Sunday, 10 October 2010
Edward Woodward, Kenwood(ward) and the best beloved Boxer.
Look, I don't want to bore on about this, but I've been having muffin dramas again. Its a slap of the face and a honk of the nose to me from muffins. I am actually starting to sneak up on the recipe now, trying to distract it before they realise I've gone and baked them. This time, the batch rose , tall and tender, but the tops were completely flat. Like spirit level flat. Ice skating rink flat. It was the lemon and poppy seed recipe again. And you know what I'm going to say - I did nothing different from last time. Weary sigh. Same spot in the oven and all that. Exasperated ( for these muffins only ever do this when they know they are bound for sale in the shop) I made a batch of berry muffins instead (with a little lemon zest* - blueberries, raspberries and blackcurrant, so jammily jewel like when they burst in the muffin, beautiful) and they came out Just As They Should. And very pleased with them I was too. I guess lemon muffins are tired of me taking them for granted. I never take them out or send them flowers, I turn the telly up when they're speaking to me. They are putting their (flat) foot down. I'll make it up to them somehow. Right after I've finished my honeymoon with Berry Burst Muffin. And as if all this weren't pale shivery nightsweat high drama enough - fasten your seat belts - my best beloved balloon whisk from my best beloved Kenwood mixer has given up the ghost. As ends go, it was a good and noble death, in amongst a batch of chocolate meringue buttercream, working , like Boxer from Animal Farm, tirelessly to the end. One of the metal wires just pinged off ( suspect cahoots with lemon muffins). I've had this mixer for ever - it has Never Ever let me down. Its a Kenwood Chef, its older than I am, (they were manufactured between 1962 and 1976, fact fans) I've never had to replace a part or have it serviced, and its used , heavy duty, weekly. I love it. It has its quirks - it sounds like a whale with tummy ache when its doing its thing, and I have to hit the hinge button thing with a hammer to make the top bit ( I simply have no idea what this bit of the machine is called) swing up so I can attach the accessories. I don't think my baking life would be possible without this reliable, sturdy, no nonsense beast. So I've been looking on ebay for spare parts ( I have me eye on a meat grinder attachment also, I fancy a bit of a go at sausage making. Or to be able to mince pork fat for pates and such) and thankfully, there are some. I'm just not sure I'll be able to throw the broken one away. I see you smirking and thinking I'm being all whimsical, but I bet you'd feel grousy if someone threw away your favourite fork, or cracked your favourite cereal bowl. The lure of the ShinyNew is strong - see the gleaming red of curvy kissable KitchenAid ! - but my heart belongs with my Boxer like mixer. Old is Gold as they say. One box of chocolates and bunch of lillies for the lemon muffins then.
*My reader has suggested that some of my muffin dramas might be due to the levels of acid in different lemons. In most baking recipes where there is acid content, bicarb of soda is added ( aswell as baking powder) to neutralize the acid ( the Edward Woodward Equalizer of the kitchen) and help the stuff to rise (its 4 times more powerful than baking powder ( Edward Woodward pimped in a cape then, who can now fly and shoots laserbeams from his eyes). So maybe thats why its changeable. Maybe.