Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Wake, bake, blog.

That was the drill this morning. As I eased myself into productive wakefulness, the hint of baking wafted into my mind like the smell itself. Gentle, sweet, slowly intensifying - till all there is to do is haul yourself out of bed and head to the kitchen.

Lucky I have the perfect muffin recipe at hand - again, I have Nigella to thank for it. But how could I not keep going back to it? It's so versatile, and I've made it even more user-friendly by lowering the sugar content, and replacing the sour cream with greek yoghurt - something I always have in my fridge.

As for the fruits - I've made these muffins as per the recipe several times, and again at least as many, experimenting with the fruit and flavour combinations. She calls for pear and ginger; I've done apple and cinnamon, blueberry and cinnamon, pear and chocolate - and right now, the aromas of pineapple and coconut are creeping into the very corners of my house. Tropical and summery - and let me assure you, a pineapple half purchased for a dollar from the bargain table at your local greengrocers smells just as sweet.

Nigella's Pear and Ginger Muffins (with my changes in brackets)
Dry ingredients:
250g plain flour
2 teasp baking powder
150g caster sugar (I use raw caster sugar)
75g light brown sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (I omit this entirely)

Wet ingredients:
142ml sour cream (I use greek yoghurt)
125ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tbsp honey

300g chopped pear (or any other fruit equivalent)
1 teasp ground ginger (or other flavour/spice to match your fruit)

Preheat oven to 200C, and line 12 cup muffin pan with papers or cases.

Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl; mix all wet ingredients in another bowl; then fold wet ingredients through dry ingredients.

Add fruit to mixture and fold through.

Divide evenly into patty cases; if desired, sprinkle tops with a little raw sugar to give some crunch when baked.

Bake for 20 minutes.
Congratulate yourself.

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