Even though I’ve been blogging for nearly a year now, I still find the whole concept a little odd. Well, not odd exactly, but… I can’t really think of a better word (and my thesaurus hasn’t come to my rescue). Actually, I think “strangely fascinating” might be the description I’m going for. I spend most of my posts rambling on about various fairly uninteresting happenings in my life, and I find it astounding that people actually read them. If I’m honest, they probably skip most of it and scroll down to the recipe (were you just about to do that? Don’t worry,
I’ll just cry myself to sleep tonight I won’t be offended), but it’s gratifying to think that people from all over the world actually read what I write. I find it doubly astounding that people actually subscribe to Sharky Oven Gloves – 42 of you have chosen to read my rants and rambles on a regular basis. And, at least for the 38 of you whom I don’t actually know (hello there!! Thanks for subscribing!), you’ve chosen to do so of your own free will. Maybe I don’t sound quite as boring or borderline crazy as I think. Or perhaps you all just skip through to the recipes…
It’s always exciting when my site stats are higher than usual, but what I really love is when people leave comments (that’s not a hint, but feel free to take it as one…). Sometimes, a genial comment can make my day. My site stats show me the number of times that a post has been read, but they don’t tell me whether somebody enjoyed reading the post or hated it, so it’s always great to know if somebody enjoyed reading a post. Or if somebody tried the recipe, and what they thought of it. I’m sure that other bloggers will agree that the interaction with people who could be almost anywhere in the world really makes blogging interesting and worthwhile. Comments are also helpful to gauge what people enjoy (or don’t enjoy) and would like to see more of – though rest assured that I have no intention of changing what or how I write to cater to a wider audience or anything, though I am working on trying to be more concise (it’s not going very well). It’s just good to know if there are things that you, my dear 42 regular readers (could Sharky Oven Gloves be the meaning of life?), would like to read about or particular recipe requests. A few weeks ago, somebody left me a lovely comment asking if I’d posted the recipe for the muffins that feature in the header on my home page, because they “look seriously yummy.”
Well, I can assure you that they are seriously yummy. I’ve baked quite a few batches of them for parties because most people like lemon, and most people like almonds, and it’s blatantly obvious that they contain nuts, so anybody who is allergic to nuts is unlikely to eat one without realising (and if they can’t work it out from the flaked almonds on top, well… They’re probably already on their way to a Darwin Award). I actually feel a bit cheeky – these lemon and almond muffins have featured on my home page header since I started my blog and yet it’s taken me nearly a year to share the recipe? Shocking! Thanks to SH’s comment though, I decided to sort that out. So, my dear readers, the moral of the story is: ask, and you shall receive… Maybe. If you ask nicely. (And if it’s a reasonable request.) SH, wherever you are, here’s that recipe, just for you! I hope you enjoy it!!
Lemon & almond muffins
Makes 14 muffins
Adapted from Mad About Muffins
The flaked almonds on top give a lovely crunch to the muffin, and whilst the ground almond makes the muffins a little heavier, the lemon flavour really comes through and adds a lovely freshness to the muffins. These are delicious both warm or cold. As with most muffins, these won’t keep very well for very long, but they can be stored overnight in an air-tight box.
235g all-purpose flour
150g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
100g ground almonds
100g unsalted butter
1 tsp almond extract
Zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
Approx 70 ml milk
50g flaked almonds
1. Line a muffin tin with 14 liners, or set out silicone muffin moulds on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ fan oven 180°C.
2. Sift the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, salt and ground almonds into a large bowl. You might need to push the ground almond through the sieve with the back of a spoon. Add the zest, and stir all the dry ingredients together.
3. Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the almond extract. Pour the lemon juice into measuring jug and top it up to 170 ml with milk (I got about 100 ml of juice from two lemons, so needed about 70 ml of milk) before mixing into the egg mixture (don’t worry if the milk separates).
4. Add the wet ingredients and the melted butter to the dry ingredients and fold together with a large metal spoon until just combined (the batter should still be a bit lumpy, with some flour still visible). Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin liners. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the flaked almonds.
5. Bake for 20-23 mins, until golden and will risen and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Transfer to a wire rack to cool a little before eating.
PS – The crying-myself-thing-to-sleep thing was a joke by the way. Eating muffins is a much better coping mechanism. Sniff.