I’m starting blogging again, because if ever there was a time I am going to say WTF do I eat tonight it is now, on 12-week NHS lockdown, reliant on neighbours and friends for deliveries, and any services where I can get a slot. I will keep the posts and details short, because even though I suddenly have tons of free time, everything seems to be taking me hours!
Muffins are the simplest cakes in the world, the soda bread, if you will, of sweet things. And endlessly adaptable. You need flour, an egg and some milk, which may be a challenge but, other than that, not much. These contain banana and chocolate but you can change that to whatever you have, as long as you stick to about 150g of additions in step 4. Try chopped pear and almonds or apple and walnut.
You could also make savoury ones (but miss out the sugar and cinnamon then). How about cheddar and spring onion?
One thing to remember: don’t use a mixer or over-mix them; you only need the wet, dry and fruit/nuts to just amalgamate, no beating or whisking required. Why? Because over-mixing makes them tough.
Not filling all the holes in the tray, and adding boiling water to the empty ones, is a trick I learned from working on a Martha Collison book. It creates lots of lovely steam in the oven, which helps them rise and stay fluffy.
I am now out of plain flour so hoping one of the many local delivery services I am trying to support will have a packet one day…
1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180 fan/gas 4. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray.
2. Mix together 280g plain flour with 40g sugar, 2.5 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp salt.
3. Separately, mix 50ml oil, 150ml milk and 1 egg.
4. Chop two ripe bananas (about 70g) and 70g dark chocolate.
5. Mix wet ingredients into dry until just mixed then stir in bananas and chocolate.
6. Spoon into 9 or so of the muffin holes (don’t overfill) and pour boiling water into the empty muffin holes.
8. Bake for about 20 mins or until risen/firm to the touch.