Saturday, February 26, 2011

Muffin top, here I come!

I am not a good baker.  How did I come to this conclusion?  When my children eat my cakes and muffins, more food ends up on the floor than in their mouth.  (Anybody aware of my childrens eating habits knows This is rare!) More crumbs end up on the floor from me just carrying them to the table, and I use a large tray.  My son prefers to eat the muffin wrapper.  My husband thanks me for the muffin before he eats it, not after.  And I, like anybody in denial, do not blame myself; I blame the fact that I think baking powder and bi-carbonate of soda can only be purchased in Milan on the black market, or if you have some sort of connection with the Camorra / Mafia.  And any good baker knows, you need baking powder and bi-carbonate of soda to make a good muffin?
What am I doing?  I am on a diet, finally reserecting my Italian carbohydrate situation that has lead me to my doctor saying, "Perhaps a little bit of exercise?"  I want yummy muffins, not cuddly muffin tops!  But with daughter home ill three days in a row, I was over painting, drawing, acting like a monkey and bathing barbie; it was now time to cook...

You should all know, I have cracked the code; finally a crumble free muffin that does not require a dustbuster!

I am not so good with measurements, my mother would cringe watching me cook using a coffee cup to guess my calculations. But give this a whirl, and keep in mind that this is best made with love and children in toe...

Strawberry yoghurt muffins
  • 250grams butter
  • 2 cups sugar (cannot find caster sugar here, but this would be preferable)
  • 4 eggs
  • vanilla (you buy it in sachets here, I just used one)
  • 1 cup of berry yoghurt (or flavour of your choice, they sell coconut yoghurt here which is delicious)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  1. Have all ingredients at room temperature.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together, adding sugar small plastic cup at a time, (a bit of extra sugar may be necessary to replace the sugar your 18 month may take out to decorate the floor with).
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating inbetween, (do not hesitate to remove the larger pieces of shell from mixture with your fingers, and if the bench was cleaned first, spilt egg can be swiped straight from the table into the bowl).
  4. Add vanilla quickly while no one is looking as it looks like the sugar satchels the children love to tear apart and play with in cafes.
  5. Mix in the sifted flours and milk and yoghurt mixture alternately.
  6. Gently fold in chopped strawberries. 
  7. Swiftly spoon mixture into muffin wrappers, while children are preoccupied licking a beater each... raw egg, yum, yum... Rocky did it, so it must be good if my children are to win battle??!!
  8. I allowed my children to add a M&M to the top of each.  Provide more than necessary as I can guarantee, 1 out of 4 will actually make the muffin!  (When I took the muffins out of the oven the M&M seemed to have disappeared from each; I even experiemented with a blue; still disappeared?  I either have a chocolate evaporater in my oven, or my 3 year olds has faster fingers than Winona Ryder and Lindsay Lohan put together.)
  9. Bake in a 160 degrees fan forced for 20 to 25 minutes.
When you eat, it is imperative that you make the "num num num" sound to truly appreciate the experience.  These freeze well, and if yours do not work out as well as mine, just heat in the microwave and add  creme gelato (vanilla ice cream).   As my 18 month old says, (when in doubt, troubled, happy or sad), "Taaa, Daaa!!!"

IF Interesting Fact
According to Wikipedi; Muffins are often eaten for breakfast; alternatively, they may be served for tea or at other meals. (This is the best news I've heard all day... look out chocolate, chirioz, sweet and sour pork muffin... here I come!!! Num, num, num!)


  1. Cathy, I enjoyed this post a lot. I have recently developed a muffin-baking addiction myself due to a number of reasons (i.e a muffin tin being the only kitchen accessory we have; recently finding power of 'lievito' and my carb-fueled and hungry Italian diet).
    I will be sure to try these out !!

  2. Caster sugar is in a kind of red coloured box and is called Zefiro. You can get it in all supermarkets. I can't remember if it is close to the coffee and tea stuff or the baking stuff.

  3. Thanks Andy, will have to look again, can not believe I have missed it!