Niamh Doherty

Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins, for a Cold and Wintry Day

In Baking, Comfort Food on November 27, 2010 at 16:46

Is there anyone still out there? 

*Silence*

Honestly, I’m not surprised. If my blog was a boyfriend, it would have broken up with me by now. Things have been manic recently, and once again, at the start of November, I found myself staring down the barrel of two jam-packed months. Being busy is great, but I was starting to long for some time off before December hit and things got even busier. As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for – my great plans for a trip to Ikea this morning skidded to a halt when I woke up to this:

 Snow. In Waterford. IN NOVEMBER! It doesn’t look terribly impressive in the above photos, but it got even heavier as the morning went on – big fat flakes falling with happy abandon. I called off my trip in favour of a cosy-pyjama-clad, kitchen-ensconced day at home, and so far I’ve done more baking in a few short hours than I have in the previous couple of weeks.

One of my recent cookbook acquisitions is Kitchen, the new tome from Nigella Lawson. I’ve only had a chance to quickly flick through it, but her recipe for apple cinnamon muffins caught my eye. They’re, helpfully, located in the section on using up leftovers, and as I had two unused cooking apples from making a batch of mincemeat a couple of weeks ago which eyed me reproachfully every time I entered the kitchen, I decided to give them a go.

They turned out gorgeously, and are, I think, better when made with cooking apples as opposed to eating, as these muffins are quite sweet, and the tartness of the cooking apple gives your tastebuds a welcome reprieve. I would also say be careful when measuring out the honey; I think I used slightly too much here, and next time I’ll reduce the amount of sugar in the topping. That’s just me though – although I have a sweet tooth, I don’t like things that are overpoweringly sweet, so they may taste just fine to anyone else.  My efforts at this recipe are not the most attractive-looking either – I gave them their requisite 20 minutes in the oven, at which point they were perfectly puffed-up and golden, but still seemed a little undercooked. I baked them for another five minutes, and they came out slightly overdone. Oh well, not to worry, they still tasted delicious; I broke off a piece to try it and ended up scoffing the whole thing in seconds. The yoghurt and oil make these beautifully moist, the apples add a lovely tartness, and the toasted almonds in the topping are divine. Make them, and savour their still-warm-from-the-oven flavour with a cup of tea or coffee. You’ll love them!

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins, taken from Kitchen, by Nigella Lawson

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

2 eating apples or 1 large cooking apple, peeled and cut into small dice

250g plain flour or spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

125g light brown sugar, plus 4 tsp for topping

125ml honey

60ml runny natural yoghurt

125ml flavourless vegetable oil

2 eggs

75g whole almonds, skin on

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius and line a 12-hold muffin tin with papers.

2. Measure the flour, baking powder and 1 tsp cinnamon into a bowl.

3. Whisk together the 125g brown sugar, honey, oil and eggs in a bowl – or, as I prefer, a jug, for ease of pouring.

4. Chop the almonds roughly and add half of them to the flour. Keep the other half aside, and to them add the second teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 4 tsp of brown sugar. This will be the topping for your muffins.

5. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Add the chopped apple and stir to combine. As with all muffin batters, don’t overmix – the lumpier and heavier the batter, the lighter the finished muffin will be.

6. Spoon the batter into the muffin papers and sprinkle with the topping.

7. Put into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, by which time the muffins should have risen, and become beautifully golden.

8. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes, before taking them out of the pan and devouring with unapologetic greed.

A Comforting Apple and Blackberry Crumble

In Autumn, Baking, Comfort Food, Dessert on October 10, 2010 at 21:45

When the evenings get shorter and the temperatures start to drop, my thoughts turn to woolly jumpers, crackling fires, snuggling down under a cosy blanket with a good book, and I crave hearty food like rib-sticking stews, luscious, gravy-filled pies, and warm, comforting fruit crumbles. This apple and blackberry crumble is one such dish, with the sweet and crunchy topping revealing a bed of soft and delicious fruit. Apple and blackberry is a classic autumnal combination, and one that I’m more than happy to indulge in while both fruits are at their best.

