One of my favourite places in Sydney is the Bourke Street Bakery. I've never actually been to the original in Surry Hills, but I used to go to the Broadway branch all the time when I worked in Haymarket, and then the Alexandria branch when I worked in Rosebery. And I used to dream of a branch opening in Marrickville...and one day a couple of years ago it did! Alas, now I'm no longer living there, so it's not my local anymore. Probably a good thing - on both the waistline and the wallet. It was very easy to pop in for a coffee and a pastry and leave 30 bucks worse off (throw in a loaf of sourdough or olive oil bread, a muffin or two, maybe a sausage roll or bacon and gruyere quiche or chorizo and thyme roll for lunch...)
Last year they released a cookbook and, to my amazement, it includes recipes for all of my favourites. I thought they might hold a few things back, but I guess things like bread and pastry are labours of love and most people would be inclined to buy them rather than bake them. The sourdough, for instance, needs about five weeks work before you even turn the oven on - the weekly feeding schedule would rival that of a newborn baby!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the muffin recipe included in the book has become a regular treat in this house. It's full of butter and buttermilk, which may explain why they're so good. I usually make the raspberry and dark chocolate ones as described, but I've also done them with apple and rhubarb. I reckon they'd be good with just about anything. I'm not sure what the legalities are of reproducing recipes in blogs, but this one's for the Toowoomba readership (I know it will be appreciated by my long-distance baking buddy!)
Preheat oven to 190 degrees. It says to grease and line two six-hole tins but I use a regular 12-hole one (and the recipe makes enough for about 24). Sift 400g plain flour and 2 teaspoons baking powder, then add 300g caster sugar and mix. In a saucepan, melt 310g unsalted butter, then remove from heat and stir in 480ml buttermilk. Whisk in 3 eggs. Then pour this over the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
Then you add your yummy extras. These ones have 225g chopped dark chocolate (choc chips work just as well) and 225g raspberries (I used frozen). Spoon into paper cases, sprinkle the top with raw sugar (this is important - they're not nearly as nice without it) and bake for about 25 minutes or until they're nice and brown and yummy.
Eat and enjoy!