I get itchy hands when I haven’t baked for a few days. It’s been a mad few days in SmartCookieSam land. I had a really busy week doing a teaching assignment in a nursery, then that very weekend I went down with a chest infection. Before I started feeling really rough, I did manage to bake my son’s 16th birthday cake. After that, it all went downhill. I had three days in bed either coughing my guts up or dozing off to sleep. I had to cancel two days pre-booked supply work in schools I go to regularly. I only worked last Friday in the end and felt completely useless. Baking was the last thing on my mind, in fact it was even a struggle to muster up the energy to make myself a cup of tea!
By yesterday, though, apart from the odd coughing fit I have got back to my normal self. I’m still feeling very tired and have been trying to take it easy but I really wanted to bake something quick and simple. To me, muffins fit the bill there, they take no time at all to make and don’t need much mixing. You just throw all the ingredients together and hey presto in about half an hour you have a gorgeous smell wafting out of your kitchen.
I chose to adapt a Mary Berry muffin recipe which is in her Cookery Course book. Her original recipe is for Blueberry Muffins, which I love but I wanted to use chocolate chunks in mine. I grated some orange zest and used a pot of natural yoghurt, as well as 5 tablespoonfuls of milk. These muffins are also baked using melted butter, instead of oil. As for muffin cases, I used brown tulip shaped ones but it really doesn’t matter what you use.
This is how the muffins were made: first I beat two large eggs together, then added caster sugar, milk, natural yoghurt, vanilla extract and the grated orange zest to a large bowl. All of these were stirred up gently so they were just combined, not beaten. To this, I sifted in self raising flour and baking powder. This needed to be folded into the wet mixture, and then finally in went a whole packet of dark chocolate chunks. The batter was then divided equally among 12 muffin cases and put into a pre-heated oven. The muffins came out well risen after about 25 minutes baking time with a wonderful aroma permeating the whole of the house. I put them onto a wire rack and let them cool down.
It was gorgeous BBQ weather yesterday and not really the right time for eating warm muffins straight from the oven. To be honest, it was the last thing I wanted to eat, even though I could eat cake all day and every day normally! The muffins ended up in a box and ready to go into the freezer for a day when cake would hit the spot. I forgot to put them in the freezer and found hubby eating one when he came back in from work. He said they were lovely as they weren’t too overpoweringly sweet like you can find with some shop bought muffins.
Love Sam xx