We have an increasing number of Support Staff at the school where I work and historically, everyone brought cakes in on their birthdays. Now this came to mean that not a week went past without cakes being brought it, and on some weeks – cakes on two days running. Not that there is a problem with that but we were having to cater for up to 20 people which is a lot of baking! So we decided that once a half term we would get together in groups of 4 people with birthdays in the same month and all bring in something. The idea was that a) it would be cheaper for the birthday girl and b) we wouldn’t have such expanding waistlines.
So today was the turn on the March birthdays. We had to get in quick as one of us observes Lent and after today won’t be eating cakes, sweets or chocolates until Easter. We had a selection of goodies, banoffee pie, lemon cheesecake, toffee and pecan roulade, fruits of the forest cheesecake, rasperry flan, chocolate tart and muffins. Seems we forgot to include anything healthy like fruit … My Snicker bar muffins went down a treat so I thought I would share the recipe which is so easy and can be changed to include many different things. Luckily I kept one muffin back at home, just for quality control purposes you know ;-)
Basic muffin mix
140g/5oz caster sugar (or light soft brown)
250g/9oz self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g/3oz butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs beaten
200ml/7fl oz milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Your choice of ‘chunks’ – see below …
Heat oven to 200/180 fan/gas 6. Line muffin tin with 12 muffin cases
In a bowl mix dry ingredients together. Mix butter, eggs, milk and vanilla in a jug. Pour into dry ingredients until just combined. Don’t over mix or muffins will be tough. The mixture doesn’t have to be completely smooth. Fold in ‘chunks’, about 3/4 into the mixture and then 1/4 to put on the top of the muffins. Pour into muffin cases and back for 15 – 18 minutes until golden and firm. DON’T OVERCOOK!
Now the ‘chunks’ can range from 150g blueberries (healthy) to 2 chopped up Snickers bars (not quite so healthy although I think the nuts are a bit of goodness) Mars bars work just as well for those of us who can’t eat nuts – just play around and if you find something yummy let me know! I substituted soft brown sugar for caster when I did mine and that was lovely. You can soak dried apricots in 1 tbs amaretto and use that for the chunks and sprinkle flaked almonds on top too.
Today BT are upgrading our broadband network. They say it will improve performance and speed. I say it will probably never be the same again. They say it will happen sometime before 6pm. I say it hasn’t happened yet and there’s only an hour to go. They say it make take a while for the ‘line to settle down’ afterwards. ‘Your broadband might slow down or even stop now and again, that’s normal.’ I say that doesn’t sound normal at all, it sounds like they don’t expect it to work properly for a while. Not that I don’t trust them or anything …..