Ask, and you shall receive…

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.

Ingredients

235g all-purpose flour
150g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
100g ground almonds
100g unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
Zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
Approx 70 ml milk
50g flaked almonds

Directions

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.

Enjoy!

PS – The crying-myself-thing-to-sleep thing was a joke by the way.  Eating muffins is a much better coping mechanism.  Sniff.

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8 Comments

Filed under Ramblings, Recipes, Sweet Foods

8 responses to “Ask, and you shall receive…

  1. it’s utterly amazing isn’t it? my friend encouraged me into this blogging lark about 6 months ago, and apart from all the wonderful comments, the bit I love most is the map of the world showing me where people have been reading. the usual suspects make up the top 10, but my first Nepal, China, Morocco and Vietnam stats had me jumping round the room with excitement! and by taking part in blog “community” events, it becomes more than a place to open our mouths and let our bellies rumble, it’s a place to learn how to do things differently and better. keep it up SOG!

    • Mel

      Oh I LOVE seeing the map of where people have been reading from! It’s so fascinating… I got hits from Nepal and Mauritius for the first time today – totally exciting!! Before I started blogging, I really didn’t understand how it could be a “community” if nobody knows each other in real life, but I definitely get it now, though I still find it amazing how much interaction there is between bloggers and the links that can spring up. I’m definitely happy to have a (very) small part in it all!

  2. Lou

    These muffins do look very nice indeed.
    The “community” is also a wonderful way of keeping up to date with what’s new in baking and cooking, who’s who and loads of brilliant tips for ways to do things better – my head is buzzing daily with this stuff! You are so right.
    Lou.

    • Mel

      Thanks Lou!

      I love picking up new tips on how to do things differently (and, in my case, usually more effectively!!), and I also love reading about what the latest trends are around the world – it’s so interesting to see how much they differ!! And it’s a great way to get new ideas and inspiration, too…

  3. I really enjoy almond cakes and these look really good to me. I agree that blogging is strangely fascinating but that’s the same as life isn’t it? Although I admit that I’m now feeling a little guilty because I almost never look at the stats on my blog. As for sounding borderline crazy, my wife tells me that I should aspire to borderline – it would be an improvement.

    • Mel

      Thanks! Let me know if you try them out.

      You’re so right – the strangely fascinating “blogosphere” is pretty much just a reflection of life, isn’t it? Not sure why I’m so surprised by that, since it makes perfect sense. There’s nothing wrong with hardly checking your site stats – it probably means that you’re more oriented towards the quality of your blog, no matter how many visits you get! Which is a great thing. I just find the countries that people are reading from so interesting, so I probably check them rather more than I should!!

      As for sounding crazy/borderline crazy – at least it’s more interesting than being thoroughly boring!!

  4. There is something really fascinating and addictive about looking at visitor stats and the map of where people read from (or do I just need to get a life?) I also really like the fishy-dishes you’ve got the muffins on (and the look of the muffins too, obviously!)

    • Mel

      No, it’s just totally fascinating seeing where visitors come from, no need to get a life. Search terms are also amusingly entertaining… Ya, the dishes are good fun – we got them from the Escher museum in The Hague when we lived there. They’re quite difficult to fit into a photo in their entirety though! (As in all four together.)

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