Following from That Jess Ho’s recent article, I think I can safely say that I quit foodblogging. That’s not to say I’ve quit blogging altogether, more to say that blogging on one topic regularly is something that I’m simply not inspired to do anymore.
You can still find me on Twitter, or you can read my very sporadic posts over at Daily Trifles.
A hiatus of sorts. If it wasn’t already obvious, I’m about to have a baby. It’s been rather distracting and poor little blog here has suffered. So I will be clear: I won’t be posting unless I feel an overwhelming urge or desire. It may mean no posts for a year, or no posts for a few weeks. Who knows?
I would, however like to thank all you lovely people that have commented or emailed me over the years I’ve had this blog. It’s been extremely gratifying.
The opportunities and the people I’ve met via this blog have truly enriched my life, and I hope it continues into the future.
So I haven’t posted in a while, not because I don’t want to but it just seems so much effort! With work piling on the pressure in my last few weeks, my sleep diminishing, my mobility reduced due to my ever expanding belly, poor tummyrumble has been neglected.
and Plunge Cafe and there is lots of cooking going on, albeit of the simpler kind.
One of the delicious treats on regular rotation at my house at the moment are these fantastic muffins from Bill Granger’s Holiday Cookbook. A great, easy recipe that you can whip up super fast with just about any fruit going. I’ve tried the original recipe with it’s pear, and have also used strawberries. Now a warning, these are not very sweet, but you can make them sweeter by adding a sweetened yoghurt or just adding more sugar. I also haven’t added the topping which is where the additional sweetness comes from as I don’t think it’s necessary with the fruit.
Bill Granger’s Crunchy Top Pear Muffins
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon (with the strawberry I substituted some vanilla bean paste)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup plain yoghurt
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 pear, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 180° and line a 12 hole muffin tin
Sift the flours, baking powder and cinnamon into a large bowl, add the oats and the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and stir together. Make a well in the centre
Whisk together the eggs, yoghurt, oil. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold through pear, don’t overmix.
Spoon into muffin tin.
To make crumble topping: mix pecans with remaining brown sugar and sprinkle over muffins
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
I’m now around 6 months pregnant, and really feeling it. Carrying around a large weight strapped to your front is disconcerting in so many ways, from trying to do up your shoelaces to sleeping. One of the odd things I’ve discovered about pregnancy is how my taste has changed. I used to be one of those people who looked at you disapprovingly if you added salt to your food without tasting it first, and though I taste my food first, I’m adding salt! I’m also consuming one small packet of Smith’s Salt and Vinegar chips per week. Can’t get enough of that salty goodness!
Conversely I’m also finding my taste for sugar has gone a little screwy. Things seem too sweet to me now. Recently I decided I needed a wagon wheel. I used to love these as a kid and my irrational pregnant mind compelled me to procure one to satisfy the desire. Stormie came home with two, and I popped one in my handbag in anticipation of devouring it at the movies. At the movies, I got ice cream instead, but I tried eating the Wagon wheel when I got home. I couldn’t eat more than half of it. I was SO disappointed. It was so sweet it made my teeth hurt! To my tastebuds, the biscuit was too crumbly with what seemed like whole sugar crystals contributing to the biscuit’s crumbliness. I then determined that I had to make my own.
In combination, I had also been musing on making marshmallows. Don’t know why exactly, but it was probably inspired by David Lebovitz and Raspberri Cupcakes…So using this basic marshmallow recipe from Gourmet Traveller I set to making my own homemade wagon wheels!
A couple of tips before you get started:
- Make sure you have a sugar thermometer. Make sure it isn’t a massive one like I have, as I couldn’t actually use it properly without tipping the pot full of boiling sugar syrup so it would be deep enough to submerge.
- Make sure you oil every utensil you use: spatulas and spoons and palette knives etc…I just created a sticky mess everywhere and wasted about 1/4 of the marshmallow cause I just couldn’t get it out of the bowl.
- Make sure you have everything ready to go; I found I got a bit flustered with this marshmallow recipe as it had instructions dependent on the syrup reaching a certain temperature. I managed, but I would have managed better if there was someone else in the kitchen!
When it comes to the biscuits themselves, I took a shortcut and decided against making them myself. So I bought two kinds after some discussion on twitter. I bought Marie biscuits and Granita biscuits. I prefer the Marie biscuits, as they’re less sweet, crumbly and they’re thinner than the Granita, but you can use whatever you want.
After making the marshmallow, lay out your biscuits ready to go and get to spreading that marshmallow. Don’t go too thick as then there will be too much space round the edges for the chocolate to have to get into…with the other half of the biscuits also have them laid out and ready to spread with your choice of jam. I used the Anatoth raspberry jam and think it’s perfect.
I ended up using 4 blocks of Lindt 70% dark chocolate, which is a perfect foil against all the sweetness.
So, the verdict? WAY better than the store bought kind. Less sweet, more tart from the good jam, and the darker, better quality chocolate makes a world of difference.