently and it springs back, or a sharp knife inserted into one comes out clean(ish).

Leave to cool before eating, they can be frozen or kept in a tupperware container for around four days (I challenge you to make them last that long).

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