At the end of April I treated myself to John Whaite’s eagerly awaited book “John Whaite Bakes”. I had baked some apricot and white chocolate flapjacks from the book a few weeks back but since then had not got round to baking anything else. I wanted something that wouldn’t be too complicated or take too long to bake and also something that my family would eat.
I also wanted to make something that used ingredients I had already got in my baking cupboard. So, I was pleased to see a recipe for Bakewell Muffins. I had cherries and almonds to use up and some new muffin cases I wanted to try out. They were different fruit patterned ones I found in Boroughbridge Hardware, my local bakeware shop. The muffin cases were of brilliant quality, they are a make where the pattern stays intact and doesn’t fade once they have baked. There’s nothing worse than a blurred cake case, it drives me insane!
So, Cherry Bakewell Muffins it was, then!
The oven was preheated first, while I looked in my cupboard for the muffin cases. I found them easily in a large plastic box where I keep all my cases so that they don’t get damaged. Once that was out of the way I got on with the baking.
First of all plain flour and baking powder was sifted into a bowl. I also weighed out and rinsed the glace cherries carefully. I was trying so hard to rinse all the sticky syrup off them, then I added a spoonful of flour to the bowl. The cherries then got chopped up roughly into quarters so that they would be small enough. They were tossed in the flour and then added to the flour, baking powder and also to some caster sugar.
All the wet ingredients were mixed together in a jug- milk, eggs, melted butter and some almond extract. I love almond extract and it’s smell is just gorgeous. It is very powerful stuff though, so I had to be careful not to splash in too much. The two mixtures were folded together carefully but not over mixed.
Finally the batter was divided between the twelve muffin cases and popped into the oven for about 25-30 minutes.
I was a bit rushed when I put the mixture into the cases and didn’t divide them that well. I was thinking I had to get the lunch ready so I would have to crack on, sadly this was noticeable when the muffins came out of the oven! One was only half the size of some of the others, then there was another one billowing over the top. Now, if they had been for a customer they would have gone in the bin and I would have made some more!
Once the muffins came out of the oven, it was lunchtime so I left them to cool on the rack while we had our soup and bread for lunch. After lunch I made up a small bowl of glace icing to drizzle across the top of the muffins. In the recipe book there isn’t an accompanying picture or mention of icing the muffins. I used icing sugar, lemon juice and water to make a stiff icing. Once this was made up I found one of my disposable piping bags, snipped a tiny corner off the end of it and quickly drizzled the icing haphazardly across the top of the muffins. Finally, I scattered a few flaked almonds on the top, hoping they would stick to the icing.
The result looked great for the muffins that had risen well. I immediately cut one open to photograph it so that you could see the cherries inside. I was so tempted to eat one and I had to steel myself. It was torture. After about half an hour I could bare it no longer. I just had to have one and I caved in! No wonder my excess weight is coming off very slowly! I had to put the rest away in a box when the icing had set and well away out of sight!
Love Sam xx