Monday, July 28, 2008

sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't

i've just made my bi-annual batch of crappy cupcakes to be taken off to school tomorrow, where hopefully they will not cause an outbreak of food poisoning in fin's classmates. Isn't it a strange concept that anyone can make a batch of cupcakes and send them in to school for their kids birthday, without the parents of the other unsuspecting victims knowing what their children are consuming?
I'm pretty certain that the ones I have made are safe, because I din't let willow stick the beater back in the mix after he'd been licking it. I also know that they taste pretty good, because I use the same packet vanilla cake mix every time I make them. Once you're on a good thing you should stick with it, right. It's just that they don't look too good. I've never had much luck with cupcakes, probably because I can never be bothered going to much trouble with them, because there's always the birthday cake to make as well. My cupcakes, without fail, always spill out the sides of the patty pans while they are cooking and end up being one big flat cake that I then have to cut into shapes that vaguely resemble cupcakes, albeit flat, rectangular cupcakes. And you know how you're supposed to use an eye-dropper for the food colouring? Well, I can never be botherd with that, and end up with smurf-coloured frosting instead of the delicate shade of baby blue that I originally had in mind. And by the way, eating the left-over frosting does result in a dull headache, and also a strange gritty feeling at the back of the throat.
It's not all bad, though. The other day I managed to make up a really good recipe for pear muffins, which came about after I got half way through a recipe only to realise that I was missing some key ingredients. Yes, I am a person who starts mixing before I have fully read the recipe.

pear and oat crumble muffins (or "not the pear crumble I was originally going to make")

1 cup white plain flour, 1 cup wholemeal plain flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 2 handfuls rolled oats, 75g brown sugar, 4 Tblsp. softened butter, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup milk, 2 Tblsp. sour cream, 3 very ripe pears, diced

crumble: 1/4 cup oats, 2 Tblsp. brown sugar, 1 Tblsp. plain flour, 1 Tblsp. butter, pinch of cinnamon

Mix flours, baking powder, sugar and oats. Rub the butter into the flour mix, add eggs, milk and sour cream, stir to combine. Mix in the pears. Pour into a greased muffin tray. Combine crumble ingredients, sprinkle over the top, and bake in a moderate oven for I think about 25 mins. By this stage I had improvised so much that I wasn't really going to worry about checking the time. Eat them hot, straight from the oven. They are good. Very good.


Victoria said...

The muffin looks really GOOD. I still have not really got the hang of baking, despite having a kitchen for so many years. Here at kinder/school they have funny rules like "no food is to be sent in for kids birthdays unless it's prepackaged or from the bakery with ingredients labelled" which seems a bit killjoyish in one way, but then really lets someone like me off the hook!

Levin (and Emily) said...

do you have a food processor? cause if you do, i have the absolute best never fail domestic goddess cupcake recipe ever!!

emma said...

hey, you're back! No food processor, but my forearms are getting pretty tough. Maybe I could do it by hand?

Levin (and Emily) said...

yep you could - and the secret to making them uniform in shape is to put the patty pans in a muffin tin. that way they can't spill over (thanks nigella!!) now i make fairy cakes that make my mother in law green with envy (not with food poisoning!).
i will dig out recipe for you - the manual one!

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