With my barely clean hand I manage to push the open laptop further across the table, just in the nick of time as a sprinkling of flour covers the surface with snow-like drifts.
The entire room looks apocalyptic with abandoned pots dripping with butter and shiny silver bowls smeared with wet and dried ingredients.
It’s a sure sign I’ve been baking!
I got an urge to make a cake. In particular, my mother's ginger cake – dark, dense, moist and spicy. Somewhere along the way this became muffins, still flavoured with ginger but quite a deviation from my starting point. In between I had consulted another lovely cake recipe in The Cook’s Companion and added an extra spice to my list of ingredients.
The muffins are a work in progress, I had intended to have another play with the recipe before posting but life has got in the way. I’m thinking of trying different flours next time (a touch of buckwheat perhaps as the flavours are robust enough, maybe add another egg to compensate for any heaviness?) and keep adjusting the spices.
Fresh, rather than dried or crystallised ginger, is a major modification to the recipe. Having found no powdered ginger in the house I decided to microplane fresh root to get the juice and just a little of the finely grated flesh. I used to have a Japanese ginger grater that is perfect for the job but the fine grater over a small bowl worked just fine. Use the youngest, plump ginger root you can find otherwise juicing it will be akin to getting blood out of a stone! Taste the wet ingredients while adding the juice to get the right level of ginger for your palate.
The white pepper was courtesy of one of Stephanie Alexander’s recipes. I crushed the whole spices and also the walnuts in a mortar and pestle.
The muffin recipe template is another adaptation of Catherine’s recipe that I first explored in my post on cherry, banana, walnut and nutmeg muffins
Heat oven to 175 c.
30 gm melted butter
1/2 cup golden syrup (more if you are a sweet tooth)
3 ripe bananas, mashed
Juice of approx 3 cm of fresh ginger finely grated (to taste)
1 egg, beaten
Allow the butter to cool before combining the ingredients.
2-3 white peppercorns, ground
4 cloves, ground
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2/3 cup of walnuts (measured before crushing), crushed
1.5 cups of flour 1 level tsp bicarb soda/baking soda
1 level tsp baking powder
Scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
Combine the dry ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir, just a little, don’t over work it.
Spoon into greased muffin tins.
Cook for 20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
These muffins taste even better the next day but it is very hard to leave them that long!