Baking with Julia for Cultivate PR blog

This Is What Good Cooking Is All About #CookforJulia

What makes a great chef? Training and technique of course, a generous personality… I only have one of those things. (Arguably).

I’d like to start by saying I do not bake. But! You must have the courage of your convictions! And so bake I did, and the Julia’s Blueberry Muffins recipe from Baking with Julia was my first victim. It was not without its challenges.

Firstly, I don’t have any muffin pans. Why I assumed I would is unclear, but I did in fact only have a loaf pan in my little kitchen. Also, I chose to work with blackberries rather than blueberries, because I simply prefer them. (Julia inspires remixes, you know).

Soldiering on! Start to finish it was admittedly simple. From my other cooking show hero, Alton Brown, I already knew the importance of process. (Dry ingredients, then wet, don’t over mix, and so on.) In the end I enjoyed a delicious if not attractive slice of Blueberry Muffin Turned Blackberry Bread and toasted Mrs. Child for her inspiration. Bon Appetit!

Blueberry/Blackberry Bread from Julia Child's Baking with Julia
Finished blueberry bread from Julia Child's Baking with Julia
Blackberry Bread, adapted from Julia Child's Baking with Julia

The recipe, with my respectful edits, is as follows:

From Julia Child’s Baking With Julia

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (blackberries!)
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature

Makes about 18 muffins. Or one great cake! Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

MIXING THE BATTER

Sift the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt together twice. Remove a tablespoon or two of dry ingredients and toss with blackberries.In a separate bowl, stir milk and sour cream together, and set aside.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment or with a hand held mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until white and pale, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and beat until mixture no longer feels grainy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the paddle and side of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs and yolk and beat until the mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift half of the dry ingredients into the bowl. Add half of the milk and our cream mixture and using a large rubber spatula, delicately fold the ingredients together, stopping when barely combined. Add remaining dry and liquid ingredients and fold in only until just mixed. Don’t be concerned about getting everything evenly incorporated. Sprinkle over the blackberries and fold them in only to the “just mixed” stage.

BAKING

Spoon batter into prepared muffins tins (greased or using paper liners) (loaf pan) filling each cup at least 2/3 full and back for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops (which will be flat) (true) are golden and spring back when light pressed. Turn out muffins cakeonto a cooling rack and allow them to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.