Saturday, 30 April 2011

Muffin base recipe

  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 200g sugar
  • 400g plain flour sieved
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • flavour to taste
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6 and prepare about 12 muffin cases (normally I use the giant cases) in trays, and grease the tray around each of the muffin receptacles: it'll help if you create monster muffins that decide to form an ad-hoc MuffinNetwork™.

It is important to keep the wet and dry separate to the last minute. Mix the dry ingredients well in a bowl.  In a jug (1 litre) preferably, or another bowl, mix the wet ingredients well.  Add flavours to the relevant container: bananas are tricky and can go in either, but I tend to blend some banana in a little of the milk/oil and add it to the wet, while using some chopped banana in the dry for texture.

Make a bowl in the dry ingredients and add a bit of the wet to the dry, folding in and ensure to keep the wet ingredients in their container mixed throughout; the oil will tend to separate.  Adding more wet, some at a time, the mixture should form a smooth batter, which is easy to work - I find that folding air into the mixture adds lightness.  Eventually it is pour-able, or very nearly, depending on your flavourings.

Share out the mixture evenly in the muffin cases, I tend to leave at least 1cm from the top of the cases.  Put the trays in the oven for about 15 minutes and then check them regularly.  They should have risen, and forming dome-tops that may split.  When deciding if they're ready, pick a volunteer at random and run him through with something like a knife or a long toothpick: if it comes out 'clean' they're ready.

As soon as possible, get the muffins out of the trays and onto airers.  Eat when cool.

  • Change the level of wet ingredients, or lower the oven temp and increase the time if they come out heavier than you'd like.
  • You can use self-raising flour, but if you do it's difficult to 'play' trying to get them to rise to your liking.
  • Play with levels of things: increasing the oil amount will make them gooier, like those Starbucks ones.
  • When using chocolate chunks, you might like to add these when the batter is in the muffin cases: for one it'll ensure they don't all end up in a few cases.
  • I tend to always add a little nutmeg and cinnamon to mixtures to give it a nice warm flavour.
  • Try dusting the mixture in the cases with cinnamon, as well as mixing in.

Does anyone actually like this tripe? I mean, really? I mean really, really like it?

A response to a response of a Facebook update, regarding the Royal Wedding:  I tweeted, "Does anyone actually like this tripe? I mean, really? I mean really, really like it?", and I received the response via Facebook "Sometime Barry, just once in a while it's good to just smile and be happy."  Here is my response.

When we're reminded our country's fucked financially on a daily basis by the government (whether you happen to buy into that twaddle or not), it's strange we're "enjoying" this massive waste of money. 

If we wanted to be happy, we should celebrate something more relevant, like using the money to help those in need - I don't know, the thousands of young people out of work, or perhaps improve public transport to enable people to get rid of cars or build a new hospital wing.

Instead, we get it shoved down our throats that a few people who were born into a family are incredibly rich and incredibly pampered, subsidised by everyone else who are meant to mindlessly accept this as normal. I don't accept this.

I'm absolutely overjoyed that they're "happy", that they "love each other" (quotes because I only see what they want me to see and what the media report), but wouldn't mind it if they now decide that the hundreds of years of Monarchy is a little long in the tooth and disappear. We're a modern country and shouldn't be enslaved by a family who we didn't vote in, we don't have a say in changing and don't seem to do much for us.

They do bring in tourists, granted, but plenty of people visit France and its former Royal houses - and they have been a Republic for a long time.