First Contact with MUFFINS

Banana and Cinnamon (with blueberry) Muffins
Banana and Cinnamon (with blueberry) Muffins

Totally got in to Muffins, the eating and the making, recently. Up to now I had this assumption that muffins were nothing more than bigger fairy cakes. What’s the fuss about? I thought. But they are nothing like sponge. They are moist and very moorish.

I made my first batch of these banana and cinnamon muffins inspired by a 50p second hand book on making quick breads and muffins. “that’ll do” says I grabbing 3 bit-to-ripe nanas from the fruit bowl. It was also prompted by an article I’ve been setting for the next Home Farmer on Muffin Madness – there was no room left for one of the recipes so I popped it online – https://homefarmer.co.uk/blackberry-muffin/

Bit wet, I thought, when adding another couple of tablespoons of milk to the batter. Still, Linda Frazer, author of Quick Breads, must know best.

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Result – fantastic. I added cinnamon and almond essence instead of vanilla (only cause I couldn’t find the vanilla essence) and a teaspoon of banana essence. I bought the banana essence from a fab Asian supermarket (along with pear essence and pistachio) and hadn’t had an excuse to use it so this was perfect.

Ever-growing 'colour and essence tin' love the smell when it;s open.
Ever-growing ‘colour and essence tin’ love the smell when it’s open.

I ‘make-my-own’ caster sugar by grinding granulator a tad in the little electric grinder. The result this time was caster on it’s way to being icing sugar but this may have made the top of my muffins have an extra ‘crisp’ bit we were not expecting but was jolly good. Will remember to do that next time.

I added blueberries to the next batch - personally I'm not a fan. Won't bother in future.
I added blueberries to the next batch – personally I’m not a fan. Won’t bother in future.

 

I added blueberries too but, personally, I prefer them without anything extra.

Banana and Cinnamon Muffins (makes 9 in standard size muffin cases)

Ingredients

150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar
55g butter
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg, beaten
5 tbsp milk
1 tsp almond essence
1 tsp banana essence (if you can get it)
2 tsp cinnamon powder

Method
Prepare muffin cases in tin and put the oven on to 180⁰C.

  1. Sift flour and baking powder into a small bowl and put to one side.
  2. Cream sugar and butter together.
  3. Add the beaten egg and beat to get light and fluffy.
  4. Add the mashed bananas and stir in.
  5. Add the flour, slowly, along with the milk, bit by bit. Stir in as adding to get air in to the mix.
  6. Add the essence(s) and cinnamon.
  7. Spoon into the muffin cases and put in the oven for 25 minutes. Check and turn around after 13 mins (in case your oven, like mine, doesn’t bake evenly).

When cooked bring out and allow to cool. These are lovely when still warm.

 

Nettle Beer Recipe

Dave Hamilton, author of Grow your Own Food for Free shares one of his favourite recipes for making nettle beer. It’s cheap to make and follows a traditionally English recipe.

Before hops were widely used in the 17th century all sorts of plants were used to flavor the ale including nettles (Urtica dioica). It was also thought to help alleviate arthritis, rheumatic pain, gout and asthma and is classified as a ‘superfood’.

Read More and view the full recipe HERE

Building and Using a Wormery

Wormeries enjoyed something of a craze a few years ago, but like so many fads it soon passed, as the reality didn’t quite live up to the hype. Smelly bins, flies, and soggy compost tarnished the magical image of the kitchen composter, and wormeries rather went out of fashion. Since then lessons have been learnt, and worm farming, with its magical gift of cheap, trouble-free organic compost and liquid plant food, is due for a revival.

Read the Full article here: Wormery – Building & Using

Making your own Orange Wine

Orange wine is one of my favourites. It is a reliable white that is both sharp and crisp. It is often one of my ‘midweek’ wines: something to open when I fancy a glass by itself without wanting to finish the whole bottle. It also works well with food – in particular, Chinese or Thai, when the refreshing, somewhat bitter taste cuts through the spice. However, be advised, orange wine is not universally popular.

Check out the full post here: Orange Wine Recipe, we have put a comprehensive guide together for your pleasure, we hope you enjoy reading, making and drinking it!