Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Recipe 12: Winter breakfast muffins

I don’t normally talk about work on my blog but I need to in order to put this latest recipe into context. Although I am now on my holidays, Thursdays over the past academic year were the longest day as I would teach 9am-6pm. Now, in many occupations and in former jobs, that isn’t a big deal but when you spend all of that time talking, by the time 6 o’clock comes around, I’m ready for home. That said, I was fortunate enough to have one particular group at 2pm who were such fun to teach that I decided I would bring them in one of my recipes. Well, they were always lively, full of life – befitting of their age group as they were all students who were straight out of secondary school. So, I decided to bring them in Winter breakfast muffins and here’s how it went…

Into a bowl, I sifted in flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and mixed spice and mixed it all together. I then added butter and worked it until it resembled breadcrumbs. In another bowl, I whisked up eggs, buttermilk and golden syrup. I then tipped this wet mixture with chopped stem ginger and sultanas and beat it well. The next thing I did was to three-quarter fill the muffin cases and into the oven they had to go for 30 minutes “until well risen”. Well, 30 minutes came and went, then 35 minutes, then 40 minutes. I gave them a wee press – no spring back. What was up with that?! Of course, I started to blame the over. Surely it must be the oven – it’s on its last legs so I checked the thermometer that has taken up permanent residence inside and the temperature was perfect. As I stood gawking into the oven like a confused scientist, the reflection of a bowl on the worktop caught my eye against the oven door. Sugar!!! I forgot to put the sugar in the mixture!!! Seriously, how in Heaven’s name did I manage that?! Well, suffice to say, the dogs got that batch of muffins and, as someone who really doesn’t like wasting food, the other batch that were sitting in a second tray, nothing would do me that I then took each muffin case and dumped its contents back into the bowl. Then, added the sugar and repeated the task of putting them into their cases. Thankfully, they cooked fine.

Still concerned though that I had made such a hems of the muffins for my lovely students, I then decided to also make fair cakes with a variety of coloured icings – a form of buffer, if you like. They might not like the muffins but everyone likes fairy cakes. So, in I went the next day, complete with a two tins of muffins and fairy cakes. I actually had to hide them away under my desk out of site for fear anyone else would see them – I have no shortage of people offering to try out my baking efforts. So, 2 o’clock came, I trotted over to class, went in the door, there they were – all sitting working busily at their computer and, as always, there was my cup of tea sitting beside my desk which they insist of buying me every Thursday. Yes, you see, they really are such a good group of students. As they spotted the tins, I could see their eyes light up and so we congregated around the large table in the centre of the room (away from the PCs of course!) and had a lovely 5 minutes of debating which were nicer – the muffins or the fairy cakes. Unfortunately, the muffins (although very nice, I was told), the fairy cakes won hands down – 10 out of 10. The muffins got a 7. And just to incorporate numeracy into this non-curriculum related activity, I got them to calculate the mean and standard deviation of the 15 scores – lol! You know that saying there’s no such thing as a free lunch, well there’s no such thing as a free dessert!

In summarising this recipe, I would say it is straightforward – except I can’t because I forgot to put the sugar in but that’s my own doing – always trying to be 4 steps ahead of myself. I am going to try this recipe again though. Dear Husband missed out on these ones this time but thankfully for him, I have lots of mornings now over the summer to perfect the art of making this recipe…

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