1 Aug 2013

A Baker's Dozen

I am morphing into a domestic goddess. Those who have known me long enough and well enough are allowed to snigger at this point. They are even allowed to fall off their chairs in a fit of side splitting belly laughs. The truth is that I am, to rephrase Charlotte Lucas from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, discovering the joys of managing my own household.

And am delighting in the therapeutic joys of baking. These are not therapeutic, unfortunately and regrettably, to an expanding waistline. The catharsis offered by baking is for the soul alone. There is nothing more relaxing than crumbing some butter and flour with your fingers, while listening to Strauss on Classic FM.

So broadening middle notwithstanding,  we embark on another muffin-making expedition. Banana and walnuts this time,  with sultanas thrown in for good measure. 

Things to assemble before you start the crumbing therapy:
- 250 grams self-raising flour
- 125 grams granulated white sugar
- 125 grams soft marg or unsalted butter
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 over-ripe mashed up bananas (the kind that even J, who is a banana monster, will not eat)
- a teaspoonful of powdered nutmeg
- a teaspoonful of powdered cinnamon
- a generous handful of crushed walnuts
- another generous handful of sultanas (We prefer sultanas to raisins in the C household.  You can use either.)

To ensure a truly calming experience,  make sure your toddler is well fed and watered and suitably engaged before you turn up the music and get your fingers into the flour. Once the scene is set, add the spices and marg to the flour and start crumbing.  Keep going till the mixture gets a bread crumby feel. All stresses should have melted away by now.

Add all the remaining ingredients to the mix and fold gently.  It will look rather gloopy at this stage. This is how it is supposed to look. Spoon the mix into a lined muffin tray and bake in the middle shelf of a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.

This recipe is supposed to yield 12 large muffins.  I either got carried away with the music or am in need of some new kitchen scales, but I did have some mixture left over after generously filling 12 cases. Not enough for another batch. Not enough for mini-muffins.  Just enough for one large muffin. So I did what bakers probably don't do. I filled a case and balanced it on top of my muffin tray between the other neatly spaced muffins.  End result - a baker's dozen of slightly misshapen muffins that did not last the day.

A Balancing Act

My Baker's Dozen cooling on a rack

Misshapen and ready to eat


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