Saturday, June 27, 2009



I so feel like Donna over at My Tasty Treasures talking about quickies and all, but so it goes. (Funny thing is, I stopped by her blog written right after her own move and she mentions a quickie, too) You all know that I am up to my neck in packing cartons, trash bags, piles of books and kitchen utensils, I have been fighting with the phone/internet service and wrestling with tape and bubble wrap, arguing with teens and getting help from no one (to be honest, some of them have excuses, but some do not). So this post will be limited to a quickie.

As I clear out closets and empty shelves, as I try and wedge things into boxes just so, like huge 3-D puzzles, not too heavy, not too light, I wonder why I ever thought that this would be either easy or fun. Our Boston, Marty stares at me with those big cow eyes of his, sad and forlorn, lost amidst the cartons. I feel his eyes burn holes into my back each time I drag the tape dispenser across the bottom of a box and he looks daggers if I push one too close to where he is sleeping. Heavy sighs of discontent coming from an 8 kg dog are worse than all the vitriol spewed by all the harried and harassed teenagers put together.

Why does the caged dog sing? Marty is caged!

I remember our move from the suburbs of Paris smack dab in the middle of one of the worst heat waves in France’s history. No air conditioning, we had all the French windows flung wide open trying our darnedest to stir up the slightest breeze, sucking on popsicles one after the other. And by the end of the packing process I had become so crazy and lost in what goes where that we were tossing loose objects, lamps and hatboxes, clothes and toys straight into the back of the moving van as they were closing up the doors. Clem and I then hopped on a train to Nantes, carrying violins and boxes of valuables, where we spent the night in the boiling hot apartment, on the floor on bare mattresses waiting for the movers to show up at the crack of dawn the following day. JP and Simon followed in our tiny car (sans air conditioning) with the monster boxer gasping for air in the back seat.

And here we are again but with a new dog (poor Kikka passed away a mere month after our arrival in Nantes) and a lot more furniture. This time around, I have decided to get rid of everything that we have been dragging behind us for way too long, fabric scraps and broken toys, baby clothes half disintegrated and the kids’ old school notebooks. I have saved two boxes of baby clothes and a store-sized collection of Legos, an old telescope (never used) and all of my wooden hat forms. The junk man took away an entire truckload of junk, half empty paint cans and pieces of old armoires, the old bathroom set that was installed when we arrived here, rolls of leftover wallpaper and a ton of other useless things. And as we are moving just a few blocks away, we can throw a load or two of things in the car and drive them over if need be.

Well, enough blathering on about the move and let’s bake! Oh joy berries are in season and although they are somewhat pricey here in Nantes I just cannot keep myself from baking with them. I have been sitting on a recipe for Blueberry Muffle from my former college roommate Cindy, an extraordinary woman and a great friend. Why this is called a Muffle I have no idea, though somewhere in my Swiss cheese for brains memory I do believe that she explained it to me many moons ago. What I do know, though, is that it is a fantastic snack cake, like a coffee cake only much lighter and airier, with plump, juicy, tangy berries and a streusel topping.

This Muffle is a snap to throw together, even quicker when you have leftover streusel in the fridge from another recipe. I had to change the recipe somewhat in order to have a smooth,
creamy batter and instead of using all blueberries I used half blueberries and half raspberries. Cindy also suggests folding the berries into the batter before spreading into the pan, but I sprinkled the berries on top once the batter was already in the pan. I loved the way this looked.

This is so easy and so fantastic that it is a must-do! JP took most of it to work the morning after I baked it (I kept it in the fridge overnight as I was afraid that it would get stale in the heat and just brought it to room temperature before he left for work). He has bi-monthly Board Meetings with his team and he has started to take home-baked goodies with him, which are served with coffee. Yesterday, JP had started the meeting only to be interrupted almost immediately by his new Technical Director who, having seen another Director biting into a square of the Blueberry-Raspberry Muffle, exclaimed “Who gave the green light to start eating?!” and grabbed his own piece! Needless to say, the plate of cake was scarfed down in record time.

And I am also in a hurry with this because I so want to send it over to Reeni♥ at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice for Blogger Secret Ingredient (BSI : Blueberries). Reeni♥ made fantastic Ricotta Filled Crespelle with Blueberry Sauce! How yummy is that?


