I’m not trying to pretend these are actually ‘healthy’ healthy but generally muffins are a lot healthier than cupcakes or chocolate brownies, because they have less sugar and fat. It’s also really quick and easy to whip up a batch.
This is a basic muffin recipe that’s been used in our household for years, courtesy of BBC Good Food. You can go as crazy as you like with the fillings, they’re also nice with some sort of berries; blackberries or raspberries are great, or a banana muffin is always a winner. But for this recipe, I will be making apricot and almond muffins.
Ingredients; [Makes 12 muffins]
250 g self-raising flour
140 g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp almond extract
85 g margarine
2 eggs, beaten
200 ml milk (I used semi-skimmed)
140 g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
50 g flaked almonds, toasted
Additional ingredients for buttercream, if desired.
1. Melt the margarine in a pan and leave to cool.
2. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar and baking powder) in a bowl.
3. In a measuring jug, beat the eggs, then add the melted margarine, milk and almond essence.
4. Gently pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and fold in until no lumps of flour remain, but make sure not to overmix the muffins
5. Add the chopped dried apricots and most of the toasted flaked almonds. Stir until mixed in, taking care not to over mix.
6. Spoon into a muffin tin lined with muffin cases. Scatter any remaining toasted almonds onto the top of the uncooked cakes, providing you are not intending to ice the muffins (otherwise you’ll just cover it up).
7. Bake on the middle shelf in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes on Gas Mark 6. But keep an eye on them as they may not take this long!
I iced half of my muffins, using buttercream flavoured with a couple of drops of almond essence. This made them seem more like cupcakes and made them more of an indulgent treat. However the trick of pressing flaked almonds on to the top before baking means that even without icing, these muffins still look great.