Just a quick post to get us all back into the swing of things: how the hell have you been?! Have you lost weight?
I notice that we are down in number by 2, but at least there are still enough of us to play 20-aside football or to create a respectable flashmob or look daunting to small children if we bunch together at a local park by the swings (nonchalant sneering optional). It's far too many to play sardines in my house at least, unless we play in shifts.
I had a moment of domestic goddess madness last week where I fancied something a tad more interesting than Crunchy Nut for brekkers, and so turned to one of my favourite cookbooks, 'Spooning with Rosie' by Rosie Lovell. It's a wonderful book, celebrating the joy of sharing food and life in good company. The recipes are simple and delicious so that, should hungry chums suddenly appear on your doorstep, you'll be able to feed them well and in a relatively stress-free way. She owns Rosie's Cafe in Brixton, and a number of the recipes have been been tested on an appreciative audience. One day, I shall haul my buxom ass over there.
Anyhoots, I sleepily whipped up a batch of her marmalade muffins to a highly appreciative audience. Muffins are the perfect thing to make when you are still asleep and unable to focus as, for them to rise properly, they need to be mixed roughly, with bits still unmixed, quite slapdash and without grace. Warm, filling and luxurious thanks to the melted butter, they more than satisfied the jaded weekend palate, filling the house with comforting scents. The recipe inspired me to have a bash at creating an even more breakfasty muffin featuring a plethora of wholesome gubbins to keep the morning ticking along, and it is this creation I lay at your feet now.
Unless you have friends coming over, or a huge family, allow any spares to cool completely then freeze them. This means you can have delicious warm muffins over a number of mornings: hurrah! Feel free to use nuts and seeds to suit your own particular whimsy. Oh and by the way, the bizarre mixture of semi-skimmed milk and double cream was due to not having full fat milk: that's what I had in and I thought it would substitute well, which it did. Oh yes. Likewise using orange essential oil instead of orange zest: it's what I had in.
Luxurious but darn simple Breakfasty Muffins
Dry stuff :
300g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
125g unsalted butter, at room temp and cubed
150g soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
50g chopped walnuts
50g mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, sunflower and hemp seeds)
1 eating apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
125ml full fat milk (or 100ml semi-skimmed + 25ml double cream)
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 drops of sweet orange essential oil (or grated zest of 1 orange)
2 tbsps thick cut marmalade
- Preheat the oven to 160oC and adorn a muffin pan with muffin cases
- In a large bowl, rub the cubes of butter into the flour and baking powder so as to create a breadcrumby-like happening
- Add all the other dry bits to the happening and mix together, with a spoon or a clean hand (yours or someone uncontagious) until it is evenly blended and brings to mind masonry pebbledash, albeit with seeds
- Now it's time to get moist: in a separate bowl or jug, mix together all the wet ingredients until they are thoroughly combined, save for the bits of chunky preserved pith
- Pour the liquidy melange into the pebbledash and using purpose, a firm resolve and a spoon, roughly combine the juxtaposing elements until just combined but not smooth. Lumps are essential in muffins as they hold the key to their defining texture
- Pour, or dollop, the mixture evenly into the awaiting cases and bake for 20-25 mins until golden brown. Check with a skewer at 20 mins: if the skewer comes out clean, they're ready
- Allow to cool very slightly before chowing down smugly whilst still in your pjs.