It’s quite depressing how little time I’ve had to put into this blog over the past year. What with a broken leg a crazy work contract and then most recently there’s been this little distraction…
Charlie. Born March 1st at the rather antisocial (and yet now so familiar) time of 3:46 AM. For those wondering, yes he did eventually receive the threatened forced eviction via the sun-roof. At 15 days late and growing with every mouthful I ate, his time was well and truly up. But rest assured, it did not come without him putting up a mighty fight. The first words I heard when he was finally whipped out of me after 40 hours of inductions and no progress were not “It’s a boy!” or “Congratulations!” but “Wow- this is a big baby!”. And at a well-fed-and-would-have-quite-happily-stayed-at-the-buffet–little-longer-9lbs 8oz, big, he certainly was. All the more baby to love, I say.
There’s been little time for cooking. But now that my freezer, no longer full of quick pre-heatable meals is gradually being replaced with bags of breastmilk, I’m dragging my sleep-deprived self back into the kitchen.
Perhaps I should have started with food for dinner but I was distracted by Rhubarb at the market. And how could I not be? As someone who loves dessert…but ironically not so keen on sweet desserts, rhubarb is just so right. Of course it needs a little sugar to come to life but there’s really no need to go overboard.
Unlike most muffins, which are only good on the first day the rhubarb in these keeps them super moist and we are still eating them 3 days later. You don’t have to use vanilla seeds but they do make the muffins that much nicer.
Rhubarb & Vanilla muffins
These are easy as can be to make and real beauties. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Use your favourite crumble topping recipe to top before baking if desired.
225g/8oz rhubarb, ends trimmed and sliced 1/8-1/4 inch thick
50g/1/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
85ml canola oil (corn oil)
1 large egg
1 tsp baking powder
75g/1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
Butter and sugar
• Heat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6. Sprinkle the 50g of sugar over the rhubarb and allow to soak for at least 1 hour. Line a muffin tin with 8-10 liners (depending on how big you would like them)
• Drain the rhubarb saving the liquid left in the bottom so that you have 75ml. Discard any extra liquid. If you don’t have enough liquid, make up the missing volume with extra milk.
• In a medium-sized bowl mix together the rhubarb sugar liquid, the milk, the vanilla seeds, the oil and the egg.
• In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and pinch of salt. Quickly fold through the wet ingredients (do not over-mix) and then the rhubarb- it’s okay if you see bits of flour and the mixture will look a little chunky.
• Fill your muffin tins and if you are using a crumble topping add it now. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden and a toothpick when stuck in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. At this point if you decided against a crumble topping you could dip them in some melted butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar or you could simply have them as they are!