Rachel Allen's 30 Day Muffins

Yes, more muffins.  Actually this time because I have a shocking cold, and I can't sleep.  Seemed as though it might be fun to make breakfast muffins for everyone to have in the morning!  Adapted from Rachel Allen's 30 day muffin mixture, the theory is that you can leave the mixture in the fridge for 30 days until you next want to make muffins... Does it work? Absolutely!

At the weekend I made a batch of Rachel Allen's 30 day muffin mixture, and made a batch of blueberry muffins with half of the mixture, and made breakfast muffins with the other half.

3 eggs
500 ml milk
125 ml sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g dark brown sugar
100g caster sugar
460g plain flour (or 300g plain flour, 160g wholemeal flour)
25g bran (which I omitted)
½ teaspoon salt
2 round teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

Whisk the eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla.  Add the sunflower oil and stir well.  Sieve all of the dry ingredients into a bowl.  Tip in the wet ingredients and barely mix - store in the fridge until required.

When you're in a baking mood (or can't sleep), preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.  Decide on your variation, and ensure you stir the stored mixture before using.  I use those cafe-style muffin cases - you do need to cook them in a holey tin, or they'll unravel.  Fill the muffin cases until three quarters full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and golden.  In the big cases I find they take around 20 minutes.  I leave the muffins to 'set' in the tin for 10 minutes or so, before allowing to cool on a wire rack.

So, in the first variation I used about half of the mixture, and stirred in about 100g of blueberries.  I put a couple on top of the muffin to ensure they didn't sink, which is why some look as though they've burst, perhaps you'd want to pop them just below the surface.

In the second variation, I really wanted a breakfast muffin, so I put in about 1 cup of Rude Health's Top Banana Porridge mixture (which also contains roasted hazelnuts and maple flakes).  I wanted some fruit in the mixture too, just in case the oatflakes dried out the mixture too much.   I chopped in about 100g of blackberries, and distributed them through the mixture.  

The muffins definitely were more dense than the blueberry version, and decidedly more breakfast than dessert.  Very good, and the general consensus is that they're better than straight fruit muffins.  I assume this is what the bran would bring to the original recipe, but bran can be a little difficult to digest - so the oats are a good alternative.  The Rude Health mixture gives just a hint of the sweetness and perfume of the banana, but the acidity of the blackberry cuts through that!  Add the crunch of the hazelnuts, and the chewy oats and you're on to a breakfast winner.

I will definitely make up another batch of the mixture, and will keep posting variations as I think of them :0)

You can find the recipe in Rachel's book, Bake >