Since I came back from holiday last week, I’ve felt slightly overwhelmed.
It is partly, I suppose, a post-holiday come down but it’s also the fact that I have to share my living space with somebody again. My boyfriend couldn’t come on holiday with me and whilst I missed him, it was startling how quickly I settled back into the routine of having my own space. I didn’t have to share the sofa (or bed) with anyone. The mess and the noise created were all my own. I could do, pretty much, exactly what I wanted, whenever I wanted and come and go as I pleased.
The first few days definitely made for a difficult period of adjustment.
Another thing that I really miss is the simplicity of how we eat in France. Lunch can just be a plate of tomatoes from the market and a baguette, fresh that morning. In the evening, a bowl of risotto or a roast leg of lamb that will last us for several days.
We’ve never eaten anything particularly complicated at home but this weekend, I was really drawn to some of the simplest recipes in my arsenal. These muffins are rich in blueberries with a perfect texture from the yoghurt and addition of ground almonds. I used olive oil where the original recipe called for butter for the simple reason that we had run out of butter but the recipe works equally well. A little sprinkling of sugar before you bake the muffins is like magic dust, creating a golden and crunchy topping. I didn’t get much of a rise out of these as my baking powder was on its very last legs but even so, they refuse to feel heavy.
- 150g (2/3 cup) unrefined caster/granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 medium egg
- 175ml (2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) plain greek yoghurt
- 95ml (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) extra virgin olive oil
- 200g (2 cups less 1 tablespoon) whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 100g (1 cup) ground almonds/almond meal
- 200g (about 1 + 1/2 cups) blueberries
- 1 tablespoon demerara/turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- Heat the oven to 180C/350F (fan 160C/325F) and line a muffin tin with paper cases.
- With a wooden spoon, mix together the sugar, vanilla, egg, yoghurt and oil in a large bowl or jug.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and ground almonds.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and lightly fold together. Finally add the blueberries and fold them through. Don’t worry if the batter is lumpy or not quite mixed together, better than than over-beaten and flat muffins.
- Divide the muffin batter between the paper cases and sprinkle the tops with a little demerara/turbinado sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store loosely covered with a a tea towel rather than in an air-tight container.