Yummy-ness. Yup, in this household its a technical term! I'm sure it is in some other households too, although the Oxford Dictionary people would probably be turning in their gravy right now. The reason for using this technical terminology is... baking. Hmmmm.... there is much yummy-ness to be had whenever baking is being done, but especially when the festive period arrives and I get the urge to bake. It doesn't happen often tho', which is a pity! I don't really see myself as a baker. That was always my sisters forté.
We used to go to my Gran's house whenever my parents needed to go shopping. Once there, she would sit me behind her old treadle Singer sewing machine with some fabric, thread and a big tinful of buttons. Then she would scuttle off to her small kitchenette with my little sister in tow to do some baking. My sister would have hours of fun measuring and mixing and then out of that small kitchen would come the most delicious things. I think that was when I realised that working in the kitchen could produce more than just food to fill hungry tummies. Working in her kitchen would produce the most mouth watering stuff which could only be considered as treats. Scotch pancakes (which we called crumpets), brownies, cakes, pancakes, scones, fairy cakes and biscuits. My Gran and my sister made all of those in the times we visited her. I suppose my Gran did most of the work in the early years - my sister would only have been about three at the time - but over the years my sister became more proficient in her own right. My sewing improved too in those years, and so it became that while sewing was 'my thing', baking was always the province of my younger sister. Even now, when I try to bake it doesn't always come out well. Its always a bit hit and miss. However, occasionally I find a recipe that always works well.
The one thing I don't ever remember my Gran baking was muffins. I'm not sure if they're largely an American thing or a modern thing or just not my Gran's thing, but muffins were never on the menu. Me? I luuuuuurve muffins of all flavours! Luckily for me I found the most delicious muffin recipe... and it seems to be one of those that always works! Yay!! We had invited some people around for Saturday afternoon as a housewarming/christmas/birthday party and had decided just to invite people around for coffee and biscuits. However, I decided to do an extra little something in the form of some Spiced Cranberry Muffins and some Mulled wine too. So, on Saturday morning I did some baking and produced some lovely yummy-ness! They turned out well and everyone who had one said they were delicious!
So, for those that visited and asked for the recipe... and for those that are sitting at home wanting some, here's the recipe!
You will need:
300g Plain white flour
2tsp baking powder
½tsp ground cinnamon
½tsp ground nutmeg
finely grated zest of 1 orange
125g demerara sugar
75g frozen cranberries, defrosted
50ml sunflower oil
225ml skimmed milk
Preheat oven to gas mark 6/200C/Fan oven 180C. Line 12 hole muffin tray with muffin cases. Sift flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and stir in cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest. Add sugar and cranberries. Beat together oil, milk and egg and pour over dry ingredients.
Mix well with a wooden spoon to make a soft batter. Spoon mixture into muffin cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are well risen and golden.
I have made a couple of changes to this original recipe. Firstly, I used dried Cranberries as I couldn't find any frozen ones; and Secondly, I put more mixture into each muffin case so I only got 9 muffins out of the recipe rather than 12.
Don't you think these are just the epitome of yummy-ness? I do! In fact, I have a few left.... I might just go knick one now. Shhhhh! Don't tell the kids!!