Question – “What can I bake this weekend that is not wickedly indulgent but satisfies my need to fill the kitchen with warm aromas of something fresh and satisfying from the oven?.”
Answer – “The easiest cakes I ever cook - which can come in all kinds of mouth-watering flavours - and can be made occasionally to be quite 'virtuous'. Of course, it must be American-style muffins.
Recipes for these little cakes are numerous but, today, I wanted to keep to the lower fat version using buttermilk and some raspberries that had been reduced to £1 in the supermarket. Well.....we all like a bargain!
Sadly, it is no longer easy to find churn buttermilk. Years ago local butter producers would sell the liquid left after butter churning, which resulted in an almost fat-free product. Today most modern buttermilk is cultured, i.e. factory-made using a fermentation process with very low-fat milk. The resulting product is thicker than traditional buttermilk but can be used in the same way for making excellent pancakes, scones, soda bread, and more......including muffins.
My low-fat (0.75g saturated fat per cake and 170 calories) raspberry muffin recipe uses:
275g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
115g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 carton buttermilk (around 280ml)
4 tbsp rapeseed oil (or other healthy oil)
150g raspberries (or other fruit)
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 200c (or 190c fan) and line a muffin tin with 12 cases. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl, stir in the sugar, then make a well in the centre.
Mix the egg, buttermilk and oil together in a separate bowl, pour into the flour mixture and mix quickly.
Add the raspberries and lightly fold in with a metal spoon. (Do not over-mix – it’s OK for it to be a bit lumpy.) Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for around 25 mins until golden brown and firm in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack and when cool dust liberally with icing sugar.