Dom at Bellau Kitchen has posted an interesting Random Recipe Challenge for September. It is to randomly take a recipe from your stash of magazine cuttings and other clippings and cook what ever turns up.
Not that long ago I ruthlessly disposed of most of my old magazine clippings. I had a whole box file stuffed full to bursting with them, some dating back to the 1980’s and one or two to the 1970’s. I started out by looking at every one, but then decided that if I hadn’t used a recipe at all in the last 30 years, it probably wasn’t worth keeping. I ended up throwing most of them out without even glancing at them. And I don’t miss them at all, not one bit……..sob……..
I was left with a few magazine cuttings, some favourite handwritten recipes copied from friends’ cookbooks ~ some of them still dating back to the 70’s ~ and quite a number of A4 pages printed more recently from websites and blogs. I had put them all neatly in plastic covers in a ring binder – which is unusually well organised for me.I flipped the pages and came up with a recipe published by Craig in his blog” Boris in Ayrshire” a few months ago, for APRICOT AND GINGER MUFFINS. I had been meaning to make them for ages and now I had a reason.
My other reason / excuse for baking regularly is that my dad has rejoined Derby Model Engineering Society. He is in the process of building a model steam engine himself (something called a Speedy) and is at the stage where he will soon be finishing it and hopefully running it around the little track at the club. In the “station” at the club there is “buffet car” and I promised him I would bake something for him to take with him whenever he goes, which is most Sundays.
I digress !!
The muffins were as usual easy and quick to make, except that it took quite a while to gather together a record number of ingredients.
(Mental note to self – must re-organise cupboards so that all baking ingredients are in one place.) (Reply to self – that would be such a marathon task that I can’t see it happening for some time yet!)
I adopted a tip I found in a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe for whisking the dry ingredients together in a bowl to aerate them instead of sifting. It seems to work well, so far as I can tell.
I used another tip I once read somewhere, to use an ice-cream scoop to fill the muffin cases, making it easier to put the same quantity of mixture in each – and it’s less messy too. That works well as well.
Just before I put them in the oven the phone rang. It was my dad, checking what time the “buns” would be ready. When he rang off, I was so keen to get them in the oven that I forgot to do the last bit of the recipe, which is to sprinkle some brown sugar and place a piece of crystallised ginger on top of each one. Rats !!
250g plain flour
120g caster sugar
60g dark brown sugar
2 teasp baking powder
1 teasp ground ginger
1 teasp ground cinnamon
¼ teasp salt
142 ml crème fraiche
125 ml vegetable oil
1 tablesp honey
20g crystallised ginger, chopped small
200g dried apricots, cut into small pieces
extra brown sugar for topping
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
Mix together the flour, sugars, baking powder, spices, and salt in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together the crème fraiche, oil, honey, and eggs. Fold this mixture into the dry ingredients.
Gently add the apricots and ginger pieces and combine without over mixing.
Divide the mixture between the muffin cases. Sprinkle a little brown sugar and place a piece of crystallised ginger on top of each muffin.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 12 muffins (I found it easily made 14)