The original recipe calls for cooking apples, but I used regular eating apples and cut out most of the sugar. Normally, I would add cinnamon to an apple crumble, but omitted it here as the blackberries added more than enough extra flavour. This makes a lovely ending to a autumnal Sunday lunch when served, still warm, with vanilla ice-cream, softly-whipped cream, or a blob of crème fraiche…woolly jumper and crackling fire optional.

Apple and Blackberry Crumble (taken from Rachel’s Favourite Food, by Rachel Allen)

Serves 6

Ingredients:

3-4 large cooking apples (or 4-5 eating apples), peeled, cored and cut into large chunks

1 tbsp water

2-3 tbsp sugar (you can cut this down to about 1/2 tbsp of sugar if using eating apples)

225g blackberries (frozen is fine)

For the crumble:

175g plain white flour

75g cold butter, cut into chunks

75g demerara sugar

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Put the apple chunks, water and sugar into a saucepan over a low heat and cook until the apples are soft and pulpy – about 10 minutes. If using eating apples, they won’t break down as much, so cook them until they are soft to the point of a knife. While the apples are cooking, stir every minute or so to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Taste and add more sugar if needed, before transferring to a pie dish (or to several small ramekins) to cool slightly. Pop the blackberries onto the cooked apple at this point.

2. To make the crumble, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Don’t rub it in too much however, as the crumble won’t be crunchy if you do. Add the sugar into the crumble topping and mix. Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top of the apple and blackberries.

3. Bake for 15 minutes for small crumbles, or 30-45 minutes for larger crumbles. Remove from the oven when the crumble is cooked and golden. Serve whilst still warm, with cream, vanilla ice-cream or crème fraiche.

A Baked Oatmeal for Autumn

In Baking, Breakfast on October 3, 2010 at 22:01

I know, I know – I haven’t posted for almost two months; things have been utterly hectic. After flitting about aimlessly all summer, August hit, and suddenly the following eight weekends were packed solid. Although I enjoyed every minute of my holidaying, socialising and time-with-friends spending, I could feel autumn beckoning and couldn’t wait for October, with its promise of a weekend spent in my deeply unsexy but oh-so-comfy flannel jammies, sleeping late under piles of woolly blankets, eating warm, leisurely breakfasts, and happily pottering about the house. Finally, autumn is here, with its crunchy, burnt orange leaves underfoot, cooler mornings which necessitate the digging out of winter coats from the back of the wardrobe, and cravings for pies, stews, and the warmth of pumpkin-pie spiced baked goods. Saturday morning, with its grey skies and torrential rain, provided a guilt-free opportunity for some pyjama-clad stoveside pottering, and a bowl of this delicious baked oatmeal made for the perfect autumnal breakfast.

I love porridge on winter mornings, but had never thought of baking it until I saw a recent post on one of my favourite food blogs, Joy the Baker. Any of the recipes I’ve tried from her site have been delicious, so I couldn’t wait to try her take on Baked Oatmeal. Porridge oats are mixed with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, bound with egg, milk and melted butter, and baked until golden brown and fragrant. It takes five minutes to throw together, and a mere 25 minutes to bake – giving you plenty of time to pop out for the papers, take a shower, or snuggle your still-in-bed other half. The texture is somewhere between a giant oatmeal cookie, a flapjack, and a cake…and utterly compelling. Not only is this dish perfect for weekends, but it keeps well, making a great weekday breakfast after a quick spin in the microwave – just knowing that this is waiting for me in the kitchen is enough to get me out of bed on a Monday morning. I love this equally with ice-cold milk, chopped pecans and dried cranberries; sweet blackberry coulis and natural yoghurt; and with warm milk and raisins scattered over the top. Next time, I’m going to top it with creme fraiche and cinnamon-breathed applesauce – the perfect autumnal waker-upper.

Baked Oatmeal (from Joy the Baker)

Serves 4 greedy people

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup milk (any fat content is fine)

1/4 cup melted butter

1 large egg

splash of vanilla extract

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius.

2. Whisk together the oats, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder in a bowl.  Whisk together the milk, butter, egg and vanilla extract (for ease of addition, and to avoid any early-morning kitchen mishaps, I mix the wet ingredients up in a jug as opposed to a bowl).  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. 

3. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 9-inch pie dish.  Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly firm to the touch. If the oatmeal wobbles when you shake the dish slightly, give it another few minutes in the oven.

4. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 5 minutes before spooning it into serving bowls.  Top with whatever takes your fancy, and enjoy! 

Blueberry Scones with a Cinnamon Sugar Topping

In Baking, Breakfast on August 7, 2010 at 17:21

This is a lovely recipe for a lazy Sunday morning – you probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already, so just buy some fresh or frozen berries this evening and leisurely throw these together in the morning for a delicious breakfast with a cup of good coffee. To make life even easier, you can rub in the butter the night before , and add the baking powder, milk, eggs and berries the next morning. Voila! Delicious, freshly-baked scones with very little effort.

I made two-thirds of this recipe because I didn’t want to end up eating 20 scones by myself, and although the dough was quite sticky, the scones turned out perfectly. I don’t have a scone cutter so I used a tumbler instead. Next time, I’m going to use an ice-cream scoop for perfect bite-size scones. The recipe stipulates painting the scones with an egg-wash glaze to help the sugar to stick to their tops, but I skipped this step as the sugar stuck easily to the tacky dough. If you feel that the scones do need an egg wash, however, simply beat an egg and brush onto their tops before dipping them into the fragrant sugar. The topping caramelises in the oven to give these scones a delicious crunch. Not only are these fabulous for breakfast, but they are great at teatime, and would be perfect for a coffee morning.

Blueberry Scones with a Cinnamon Sugar Topping (based on a recipe for Sweet White Scones from The Ballymaloe Cookery Course, by Darina Allen)

Makes 18-20 scones using a 7.5cm (3in) cutter

Ingredients:

900g plain white flour

pinch of salt

50g caster sugar

3 heaped tsp baking powder

175g butter

3 organic eggs

425ml milk, to mix

110g blueberries

For the Topping:

1 tsp cinnamon mixed with 50g granulated sugar

Method:

1. Prehat the oven to 250 degrees Celcius. Sieve all the dry ingredients in a wide, large bowl. Cut the butter into cubes, toss in the flour and rub in the butter. Add the berries, stir, and make a well in the centre of the mixture.

2. Whisk the eggs into the milk, add to the dry ingredients and mix to a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board.

3. Knead lightly, just enough to shape the dough into a round. Roll out to about 2.5cm (1in) thick and cut into scones. Dip the tops in the cinnamon sugar.

4. Put on a baking sheet (no need  to grease) and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and cool slightly, before slathering in butter and devouring.

SOMA Garden Market

In Baking, Life, Market on July 31, 2010 at 20:22

Today I had a stall at my first ever farmer’s market, which was a resounding success. By the end of the day, I had one Snickers and peanut butter muffin, and about 10 cookies left over! My sister helped me with the baking last night, and we fell into bed at 2am. I’m so grateful for her help – I would never have gotten everything done otherwise! Many of my friends and family came along to support me and buy my treats, including Candi of The Boho Kitchen – who is going to have a stall there next weekend, so if you enjoyed her baking at the recent Dunmore Food Festival, take note. I had a brilliant day – everyone was so friendly and, most importantly, enjoyed my baking, which was the best thing. I was a bit nervous going into it, but got great feedback which really boosted my confidence. One lady who’d bought some flapjacks came back a couple of hours later to buy all the flapjacks that I had left…apparently her husband told her that they were nicer than the ones she makes!

I was so touched and thriled that so many people turned up to see me – I really appreciated the effort that you all made, so thank you very, very much. I’m booked in to do it again on the 21st August, so I hope to see you there next time! Hopefully my table will look like this by 4pm again…

Lemon Squares

In Baking on July 11, 2010 at 19:13

Flipping through cookbooks, looking for a recipe to use up three lemons that were on their way out, I came across this little gem in The Ballymaloe Cookery Course. These are outrageously, unbelievably quick and easy to throw together, and so are perfect to make just before you have people over for coffee and a chat. You tip butter, sugar, flour and eggs into a bowl/mixer, pour the resulting mixture into a Swiss Roll tin, bake, top it with a syrupy icing, and enjoy. This took literally three minutes to mix together, and it tastes like something that was slaved over for hours. The sponge is light and tender, and the icing is both tangy and sweet. They don’t need any accompaniment, but a blob of softly-whipped cream would be utter gorgeousness.