4 Tbs / ¼ cup (60 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
¾ cup (150 g) sugar
1 large egg
1 ½ cups (190 g) flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup (125 ml) milk
1 ½ - 2 cups blueberries or half blueberries + half raspberries (or other fruit)

Streusel topping (this is Cindy’s recipe although I used a half-recipe by Carole Walter) :

½ cup (100 g) sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbs / ¼ cup (60 g) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (45 g) flour

For the Streusel topping, blend the dry ingredients together then cut or rub in the butter until it forms a crumb-like consistency. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease (with butter) and lightly flour a 9 x 9-inch (22 x 22 cm) baking pan.

Pick over the berries and discard any bad ones as well as stems and leaves. Rinse quickly if desired and gently pat dry. Set aside.

For the cake batter, combine the softened butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until blended and fluffy. Beat in the egg until blended. Stir in the vanilla.

Combine the dry ingredients and beat into the butter/sugar/egg mixture until blended. Add the milk and beat until blended, smooth and creamy.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Sprinkle the berries evenly over the batter.

Sprinkle the Streusel topping all over the batter and berries.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until set in the center. The cake may be slightly golden where it peaks through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving.


Reeni♥ said...

What a lovely treat with the fresh berries and streusel topping! Thanks for taking the time to enter this heavenly muffle in BSI, even though you must be so busy. Good luck - hope your moving goes smoothly!

MeetaK said...

i love streusel and the berries are so summer - i am sure soeren and his friends will love you for this recipe!

La Table De Nana said...

I can't believe you are baking WHILE movie.. when I pared down 8 yrs ago..I did the same thing you are doing..I now have as much as before..:)

I started saving again and gained 5 grandchildren..with another on the soon as you seems you should not have:) Oh your Life pics are a treat and yours too!

The Cooking Ninja said...

Oh gosh... that looks so good. Wish I can have a bite and wish I have an oven right now to bake one for my family. :(

Heavenly Housewife said...

So gald you have time for some delicious treats. Moving is so stressful. Good luck with it, and remember, soon it will all be over. Enjoy your new home.

cooknkate said...

As I'm reading this, I'm mentally trying to figure out if I have the ingredients to make it. I might just have to do it as I love good coffee cakes like this. They were a favorite of my Mom's and bring back very fond memories.

Jamie said...

@Kate - I have a regular favorite coffee cake recipe I always make (on my blog it is heart-shaped and has choco chips) but this one is different in that it is so amazingly light and fluffy (yet moist) and the berries add a great tangy flavor.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Phew, that's a lot of work! Your dog is so cute! Can I have a slice of that scrumptious looking coffee cake? Yummy!



Elra said...

What a delicious cake! I love that you are using the seasonal fresh berries as well.

Wow, I can not imagine doing all of those work... I wish you good luck jaime!

Chef E said...

Love the title and cake! Too funny that you reference Donna!

Hope the move is going well, and I do feel a little guilty I cannot help you, as I sit back and sigh at my last few days here in Texas...

buffalodick said...

Awful lot of foreplay before the "quickie"! Your use of blueberries looked delicious!

Chef Chuck said...

I love the photos, you have a very nice blend! Now, may I please have some coffee and wonderful looking streusel! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jamie, As I write my dear husband is off to Publix to buy blueberries and Raspberries(on sale right now!)..And, we will be having this streusel later this evening. If you can bake while packing, I can certainly bake in an AC Florida home....Sheila

Barbara Bakes said...

I think this would be great 4th of July breakfast! Thanks!

Bellini Valli said...

I have seen this event around the blogosphere, so much fun:D

Jamie said...

Not only do we share the same name and same spelling, we both have Boston Terriers. I have 2, Maximus and MJ. Your Marty looks alot like my Maximus. And you lived in Florida which is where I live. How funny!

Your blueberry dessert looks so good. Since you visted my blog, you know I love blueberry desserts. Thanks for stopping by my blog and we'll have to exchange Boston Terrier stories one day.

Good luck with your move.

Dragon said...

You'll survive the move. :)Thanks for the quick cake!

Jamie said...

@Barbara Bakes - I did think of the red-white-and-blue theme while I was making this but didn't connect it with the 4th of July. That is a great idea!

mlaiuppa said...

Could it be because it's halfway between a muffin and a trifle? Okay. I know that makes no sense with the recipe. But I find names of family recipes sometimes make no sense.

