Sunday, February 1, 2009

On Blueberry Hill - Tana's Oat & Blueberry Muffins and other sweet nothings

Never one to shun a good muffin recipe, I was flicking through my brand new cookbook, Tana Ramsay's Real Family Food, when I came across what sounded like a doosey of a recipe for oat and blueberry muffins. These sounded appealing because they combined the lovely luscious taste of berries with the oomph of oatmeal to produce what had to be a power-packed muffin. And I was not disappointed!

These muffins were easy to make, were very tasty, and kept you full until mealtime with their oaty goodness. Tana is onto a winner with these, and while I am not "seriously addicted" to them like Tana's sister, they are very good.

To make these muffins, you will need:

340g self raising flour
150g light brown sugar
25g rolled oats plus extra for topping
180ml buttermilk
125ml vegetable oil
150g blueberries
1 beaten egg

Preheat your oven to 180 dgerees Celsius and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake papers.

Sift the flour into a large bowl, and combine with the sugar and the oats. Add the buttermilk, beaten egg abd oil, stir to just combine, then fold in the blueberries.

Divide the batter equally between the muffin tin holes, sprinkle the top of each muffin with extra rolled oats, then place the muffins in the preheated oven and bake them for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked htrough.

Remove the cooked muffins from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. (Although as with all muffins, these are good warm!)

I now wanted to share with you some wonderful sweet treats that I have enjoyed from around Melbourne in recent weeks.

The first is this delightful strawberry cupcake from Cupcakes to Go, a division of sophisticakes of Melbourne (located in Camberwell) (apologies to Barbara - this post originally mentioned the wrong company)
, and bought at the Melbourne Arts Centre Sunday Markets:

It is one of the most delicious vanilla cupcakes that I have ever tasted, topped with light as a feather, barely there, strawberry flavoured buttercream, and decorated with embossed fondant butterflies and silver cachous. The taste and the presentation were second to none - this is the best cupcake that I have bought in a long time, perhaps ever. I was going to remove the buttercream before eating it, but I was so glad that I didn't - it isn't at all greasy or heavy, and was a fluffy, strawberry-flavoured delight (even though it was coloured peach rather than pink). This little beauty cost $3.90 (and around $10 for 4). It came in its own Chinese noodle box to transport home. Loved it! If you would like to buy a cupcake like this or in one of the many other delightful flavours and designs available, please contact their creator, Barbara, whose contact details appear in the comments section of this post.

The next sweet treat that I wanted to share was also purchased at the Arts Centre Markets. This is lebkuchen by Eliana's Biscuits of Footscray:

These are light, gingery, heart-shaped biscuits with one half dipped in white chocolate, and some of the biscuits are decorated with a pretty red sugar. You can also get a milk chocolate coated version. These biscuits cost $5.95 for a packet of 11.

Next comes a selection of pastries from Crown Bakery of 215 Swanston Street, Melbourne:

My mother bought these while she was visiting with my brother for the Australia Day long weekend. Pictured are a fruit savarin, a strawberry tart and a fruit tart, just three of many pastries in Crown's wide selection. My favourite was the fruit savarin, consisting of a fruit-syrup soaked sponge cake topped with cream and fruit. I also enjoyed the fruit tart, which had a chocolate lined tart shell, containing pastry cream and cream topped with honeydew, rockmelon, kiwi fruit, orange and strawberry. My brother didn't like the strawberry tart, but take that with a grain of salt - he is an odd fish when it comes to his likes and dislikes. Prices are around $3.40 per piece.

Finally, I wanted to share this lovely slice of lemon tart from French Fantasies at 15 Toorak Road, South Yarra:

This is only half of the large slice, which costs $5.90. The pastry was just OK; however, the filling was delicious. There is a wide selection of other cakes and pastries available. One of my favourites is their slab of custard tart.

Hope you enjoyed sharing these delicious treats with me, and that you may try some for yourself if you are ever in Melbourne.


Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

I've never seen any of Tana Ramsay's books. I might have a flick through them after seeing these! Nice selection of cakes too ;)

Ivy said...

What a torture. It's not enough to drool over one of your recipes, do you have to have four more? Your Blueberry muffins are superb.

The Blonde Duck said...

Those look so delicious! I love blueberry muffins!

Ben needs to get off this diet. I'm dying.

The Caked Crusader said...

Yeah, thanks for the photos when I'm half starving waiting for lunch!

Rosie said...

I have to agree with Ivy here, oh my what a torture! I am drooling at the bit here just wanting to sink my teeth into a muffin or two of yours ;0)

Rosie x

giz said...

Ok, I found MY thrill - and thank goodness Melbourne is a little far for me to swim for those wonderful treats. I'm visiting family in Melbourne late August - I'll have to diarize these places and then I'm hunting you down to buy me new clothes since my old ones for sure won't fit after that.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Lorraine, my copy of Tana was free with a subscription to BBC Good Food Australia - it was my incentive for getting the subscription ;).

Sorry Ivy - come to visit us in Melbourne :)

Duckie, definitely need to get Ben off the diet. Besides, aren't baked goods with fruit health foods ;)

LOL Crusader, often find myself in the same situation.

Hi Rosie, shucks - but they are easy to make.

LOL Giz - that's what holidays are for :)

sophisticakes said...

Hi Laws of the Kitchen!

I am thrilled that you enjoyed one of my Berry, Berry Strawberry cupcakes from the Arts Centre Sunday Market!
When you have a moment, would you mind revising your write-up to clarify that "Cupcakes To Go" at the Arts Centre Sunday Market is a division of sophisticakes of Melbourne (located in Camberwell) and is not in any way affiliated with the "Sophisticake In East Ivanhoe" Cafe?

My contact details (for when you next need a cupcake) are #0422-50-40-50

Many, many thanks,

Barbara Dickinson
sophisticakes of Melbourne

Cakelaw said...

Sorry Barbara - it's now fixed! Love your cupcakes - they are terrific.