Lemon Squares (from The Ballymaloe Cookery Course by Darina Allen)

Ingredients:

For the sponge:

170g soft butter

170g caster sugar

2 eggs

170g self-raising flour

For the icing:

freshly-grated rind of 1 lemon

freshly-squeezed juice of 1-2 lemons (I used the juice of one and a half lemons, so add the juice of one and then taste)

110g caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

2. Put the butter, sugar, flour and eggs into a bowl, or into the bowl of a food mixer. Mix gently to combine.

3. Spread the mixture evenly into a well-greased Swiss Roll tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden-brown and well-risen.

4. Meanwhile, mix the icing ingredients together, pour over the sponge as soon as it comes out of the oven and leave to cool. Cut into squares and serve.

It’s the Weekend – Why Not Bake Your Own Bread?

In Baking on June 26, 2010 at 08:52

After wishing our lives away all week, the blessed weekend is here at last. And should you find yourself sitting in your kitchen, aimlessly sipping coffee and flicking through the papers, wondering what to do with your day, here is your solution – bake some bread.

There is something both sacred and scientific about baking bread. The rising of the dough satisfies our inner six-year-old, turning a simple act of baking into a Saturday-morning science project. Bread, it is said, is the staff of life. When we sit down to eat, we “break bread”. Better still, then, to be the one who actually provides this bread – both metaphorical and physical – with which to feed your loved ones.

To stretch the sacred metaphor even further, this recipe is taken from what I consider to be the Bible – at least as far as cookbooks go – Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course. It is expensive  – €45 or so, though I found mine for €22.50, and I know of people who’ve paid €12.50 for it in tk maxx, bargainous – but honestly, it’s worth it. If I had to pick just one cookbook – Sophie’s Choice – it would be this one. I have yet to come across a recipe that is not detailed in this book: the index alone is 27 pages long. If you come across a cut-price copy of this – or just feel like making an investment in your health and happiness – run, don’t walk, to the checkout.

As this recipe uses yeast, and requires several rises, it’s not something that you can throw together in a matter of minutes. It takes about 3-4 hours hours in total, but never mind. It’s the weekend after all. As I’ve said before, much of that time is spent rising or baking, so it’s not “your time” – the mixing and kneading of the dough demands only 20 minutes of your time. While the bread’s doing its thang, you could take a nap, go for lunch, visit your local farmer’s market and pick up some goodies with which to top your freshly-baked bread – think farmhouse cheeses, smoked meats, olives, sundried tomatoes and chutnies – take a bath, read a book…find something pleasant to do. Then you come home, put the bread in the oven, and inhale the gorgeous smells emanating from your kitchen, before devouring the still warm loaf.

Ballymaloe White Yeast Bread (taken from The Ballymaloe Cookery Course, by Darina Allen)

Ingredients:

(Makes 2 x 450g (1lb) loaves)

425ml lukewarm water

20g fresh yeast OR 10g dried yeast

700g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

2 teaspoons salt

10g sugar

25g butter

Method:

1. Put 150ml (¼ pint) of tepid water into a Pyrex measure. Crumble in the fresh/dried yeast and leave in a warm place for about 2–3 minutes. Sieve together the flour, salt and sugar in a large, wide mixing bowl. Then rub in the butter and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture and most of the remaining lukewarm water. Mix to a loose dough, adding the remaining water or a little extra flour as needed.

2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, cover and leave to relax for about 5 minutes. Then knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth, springy and elastic (if kneading in a food mixer with a dough hook, 5 minutes is usually long enough). Put the dough into a large bowl and cover the top tightly with clingfilm. Yeast dough rises best in a warm moist atmosphere; 27°C  is optimum, but a slower rising is preferable to one that is too fast.

