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Muffins

Of Muffins And Flatmate Ingratitude

After writing my last post, I eventually decided to turn this into a food blog. It might actually do me some good: first because I need to get used to being consistent at something again, and second, because I’m starting to fear that my obsession with diets will rise again if I don’t get a job and/or push my life back on the right track soon. When the angel on the right shoulder says you know, losing some weight sounds so much like a good idea, and the devil on the left replies screw it, if eating makes you happy then it’s exactly what you have to do – who does the self-esteem-less food addict listen to? It’s hard, it’s always been hard. I guess it always will be. But that’s another long and complicated story, and I hope you won’t mind if I choose not to tell it.

Be it as it may, I want to cook, and cook, and cook again. Because it’s fun, because it keeps me from thinking about anything else (apart from gosh, do I really have to wait for cakes to cool down before serving?), and because nothing makes me happier than a recipe gone right. I also want to write, write, and write, and write again – so what’s better than blogging about food? I’ll have one more good reason to cook without feeling guilty, and one more good chance to improve my writing. That’s a deal, then. And to seal it appropriately, here’s a recipe I invented myself.

Chocolate Coconut Muffins

(makes 10 – 12 muffins)

I was inspired by this recipe on 5 Dollar Dinners, which I actually intended to try when I made the muffins. It was a Tuesday, if I remember well – a typical English Summer Tuesday, whose promise of heavy showers of rain had made me give up on my resolution to dress up, get out, go to the library and work on my master thesis. I was alone at home, and, as it always happens when I’m home alone on a rainy day with nothing to do (obviously the thesis doesn’t count), I was feeling blue. Blue, and with a couple spare eggs in the fridge. Which looked like the perfect combo, because cooking muffins would surely have made me happy and given a purpose to my boring afternoon. Unfortunately, there were no pineapples or white chocolate in my cupboard, and I was feeling too lazy to dress up, get out, walk ten minutes to the supermarket and then ten minutes back; this is when creativity came into play.

As you can see, ingredients are slightly different than in the original recipe:

  • 180g plain flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 180ml skimmed milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Amaretto liquor
  • 90g milk chocolate chips
  • 50g grated coconut.

The recipe is quite simple, but I’m proud of the result. You should obtain about twelve muffins – and this is why I recommend that you set twelve chocolate chips aside before melting all the others. You’ll see why…that was my own personal touch!

  • Mix the milk, egg and Amaretto in a bowl.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  • Melt the chocolate chips (remember, all bar twelve!) in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, and add them in, together with the grated coconut.
  • Split the batter evenly into a greased muffin tin. First of all, put only one tablespoon in each muffin case; add one of the spare chocolate chips on top of this “base”, and then cover it with another tablespoon of batter.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 190°, and cook for about 15 minutes.

The outcome? Extremely moist muffins, with a chocolatey surprise in the middle. I usually fail at first attempts, but this was a nice exception to the norm. Then came the moral dilemma: what to do with those muffins? The angel on my right shoulder was subtly whispering come on, you’re most definitely not going to eat twelve muffins on your own - and I’ll let you imagine what the devil on the left was shouting.

I usually exploit my boyfriend for tastings, and he’s usually more than happy to accept such a task, but we weren’t planning to see each other much that week, and the muffins had to go before they became stale. So, I decided to resort to my flatmates. It had been a long time since I had last cooked for them, and I also wanted to apologise for the way I had been treating them during the past couple of weeks: true, they had been extremely unclean, let two bills expire, and on top of it all, thrown the loudest party ever, up until four in the morning and making as much noise as possible while I was trying to get some sleep – but I had overreacted to it all, and it wasn’t fair to blame them for me being stressed, unsatisfied about my job, and unwilling to make any effort to get my thesis done. Let’s prove them I’m not a horrible person, I told myself, leaving eight muffins in plain sight on the kitchen table. I added a funny note, and hoped that, if they didn’t want to appreciate the thought, they still would appreciate the food. Well, guess how many muffins they ate? Only one. I left them untouched for two more days, just in case they changed their minds, but nothing else happened.

So, what does this teach me? Indeed, not everyone deserves to be offered your food. Or, more generally: stop trying to be kind to people, they just don’t care. But that’s a lesson I’ll never learn, I’m afraid.

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