Monday, June 15, 2015

Bouchon Bakery Blueberry Muffins (with a Twist!)

I'm kind of obsessed with all the muffins from Bouchon Bakery. I've made nearly all of the muffin recipes in the Bouchon Bakery cookbook, and I can't seem to settle on a favorite, because they are all incredibly awesome! I'd say that each muffin variety is my favorite of that type of muffin. There. That's fair :)

I recently made a twist on the Bouchon Bakery Blueberry Muffins by using a combination of blueberries and raspberries. The raspberries are significantly larger than the blueberries, so size-wise they were a bit awkward, but I love the tart flavor, and the combination of the two in the muffins was fantastic. You can definitely make these muffins with only blueberries if you'd like, or try a mixed berry version like I did. Either is absolutely stellar!

These muffins have a great depth of flavor from the variety of sweeteners including blackstrap molasses, honey, and plain old sugar. The blackstrap molasses also contributes to the deep golden hue of the batter. In addition to that complexity from the sweeteners, the buttery flavor of both the muffin itself and the streusel is just out of this world. I used cashew meal from Trader Joe's to make a cashew streusel, but you can stick with the recommended almond version if you'd like. The recipe below is the original, but I've included what I did in the notes.

I'd also like to add that I typically convert the Bouchon Bakery muffins to standard muffin size instead of making them jumbo. I have both sized pans, but I prefer the portion control aspect of the standard muffins (although when you end up eating two of them, what's the point?). If you decide to make standard muffins as I have, you can get about 14 to 15. I've included notes in the recipe for the different baking times.

After chilling the batter, even after resting at room temperature for a few minutes, the batter is quite firm. After portioning the batter into the cups, I suggest wetting your fingers and lightly pressing each muffin to help fill in the gaps and make room for the streusel topping. Bon appetit!

Bouchon Bakery Blueberry Muffins
Makes 6 jumbo muffins (or about 15 standard muffins)
(Adapted from Bouchon Bakery)

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (180 grams) frozen wild blueberries (I used a mixture of  fresh blueberries and raspberries)
1 tablespoon (10 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (86 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (109 grams) cake flour (when I'm out of cake flour, I simply substitute all-purpose in its place--the results are still tender and delicious!)
1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon (2.8 grams) baking powder
1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon (2.8 grams) baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (2.4 grams) salt
3.4 ounces (96 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (96 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (40 grams) unsulfured blackstrap molasses
2 1/2 tablespoons (54 grams) clover honey
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons (72 grams) eggs (or about 1 large egg)
1/4 teaspoon (1.2 grams) vanilla paste
1/4 cup (57 grams) buttermilk

Almond Streusel (recipe follows)
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

For the batter: Toss blueberries with the 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour in a small bowl, and place in the freezer.

Place remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour in a medium bowl. Sift in the cake flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add salt and whisk together.

Place butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, turn to medium-low speed, and cream the butter, until it’s the consistency of mayonnaise.

Add sugar and mix on medium-low speed for about 1 minute until the mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add molasses and honey and mix on low speed for about 1 minute to incorporate.

Add eggs and vanilla paste and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, until just combined. Add half the flour mixture and mix on low speed for 15 seconds, or until just combined. Add half the buttermilk and mix for 15 to 30 seconds to combine. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients, followed by the remaining buttermilk.

Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that have settled there. Transfer the batter to a covered container and refrigerate overnight, or up to 36 hours.

To bake the muffins: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan with muffin papers and spray the papers with nonstick cooking spray, or alternatively line 15 cups in two standard muffin pans (space them out between the pans) with paper liners. Remove the batter from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to begin to soften.

Stir the blueberries into the batter and spoon batter evenly into the muffin papers, stopping about 3/8 inch from the top (about 140 grams each for jumbo muffins). Sprinkle 30 grams or a generous 3 tablespoons of the streusel on top of each jumbo muffin, or less if you are making standard muffins.

Place pan in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees, and bake for 36 to 40 minutes (about 25 to 28 minutes for standard muffins), or until the topping is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

The muffins are best the day they are baked, but they can be wrapped individually in a few layers of plastic wrap or stored in a single layer in a covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 week. Defrost the muffins still in the container so any condensation will form on the outside of the container and not on the muffins. Place on a sheet rack and refresh in a 325-degree oven for about 5 minutes, if desired.

Almond Streusel Topping
Makes 3 3/4 cups
(Adapted from Bouchon Bakery)

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (120 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (120 grams) almond flour/meal (I actually used cashew meal from Trader Joe's to make it a cashew streusel topping instead)
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (120 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon (0.6 grams) kosher salt
4.2 ounces (120 grams) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk to break up any lumps.

Add butter and toss to coat the pieces. Work the mixture with your fingertips, breaking the butter into pieces  no larger than 1/8 inch and combining it with the flour mixture. Do not overwork the mixture or allow the butter to become soft; if it does, place the bowl in the refrigerator to harden the butter before continuing.

Transfer the streusel to a covered container or resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days, or freeze up to 1 month. Use the streusel while it is cold.

*This will make more streusel than needed for one muffin recipe. Freeze the remainder, or scale down the recipe to 30 grams per ingredient (and a pinch of salt) to make a more appropriate amount of streusel for a single recipe.


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