Jamie said...

@mlaiuppa : Now that is clever! Never thought of that. Part muffin and part...?

Astrid said...

mmmmmmh mouthwatering delicious.
I need to try this one to take to work.

packing is a lot of work and it amazes me how many things you find you haven't used in ages when you pack things.

I still have some cartons unopend from when I moved into the new flat last year.

Junglefrog said...

That looks lovely and so yummy! Thanks for adding me to your blogrol.. :) Good luck with the move and everything!

Corry said...


Thanks for stopping by at my humble for your nice comments. I wouldn't have found your blog otherwise. And how wonderful that you did. Now you will have to live on my favourites list. Love the Blueberry - Raspberry Muffle. This is definitely on my to do list ASAP. Also adore your photography.

Jamie said...

@Corry - Thanks so much! This is indeed how we find new blogs and "meet" each other. And I am so glad you enjoy mine!

zorra said...

If you would come over and clean up my houshold, too? And don't forget to bring the coffee cake. ;-)

Jamie said...

@zorra : you are too funny! I will happily come over and clean your house if you wome here and pack up the rest of mine and then take charge of our move! And I'll leave a whole coffee cake on the kitchen counter for you!

Sirenoftitan said...

Yum !

Will have to see if my (limited) baking skills can stretch to this.


Jamie said...

@Siren : This one you can do, limited skills or not. Just add a tad more milk if not creamy, and take your time with the streusel (or do it in a robot very quickly). Right size pan then watch your oven temp and cooking time. And this is so easy and perfect. Good luck and come back to let us know how it came out!

girlichef said...

mmmm...gorgeous!! Here's to a new house (and a hopefully very-minor stressful move)!!! Salute (hmmm...can't pull of the French term...)!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I love the way this looks too Jamie! Two berries are always better than one.
The photos you find to go with your narrative are always so priceless!
It would seem quickies are the rage right now ;)

Confession Nook said...

sounds easy to make and looks absolutely delicious.oh and i love the thought of your other half bringing home-baked goodies at work! isn't that the sweetest! =)

burpandslurp said...

With all that work to do, you still had the time and leisure to bake? You are my hero. And all the bst luck for your move!

Donna-FFW said...

Thanks for the quickie reference shout out;)

Your quickie cake sounds fantastic. Hope your moving is going well. I feel your pain. Hang in there my friend.

Lien said...

How do you do it, packing, organising and still make such a delicious bake! You're amazing.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Hi Jamie!

I am amazed you are blogging right now. I hope your move goes well.

Your top shot has use having a deep conversation in our house about the changes in America since that time. Wish you were here, since you started it lol!


asiangrrl said...

Quickies are better than nothing, my friend. I think it's called a muffle because you have to muffle your groan of ecstasy while eating one.

Good luck with the packing and moving! Bon chance, mon amie.

Sippity Sup said...

The caged dog doesn't howls for berries and streusel. Good luck with the move. GREG

Christina Kim said...

muffle! i love it!

goodluck with the move. and i love the reference to donna!

Jamie said...

@asiangrrl : Good call on the muffle!

@Sheila : Let us know how it turns out!

Thanks all for the fun comments (foreplay, LOL).

Sophie said...


This fruit cak looks absolutely fabulous! I love all of those berries you have added!

Truly a fine treat!

Talita said...

Yummy!!! This looks really yummy! I never tried muffle! We can see how fluffy the dough looks.

Anonymous said...

Raspberries and Blueberries were wonderful--with cream though! Hubby beat me to them...streusel next time!!Ahhhhh.....Hope you move goes well, Sheila

Anonymous said...

Looks great. I am searching for a recipie for blueberry mudflat pie. Any luck you have one?

Anonymous said...

I live in Adelaide South Australia and I have just made the muffle (love that word) with mulberries that I picked and other mixed frozen berries. It is a terrific easy recipe and delicious. I shared it with friends whilst it was still slightly warm and thecake texture and flavours were excellent. This recipe is a keeper, thank you!

Jamie said...

@Anonymous from Adelaide South Australia: I am so so happy you made this recipe given to me by an old college roommate and wonderful friend! And thank you so much for coming back and telling me how much you enjoyed it - that means the world to me! I am happy you did love it...and now I feel like making it again!


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