Thursday, May 18, 2006

Baking up a storm

There's a definite advantage to living on your own when you get a sudden urge to go on a baking spree. Yep, there's no need to cook for the rest of the week. The disadvantage, of course, is getting seriously bored with eating nothing else for days on end.

For some time now, I've had an urge to bake so, weeks ago, I went out and bought the major ingredients and the necessary utensils. Within days of buying the stuff, I made a lemon drizzle cake that kept me fed for the best part of a week but the urge remained. I finally succumbed to the urge again and got to muffin baking this past weekend.

banana and cheese muffins
Banana muffins have always been a favourite at home in Cape Town to such an extent that my son started baking them himself a few years ago. He likes to heat them up and eat them drowned in Woolworths custard (good stuff but Marks & Spencer's is even better). They work rather well like that, almost like a moist sponge pudding. Although they're delicious plain, I like them spread with butter.

These weren't quite as light as they usually turn out but I think that may have come from using too much banana (I was getting rid of an over-ripe bunch) and not having a proper measuring spoon for the baking powder.

In case you're wondering, this hasn't become a food blog but I told coffee addict that I'd post my banana muffin recipe so she could compare it to hers.

Banana Muffins

4 medium bananas
200 ml sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
80 ml melted butter
375 ml flour
5 ml baking powder
5 ml bicarbonate of soda
pinch salt

Pre-heat oven to 180 C

Mash the bananas and add the sugar and egg. Mix in the butter. Add mixture to sifted dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes.
During the few weeks that I was gripped by the urge to bake muffins, I offered to bake Michelle some as she has been feeling poorly and I thought that a bit of fattening up was in order. Om giving her a choice between banana and cheese muffins, she chose cheese.

So I made them after the banana muffins.

Cheese Muffins

750 ml grated cheese
500 ml flour
20 ml baking powder
10 ml dry mustard
5 ml cayenne pepper
2 eggs
500 ml milk

Pre-heat oven to 200 C.

Add the cheese and dry ingredients to a bowl. Beat the eggs with a fork. Mix into the milk. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and stir until the ingredients have been mixed in. Spoon into muffin tin. Bake for about 10 minutes.

There is something strangely retro about cheese muffins. Perhaps their being made from cheese reminds me of truly retro cheese dishes like cheese straws and cheese fondue. Whether they're retro or not, the recipe does come from a recipe book produced by the mothers of King David school in the sixties.

retro foodOf course, a lot of that food, even if ironically like bits of cheese and pineapple pierced with a toothpick, has recently come back into fashion. Some of it, like avocado shrimp cocktail made with cheap bottled mayonnaise can stay in the past but some of the recipes are worth resurrecting.

Retro food, Mom's Recipe Book and Slashfood are three good sources of typical recipes from the sixties and seventies.

Incidentally, Michelle never got to see any of those cheese muffins. I ate the last one yesterday.


Blogger Caroline said...

I almost posted a recipe today but we ate it before I remembered to take a photo...

Your muffins do look good. (Is that rude? it has that sort of sound to it...)

9:10 pm  
Blogger rhino75 said...

I LOVE the step-by-step photos!! I haven't done any baking for a while, but you're making my mouth water. Could be time to make some more madeleines.

11:52 pm  
Blogger Daedalus said...

hehe... always wanted to do this with my *Chilly Concarne* ... step-by-step-blogger-it hahaha... brill!

5:45 am  
Blogger nyasha said...

you are on a roll here! the pictures look absolutely great! my post on muffins just looks rather pathetic now! :) I will have to try the recipes and i will let you know.
You were saying that you would not consider having a food blog due to lack of proper camera and kitchen utensils. That's bull. This post has great pictures and i love the step-by-step like Rhino75 said, and what matters is that you are sharing with us some really mouthwatering ideas with us. :) A weekly food post maybe (?)

8:07 am  
Blogger nyasha said...

btw, what cheese did you use for the 2nd batch of muffins? Cheddar, gruyère, emmental, blue cheese? :) a girl needs to know.

8:15 am  
Blogger whatalotoffun said...

that has made me hungry now. Banana muffins or bread is my favourite too. Im going to the canteen to see if they have banana muffins.

