Like I said on the Vanilla Meringue Roses post, I’ve been quite busy lately. Being a Master’s Student of English Literature, I’ve been busting my ass off trying to keep up with the reading lists of the two final courses of my Master’s Program – working towards my final school exams ever (!!!) – while simultaneously trying to read about a thousand books for my Master’s Thesis and trying to find time to actually write it too!
Needless to say, I can’t afford to do any time-consuming baking these days. But hey, I can’t just quit baking altogether. I would go crazy! Do you have any idea what it’s like to have to sit down and read all day? What was I thinking when I signed up for a literature study?! I’m not one to sit around all day!!!
Sometimes I just desperately need a break from studying!
Besides, studying makes you incredibly hungry! I can’t remember ever having had such an intense craving for snacks and sweets and such a hollow feeling in my stomach like I have when I’m studying.
So getting up for a snack every now and then is not only what’s keeping me sane, it’s also to keep me fed so I can actually focus on studying instead of daydreaming about food. Usually spoonfuls of peanut butter or Nutella toast keep me happy until my gorgeous man comes home from work and makes me a nice dinner so I can keep studying.
But sometimes, when I’m either incredibly pleased with myself for finishing a novel early or pitifully depressed because the sentences, words and letters I still have to read just never seem to come to an end, I sneak into the kitchen to bake. Still, I couldn’t possibly spend a few hours – let alone an entire day – in the kitchen; the books start haunting me if I do. So something fast and delicious it is…
Like these muffins!
I just love making these. I’ve only just discovered the recipe and have loved it ever since. When one of my aunts came to visit my mom a couple of weeks ago, my mom invited me along and asked me if I could prepare a nice lunch so she didn’t need to take time off from work. If there ever was an ultimate tough cookie, it’s got to be my mom: she has build up a successful business while being a great mom at the same time! I definitely inherited busting my ass off from her, because she does it all the time with everything!
So I was glad I could help her out. Besides, I love to bake and prepare food, so it wasn’t much of a chore to set the table and bake my famous Leek and Goat’s Cheese Pie. These muffins made the perfect dessert!
To make them, just throw together some eggs, oil, vanilla and Golden Syrup. Whisk it together until it’s all combined.
Add flour, light brown sugar and baking powder and whisk to a smooth, thick batter.
Next, grab some frozen raspberries out of the freezer and toss them with a sprinkle of flour.
Add them to the batter and stir to combine.
Mind that the raspberries are still completely frozen. Baking them when they are still frozen prevents the batter from going soggy and tossing the berries with flour before adding them to the batter prevents sinking and streaking. You could use fresh berries if you have them, but I prefer to use the frozen ones, as I always have some in the freezer for a fast and delicious raspberry oatmeal lunch.
Don’t forget to taste the batter!
Next, divide the batter over six muffin cups. Yes, only six, because these muffins are huge! Cafe style!
What can I say? I just don’t like small muffins. I want them big and fluffy!
Oh, and don’t mind the apples. I used them to keep the parchment down into the cups until I plopped the batter in. By the way, if you want to know how to make those cute, rustic, DIY muffins cups, check out my short (really short!) tutorial on ‘Basics and Tips’. You could also use cupcake liners, of course.
Anyway, fill the muffin cups all the way up, because we want to get that big dome on top!
Bake at 225°C/440°F for about 8 minutes, then crank the temperature down to 175°C/350°F and bake for another 30 minutes. Because the muffins are baked at high heat in the first phase of the baking process, they form a crust on top before they have time to rise. When the temperature is lowered, the muffins get the chance to bake and rise gently, pushing the crust upwards into a dome.
Seriously, these babies are huge!
My aunt said she loved them. So did my mom, sister and boyfriend. I sure love ’em and I hope you do too!!
- 2 large eggs
- 150ml (or ½ cup + 2 tablespoons) sunflower oil
- 100g (or ⅓ cup) Golden Syrup
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 175g (1⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
- 75g (or ⅓ cup, packed) light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 100g (or a heaped ⅓ cup) frozen raspberries (not thawed) or fresh
- 1 teaspoon of flour
- Preheat the oven to 225°C/440°F (standard oven setting) and line 6 muffin cups with muffin liners.
- Whisk together the eggs, oil, Golden Syrup and vanilla extract. Add the flour, sugar and baking powder and whisk to a smooth, thick batter.
- Toss the frozen (or fresh) berries with the teaspoon of flour until coated and stir them into the batter.
- Divide the batter over the lined muffin cups, filling them all the way up.
- Bake for 8 minutes, then open the oven door and turn the oven down to 175°C or 350°F. Help the oven to cool down by fanning it with a tea towel for a couple of minutes (until the oven has come down to the desired temperature) and bake for another 30 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean (or raspberry-ey).
- NOTE: my oven has an indicator light which turns off when my preheating oven has reached the set temperature. I use this light as an indication of the oven temperature when I'm cooling the oven down. Once the light goes on, I know the oven temperature is just under 175°C/350°F, at which point I shut the oven door and let the muffins cook a little longer.
- Serve warm with a nice cup of tea!