Once I got a lovely birthday present from a friend of mine. A muffin tin with a muffin recipe book. Since then, and especially because of my son, I've been baking endless number of muffins now. They so pratical as they are really quick, need less time to prepare and less time to bake, and very easy to make. I do not look in my recipe book anymore!
This is the quickest recipe I know of when you want to make something sweet spontaneously and quickly for teatime for guests.
You need a muffin tin for 12 muffins, two deep bowls, one whisk, one spoon, spoon measures (tsp., tbsp.) and a kitchen scale.
Time: 20-30 minutes for preparation and 20-25 minutes for baking. Basic recipe: Preheat oven to 180°C [356°F] (see below).
Mix in a large bowl: 250g (8 oz) wheat flour (use any kinds, whole wheat, or a mixture), 2 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp soda powder, (Note: Soda or both the raising agents can be replaced with cream of tartar based baking powder. It usually also contains soda. So, 3 tsp cream of tartar baking powder). OPTIONAL: 50g (1 1/2 oz) grated nuts (any kind: almond, hazelnut, walnut or any other, even coconut), or 3 tbsp. cocoa powder (for some recipes)
In another deep bowl stir gently and shortly (DO NOT mix for long or make it frothy) the following: 1 egg (leave out egg, if egg-less is desired; 1 tbsp. apple puree or just joghurt or milk can be used to replace the egg), 250 g (8 oz) Yoghurt or 300 ml (1 1/5 cup) Buttermilk, 60-80 ml (1/4 - 1/3 cup) veg. oil (makes the cake juicier than butter; or use 100g butter), 150g (5 oz) sugar
Add to it: 150-300g (5-10 oz) Fruits of choice, sliced or chopped or whole berries, or chocolate pieces or any kind of chocolate which can be baked. You can also add these after pouring the batter into the muffin moulds.
Now mix everything together with a whisk or spoon really quick. DO NOT WHIP OR MIX FOR LONG! The muffins will come out soft only if you do not beat it , but just gently mix everything and immediately start baking. As soon as all the ingredients are wet, stop mixing and pour the batter into the greased muffin moulds. Bake at 180°C (160°C convection oven) [356°F (320°F)] for 20-25 minutes.
Tips: Add 1- 2 heaped tbsp of cornflour to the flour, add 1 or 2 tbsp milk for it to the batter, and they turn out really soft and fine grained. Has been my experience with baking so far. If you are using fruits in the recipe, use paper muffin liners for the tin. If using a muffin tin without the paper liner, then grease the tin with butter and put in the freezer and take out just before pouring the batter. No greasing and freezing is required if using silicone cups for baking. Let the muffins cool down for a minute or two before you take them out of the moulds, otherwise they might crumble. Twist them from above while taking out.