8:17 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

caroline: had you said my muffin (singular) looks good, it would have sounded ruder but I'd have been flattered.

rhino: Good idea about getting some more madeleines baked with accompanying step-by-step pics.

daedalus: this step-by-step thing is new to's a good excuse to see how good my new camera phone is up to the job. Also, it means I actually eat instead of smoke and drink.

coffee addict: glad you're impressed. But, it's true about the lack of utensils. Each time I get an urge to do something, even as simple as bake muffins, I have to go out and buy utensils. This fully furnished flat is lacking ins some things. Also, a weekly post would entail weekly cooking of different things. Not a bad idea, I know. Well, especially if thinking about my dietary health. But, what an effort!

8:19 am  
Blogger ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

I am hungry and it is all your fault.
I am impressed, truly I am!

8:57 am  
Blogger nyasha said...

but the effort is all worth it in the end, no? there are no regrets in going back home tonight to a 2 dozens batch of homemade muffins!
looks like i need to go bake myself some...

10:24 am  
Anonymous Dragonfly said...

Woolworths!! Custard!!
Now I,m homesick and drooling
Just popped in to say Hi.
I love lemon goodies, your
Lemon drizzle sounds gooood.

10:49 am  
Blogger Rob7534 said...

I LOVE Banana Muffins!

One of the few things I can bake is a nice Banana Bread Loaf!

You guys are making me want to post a recipe food post now!

11:11 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

Looks like I have got all your taste buds watering. For those of you who rush off home to bake something, I expect to see pics and read recipes.

dragonfly: Nostalgic about Woolies? So where are you now?

11:55 am  
Anonymous dragonfly said...

Yip, and craving for all the
good stuff!
No selfraising flour,
no custard (or jelly) Booo hoo
no chutney,
I could go on all day, LOL!!
We,re on the other side of
the Swiss Alps.
Who says the Swiss have it

12:27 pm  
Blogger JP said...

Stella and Muffins...if you really don't like clothes shopping you should buy some safetypins.

3:21 pm  
Blogger Ancient Clown said...

They look very you ever make them with 'pot butter'...mmmmm, so good...and so good for you.
your humble servant,
Ancient Clown

7:32 pm  
Blogger stuart said...

See, now that should be the measure of whether a person is gay or not. Baking.

you so are.

I'm a bit jealous, mind.


10:02 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

dragon fly: no self-raising flower? how odd!

coffee addict: just realised I didn't answer a question of yours: mature cheddar cheese it was.

jp: stop being rude!

ancient clown: i have no idea what 'pot butter' is.

stuart: don't straight boys bake? Mmmm...I wonder if that means my son is gay? :-) Jealous of what?

10:35 am  
Anonymous xmichra said...

I havenever made banana muffins. i should do that. I normally make banana bread, which is close to your receipe thrown into a loaf pan. It is very good, especially if topped with crushed walnuts.

I make cheese bisquits.. but the muffins look great. Hmm... wonder if substituting cheese for corn would be good.

3:57 pm  
Blogger TW said...

I keep planning pictures. I even planned on cooking but hasn't happened.
Thanks for the link. :-) It will happen.

11:26 pm  
Blogger Babsbitchin said...

Nomad,lol, pot butter is butter made with pot, marijuana.

3:07 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

xmichra: I like banana loaf too but not tried it with the chopped walnuts. Sounds good.

babs: Ah, THAT sort of pot!!! Never heard of pot butter before, though.

tw: thanks for popping by. Which link are you referring to?

4:33 pm  
Anonymous TW said...

That was me from retro-foods, wasn't paying attention when I left the comment.

9:36 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

tw: Ah, makes sense now! It's a pleasure, it's a great site you have there.

9:42 pm  
Blogger Ancient Clown said...

Here's a place for the Methods of Making> said 'Pot Butter' of which you have no knowledge my well travelled friend.
Consider this a planting of seeds then.
your humble servant,
Ancient Clown

11:09 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

Thanks for that link on marijuana cooking. A few months ago, I posted about a dope cake episode of mine. I have a few more I should post about sometime

4:52 pm  

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