I know, I know, it’s been more than a month since I last updated this wee blog of mine. Sorry, if you’ve been dropping by and seeing the same cakes hanging in there. Time is running by swiftly, and I am having a hard time clutching on to it. Hope all of you have been doing good and that the new year is treating you well.
During the space of a month, we have gone from bone chilling cold to milder weather and today it almost felt like spring. The sun is shining brightly and the days are getting longer. Snow seems to be a distant memory. Rengoni and Agastya’s classes are going on in full swing. I have been busy baking and cooking, just haven’t had the time to post it. And most of the ‘different’ meal ideas have been cooked in the evening, leaving me with very little time (and light) to take decent pictures. Yes, there have been many a time when we have sat down at the dinner table and thought what a lovely post a particular recipe could have been. But alas! It was not meant to be. I hope to rectify that soon.
Yes, the past month has been busy, very busy for me. On the one hand, I have started teaching cookery in a local college ( Indian) and , do I hear the drum roll? I now am the proud owner of a baking business too. Yes, you heard me right; while on the one hand I am sharing spicy secrets with groups of eager learners, on the other hand, I will be, well, I already have been baking to grace my client’s special occasions. It took me a long time to come to terms with the business. I have always wanted to do something like this and friends and family have been suggesting it for a long time. It’s a different thing to bake a cake and give it away as a gift, and completely another thing to start a business. The first doubt was whether anyone would really want my products. But, it seems that they do, and I am happy to say that the orders are gradually coming in. My kitchen has passed all the necessary tests, and I am a fully registered bakerina now.
So, now you know the reason for my long absence from this space. Along with the two jobs, also comes heaps of paperwork, and I am finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Phew! I love blogging; writing and photographing has become a part of my life, but cooking and baking is my first love, and I feel lucky to be able to do things that involve both. The learners from my cookery class as well my clients from my business have given very positive feedback, which has further boosted my confidence.
Thank you all for dropping by and leaving your valuable comments over the past month. I haven’t had the chance to reply to all of them yet, but do know that I do appreciate it. This also reminds me of a ‘not so nice’ experience with a particular reader of this blog. This person had been harassing me for quite a while. In the beginning, I did not give it much thought, but gradually, it got worse. Some of her comments are too rude to be shared here ( after all, my children read my blog too). I found it quite disturbing. All my fellow bloggers out there will surely appreciate all the effort that goes into creating a blog post. One of the best things about blogging, for me, has been the camaraderie with my readers, some fellow bloggers, some not. You have shared my laughs and my tears, so what , if just virtually. I have tried my best to share whatever little skill I have and have also learnt in tons from others. But, I think it is nice to remember that a blog is a very personal space for a blogger. While we appreciate suggestions, I am not sure we accept orders and lashings from others. If someone is absent from blogging, we usually enquire if everything is okay with that person, which so many of you did.When I refused to approve this particular reader’s comments, she was rude and abusive, at which I was really taken aback. I have, of course, since then barred her, but really, such incidents do cast a bit of gloom over what has been a rather pleasant blogging experience so far. I, and I’m sure everyone else has far better things to do than engage in such petty squabbles. So let’s put that aside and move on.
And since you’ve been patient enough to go through all that rambling ( don’t worry if you have skipped the above) let me share some of these spiced apple muffins with you. They are easy to make, are lightly spiced, perfect for a small in – between snack. They are not huge and are bun /fairy cake sizes, so they won’t fill you up. A little sprinkling of demerara sugar adds a slight crunch and the apple does not go mushy, but retains a bite..
1/4 C dark muscovado sugar or other dark brown sugar
1/4 C sunflower/vegetable oil
2 tblsp milk
1/3 C + 2 tblsp whole wheat flour (atta)
1/2 tsp baking powder
a tiny pinch of bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tblsp raisins
1/2 C of small apple pieces, which have been peeled and cored
***a little demerara sugar for sprinkling on top ( optional)
- Pre heat the oven at 180 deg C and line a cupcake tray ( not the deep muffin trays).
- In a bowl, beat together the egg, oil, milk and sugar.
- In another bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, soda, apple and raisins.
- Tip the flour mixture into the egg mixture and fold in till everything is just moistened. The batter will be quite thick.
- Divide the mixture equally among the cupcake cases lining the tray ( makes about 6-7) and sprinkle a little demerara sugar on top of each ( if using any)
- Lower the heat of the oven to 170 deg C .
- Place the tray in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 18 minutes or till a toothpick inserted through the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes in the tray for a minute and transfer to a rack to cool completely before storing in an air tight container.
***You can substitute the demerara sugar with nuts/seeds, or leave it as it is.
Did we like it? Well, the eight and a half hear old lad in our house; you know, the one who doesn’t like fruits in cakes and ‘hates’ raisins, gobbled three of them after school in record time. The fact that the poor guy didn’t realise the ingredients is another matter altogether. As long as someone likes something, it does not matter, does it? So, you see, I had made just seven of them and six flew off the rack in record time between the lad and his older sister; they made for a nice after school snack.