Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Where's the pudding?
On the wall of our kitchen is an 1950's school sign. Two purposeful children, one with perfect pigtails - both with a confident swagger - are striding off to school. Fast forward to 2009 and the picture in our household is rather different on a school day. Hair is unkempt, eyes bleary and invariably there is a row going on; arguments over lost sports kit, incomplete homework, empty cereal boxes, shoes without laces. In fact when we leave the house in the morning at the unearthly time of 7.30 to walk to school, we stumble out onto the pavement. The only creature with anything approaching a confident swagger is the cat. Every morning he attempts to escape through the front door on a kamakazi mission to run across the road where he will meet certain death. Every morning so far, we have stopped him.
So the hot school lunch in a flask mission has required some 1950's style discipline. I feel the spirit of Elizabeth Craig and Etheline Fearon running through me as I look into my freezer. I have become the queen of batch cooking and last week's lunches included a one-pot Winter Casserole (11 out of 10 from Freddie),Leek and Potato Soup, Leek and Macaroni Cheese, Tomato and Lentil soup and Hot Dogs. We are doing well, but there was one major complaint.
"What is for pudding?" You see, Freddie's school has a superb line in hot puddings. I still have the school menu emailed to me so I know why he is a little disappointed by my efforts. This week they are serving Pear and Ginger oaties, rice pudding with forest fruits, Toffee Flapjack, Bread Pudding, Sweet potato pudding, Chocolate Orange Peel Muffins, Pineapple and Coconut Sponge and Assorted Jellies.
So I made these muffins, half of which were inhaled hot from the oven by my children last night - the others made it into the lunchbox, alongside the hot Leek and Potato Soup.
Here are Buttermilk, Beetroot and Apple Muffins. Scored 9 out of 10.
Makes six large muffins or 12 smaller ones 1 egg, beaten
50g butter, melted
1 eating apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
2 small beetroot, cooked and finely diced
50g Demerara sugar
1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or runny honey)
150g plain flour
1 and a half tsp of baking powder
For the topping
1 tablespoon of porridge oats
1 tablespoon of Demerara sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180C. If you are using a deep muffin tray, cut out six squares of baking parchment 15 cms by 15 cms. Line each muffin tin with a square of paper. You can use paper cases if you prefer. Melt the butter, allow to cool slightly and in a bowl stir in the sugar, beaten egg and buttermilk. Mix well. Add the finely diced cooked beetroot and diced apple and spoon of maple syrup. Sieve the flour and baking powder and roughly stir in so the flour is distributed but don’t over mix. Spoon the mixture evenly into each lined muffin tin. Mix together the ingredients for the topping and sprinkle evenly over the top of each muffin.
Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.