The combination of brown sugar and adzuki beans, which is a favorite in Japanese manju, also works well in muffins. I recommend these for tea time; young or old, male or female, everyone will love these.
Bring the all the ingredients to room temperature. Line the muffin moulds with liners. Sift the flour and baking powder together.
Put the butter in a bowl and whisk with a balloon whisk until creamy (if the butter is too hard, soften in the microwave).
Add the brown sugar and whisk until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs and milk and mix well. Add 1/2 of the sifted dry ingredients and whisk well.
Add the rest of the dry ingredients. Change from the balloon whisk to a spatula and fold in the mixture.
Fold in until evenly combined and add the adzuki beans. Mix lightly (just roughly combined batter is fine).
Put the batter into the liners and give 2 to 3 sharp raps to the mould to let excess air out.
Bake in the oven preheated to 180°C for 25 to 30 minutes. When the muffins have swelled and are golden brown, it is done! Cool slightly on a rack.
Story Behind this Recipe
I had a little adzuki beans left over, so I added them to muffins. The familiar Japanese combination of brown sugar & adzuki manju inspired me, so these are my favorite muffins now.
Do not over-mix the batter and adzuki beans! That way you can taste the adzuki beans and brown sugar in the baked muffins. I used tinned adzuki beans. If you use a pre-packaged adzuki bean paste, it will be slightly firm, so loosen with a little water.