I've just been googling around cake and muffin recipes, something I'm pretty much a noob at. I've only ever made one cake mix from scratch, and that was for a fruit pudding.
But that is going to change.
I see some recipes say plain flour, and to add baking powder.
Is there any real difference between plain flour + a bit of baking powder and just using self raising flour?
While on the subject, is a hand electric blender a good idea, or does giving a good stir with a wooden spoon (or a fork?) just as good?
David- not half as dumb as I've been working out how to post a reply- sixth time lucky...
8oz Plain Flour+4 Teaspoons Baking Powder= Self-Raising Flour.
I find mixed up fresh ( seived together) makes for a better result with scones and muffins.
Best Muffin recipe book is " Muffins fast and fantastic" by Susan Reimer isbn:0-9528858-1-6.
Stirring with a spoon is exactly what muffins like- blenders way too sophiosticated for them!
Thanks for the advice, Kate.
In the end I used a mix of plain flour and baking powder, though I didn't think of seiving them together, figuring that the mixing would do it.
I didn't use a spoon, either, because someone gave me something I used (or abused) instead - a hand held smoothie blender like this
Which worked - though it struggled a bit as the mix got thicker.
When I stuck the fruit in at the end I just gave it a very quick whizz, so the fruit was still nice and chunky. And they are actually pretty good, though I think I'll seive the seeds out of the blackberries next time, in the way suggested to me elsewhere.
I'm now wondering how long they'll keep without freezing. I'm getting through them pretty fast, but I live alone.
Next time I'll just use a spoon as you suggest, and then weigh up both the results and the amount of work, to decide what I do in future.
Muffins need very little stirring, you just need to get everything mixed up, I would have thought washing up afterwards will be much simpler using just the one spoon to mix and to put the mix into the cases! Stirring will also give you a lighter more crumbly texture when cooked and a lighter mix that will rise more in the cooking.
Muffins with fresh fruit in them will keep for several days in the fridge- apple muffins don't mind being kept in a cake tins outside the fridge, but berries, being much juicier, do need to be kept cooler to avoid them going mouldy.
If you sieve your flour before you mix it in your muffins will be lighter and seiving the raising agent with the flour will give you a more even rise to the muffins.
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