Is the muffin just an ugly cupcake? Well according to T-Shirt makers in 2008, yes they are. Of course the muffin did gain a rather unsavoury reputation just by association with the rather popular “muffin top” saying when referring to a rather inflated midriff.
American muffins, not to be mistaken for their much older English yeasted bread like counterparts, date back to the 19th century. Muffins were in fact quick breads baked in tins with the aid of a chemical leavener. Before the introduction of baking powder pearlash, a refined potash, was used as the raising agent. The pearlash reacted with the acidity of ingredients such as buttermilk to produce carbon dioxide bubbles in the mixture causing the baking product to rise. Potash comes from ashes and lye so I guess it is no wonder that while the pearlash did indeed make a great rising agent it also left a bitter aftertaste in baking.
Slightly adapted from Jo Seagar Bakes.
Makes 12 muffins
- 300gms plain flour
- 160gm caster sugar
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg
- 100gm melted butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 130gm white chocolate bits.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Spray muffin pans with oil and line with baking paper.
Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl combine the melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla essence.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with spatula or wooden spoon until just combined. Add chocolate chips and frozen raspberries, mix until combined. Note: to obtain a nice light muffin be careful not to overwork the ingredients.
Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin pans and bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to cool enough so that muffins are still warm, dust with icing sugar and serve.
Best served warm.