3. After about 1½–2 hours, when the dough has more than doubled in size, knead it again for about 2–3 minutes to redistribute the yeast in contact with the dough so it will have a more even crumb. Cover and leave to relax for a further 10 minutes.

4. Shape the bread into loaves, plaits or rolls, then transfer to a baking tray and cover with a light tea towel. Leave to rise again in a warm place, until the shaped dough has again doubled in size (about 20–30 minutes). Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celcius.

5. The bread is ready for baking when a small dent remains if the dough is pressed lightly with the finger. Brush with water and dust with flour for a rustic looking loaf or brush with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds for a more golden crust. Bake for 25–35 minutes, depending on size. When baked, the bread should sound hollow if tapped underneath. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

This dough is extremely versatile, and can be used for a loaf or plait of bread, pizza bases, or breadsticks.

The baked loaf can be used for sandwiches, bruschetta, toast – basically any way you would use shop-bought bread. I slathered it with honey and butter while still warm, and enjoyed it with a cup of tea. It is really, really good toasted for breakfast. Enjoy!

Banana Bread

In Baking on May 9, 2010 at 12:02

I adore this recipe. Love it, worship it, want to marry it – and I don’t even like bananas. The fact that it contains bananas, raisins and pecan nuts make me feel virtuously healthy when eating it –  I tell myself that, the more of it I eat, the closer I get to one of my five-a-day. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, oh no…

My paternal grandfather always buttered the slice of fruit cake he was about to eat, and I continue the tradition by slathering my still-warm slice of banana bread with gorgeous Irish butter. I can’t remember if this is something I picked up from watching him, or if it’s genetic, but I do remember, at the age of about 8, being served slices of Christmas cake when visiting relatives, and my father and aunt bursting into peals of laughter when I asked for butter. Like grandfather, like granddaughter…

You need some very ripe bananas for this recipe, and I purposely scour supermarkets for overly ripe bananas on sale. When I have to buy a fresh bunch, I pick the ripest in the whole shop, watch their progress from yellow to speckled to brown with glee. Rage descends when I find that another hungry soul has gotten to them first, their appetite coming between me and my favourite tea bread.

Although this is called banana bread, it’s more like a cake, or a fruit loaf. Either way, I cannot think of anything better to have with a cup of hot tea, except for, well, another slice. If you are taking your first, tentative steps into the world of baking, or, indeed, into your kitchen, this is the best place to start. The only tools you need are a large bowl, a wooden spoon and a loaf tin, and you’re set. The smell of this wafting through your kitchen makes you feel like a proper, 1950’s housewife, all freshly-pressed pinny, high heels, and red lipstick, and is just the thing to boost the nervous cook’s confidence.

This recipe is taken from How To Be A Domestic Goddess, by the lovely Nigella Lawson. Even if you don’t cook, but love to read, I urge you to buy one of her books. When I am in need of comfort, I flip through one of her books in bed. Never mind her recipes; her prose alone is enough to feed the soul.

Naturally, I’ve made some slight changes to this recipe. Nigella stipulates soaking the sultanas in rum, but seeing as I hardly ever have rum in the house, I use orange juice instead. I did soak the dried fruit in Captain Morgan’s Spiced on one occasion, but I think I actually prefer the orange juice. I use raisins instead of sultanas, and pecans instead of walnuts to suit my own taste. Feel free to revert to the original if that’s what you fancy. It doesn’t matter what you use; what matters is that you make this. Soon. You and those lucky enough to be given a slice will be thankful.

Banana Bread (adapted slightly from How To Be A Domestic Goddess, by Nigella Lawson)

Ingredients:

100g raisins

75ml orange juice

175g plain flour

2tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

125g butter, melted

150g sugar

2 large eggs

300g mashed weight of bananas

60g broken pecans

1tsp vanilla extract

loaf tin, lined with a baking paper (bossy note – you MUST line your cake tin. Yes, yes; I know, I used to think that life was too short to sieve flour or line tins, but it takes a hell of a lot longer to chip stubbornly baked-on cake from the bottom of a tin than it does to rip off a piece of parchment paper and fling it in, so just line the damn thing)

Method:

1. Put the raisins and orange juice into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to stand for up to an hour. When the raisins have absorbed most of the liquid, drain and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 170 Celcius/Gas Mark 3. Mix the flour, baking powder and bicarb in a medium-sized bowl and mix well.

3. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then the mashed banana.

4. Stir in the pecans, raisins and vanilla extract.

5. Finally, add the flour mixture, one-third at a time, stirring well after each addition. Scrape the mixture into your (prepared!) loaf tin, and bake in the middle of the oven for 1-1h15mins. When it’s cooked, a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean-ish, without too much sticky cake mixture on it.

6. Allow to cool (slightly) in the tin – you can be boiling the kettle and making a brew as it cools – before cutting into thick slices and slathering with butter. I love this with a cup of tea as a post-breakfast “dessert”, elevenses, mid-afternoon pick-me-up or pre-bedtime snack. Honestly, I wouldn’t turn it down  at any hour of the day.

Orange Breakfast Muffins

In Baking, Breakfast on May 6, 2010 at 18:55

I know, I know…it’s only Thursday, and I’m a bit ahead of myself with what is undoubtedly a weekend breakfast item. I don’t have weekend fever already; rather, I’m giving you, dear readers, a head start on your weekend plans. Buy the items listed below on Friday night – and I would suggest adding two extra oranges to your shopping list, seeing as you’re buying one already you might as well provide yourself with the wherewithal for some freshly-squeezed orange juice for breakfast – before weighing out and combining the dry ingredients, leaving you with little more to do on Saturday morning than some light stirring. Rouse your slumbering loved one with a prettily-laid breakfast tray – a pot of tea, the morning papers, delicious fruit jams and these tenderly light, fluffy, orange muffins. Surprised, touched, grateful adoration will be yours forever more.

These come courtesy of Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Bites. I’ve made these many, many times, and am always surprised at how good they are, wonder why I don’t make them more often, and, with each bite, promise to bake them on a weekly basis. That never happens, of course, but it’s nice to dream…

These are extremely easy to make – as I said, you can even weigh out and mix the dry ingredients together the night before, and all that needs to be done the next morning is juice the orange (if it doesn’t yield a full 100ml of liquid feel free to top it up with cartoned juice, it’s what I do), measure out your milk, and mix it up with the egg and cooled, melted butter, before lazily stirring the wet ingredients into the dry. As muffin mixes should be heavy, lumpy, and barely combined, it is utterly impossible to exert yourself when making these.

I love these muffins eaten as Nigella directs – that is, split when still warm and smeared, mouthful by mouthful, with butter, honey or jam; raspberry being my conserve of choice. I haven’t – surprise, surprise – tinkered with these at all, but imagine that some dried or even fresh cranberries would be a delicious addition. But don’t take it from me, try them yourself this weekend.

Orange Breakfast Muffins (taken from Nigella Bites, by Nigella Lawson)

Ingredients:

75g butter

250g self-raising flour

25g ground almonds

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

75g caster sugar

zest of 1 orange

100ml freshly-squeezed orange juice

100ml full-fat milk

1 egg

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 Celcius/Gas Mark 6.

2. Melt the butter and set aside. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Measure the orange juice and milk, whisk in the egg, and add the cooled, melted butter.

4. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients, mixing with a fork as you go. As above, the batter should be barely combined; the heaviest batter makes for the lightest muffin.

5. Spoon the mixture into your prepared, paper-lined muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes.

6. Remove to a wire rack to cool ever-so-slightly before falling on them with grateful greed.

Makes 12.

My New Baby!

In Baking, Life on May 3, 2010 at 22:50

I am embarrassingly, mortifyingly bad at hitting deadlines. Hence the lack of a scheduled blog post yesterday. And only a pretend post today. I am sorry. I am ashamed. I will try harder next time.

In the meantime, allow me to introduce you to my new baby – The Kenwood Chef. Oh my. After getting to play with one in Ballymaloe recently, I decided to further my career as a home baker by investing in one for myself. I made a birthday cake for my friends Claire and Aine yesterday, which was its first outing. Now, I just need to name her. Any thoughts?