Recently many of us lovely bloggers have been lucky enough receive some Stork and fabulous spices from Steenbergs so we can carry on and bake in the aftermath of the Great Bloggers Bake Off!
I was thrilled when my Stork arrived to discover it was dairy-free which meant I could use it to cook for my children, one of whom is currently on a strict dairy-free diet. He loves chocolate and so I had a look in my Marks and Spencer Chocolate Box cook book for inspiration. And there, on page 60, was a recipe for spiced chocolate muffins. Something which would use both of my recently gifted ingredients whilst satisfying every member of my sweet toothed family!
Here’s the recipe, adapted to be fully dairy-free.
100g Stork (the foil wrapped variety, not the one in a tub!)
150g caster sugar
115g brown sugar
2 large eggs
150ml Alpro soya cream
5 tbsp soya milk
250g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp cocoa powder (I used The co-operative’s Truly Irresistible Fairtrade Drinking Chocolate)
1 tsp Steenbergs organic mixed spice
200g dark chocolate chips (I used Silver Spoon chips)
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin paper cases and preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
Place the Stork, caster sugar and brown sugar in a bowl and beat well. Beat in the eggs, soya cream and soya milk until thoroughly mixed. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and space mix into a separate bowl and stir into the mixture. Add the chocolate chips and mix week. Divider he mixture evenly between the paper cases. Place in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until needed!
Oven: An oven is a thermally insulated chamber used for the heating, baking or drying of a substance, and most commonly used for cooking. Kilns and furnaces are special-purpose ovens, used in pottery and metalworking, respectively.
Lately readers I have been tired. Oh so very tired. I think a year of broken sleep and just the mere fact that I have three adorable children and a husband to keep me busy, has finally caught up with me. I do stupid things like put glasses in the fridge, or forget where I have put things…constantly and it wasn’t too long ago that I forgot to turn the kitchen tap off and flooded the floor (which actually proved a good way to clean it!) Well, the other day my tiredness went to epic proportions and caused me to have an epic fail! If you follow me on Twitter then you might have seen me tweet about this particular incident. Here now is the sorry tale in full….
We are trying (and subsequently) failing to sell our house and have been for several months. A prospective buyer came up who was, for a change, actually quite promising and to cut a long story short I had to get the house tidy and cleaned and sorted in just two hours before they came for a viewing. Now, I don’t know what your house is like, but mine always looks lived in. (and that is putting it politely!) I swear my house vomits crap, everywhere, all of the time. No sooner have I tidied something away than I turn around and a whole heap of sh** has appeared in its place. There simply isn’t enough room in this house for the amount of tat we have. I’ve tried to declutter. I’ve tried to sort and put things into the millions of boxes I have bought in Ikea, but it just. doesn’t. work. So tidying and cleaning my house in two hours is no mean feat.
My youngest had gone down for his nap, middle child was at pre-school and eldest was at school so…I got started. Flinging toys into the playroom boxes and shoving clothes into cupboards I worked my way around my house like a whirlwind. (I still can’t find some of the things I tidied away that day, goodness only knows where I have put them) Upstairs was done and the last room to be sorted was the kitchen…and no, it was not a case of saving the best for last. My daughter had recently had an outdoor party for her birthday and I’d gone a bit mad in Asda buying plastic cutlery. So much cutlery in fact that it would not fit in any drawer, or cupboard. The slow cooker had already been put in the back of my car and this is probably where the cutlery should have been squirrelled away to as well. But no. I wasn’t that clever. I put the cutlery in…my oven (you can see where this is going can’t you?!) Not only did I shove the cutlery in the oven, but in also went a massive Tupperware box, my daughter’s pink baking mixing bowl and spatula and various other things that I couldn’t find a home for. I was just hoping they weren’t the kind of prospective buyers who wanted to look in the oven. Or in any of the cupboards for that matter lest they wanted to forever remain in my house buried under a pile of crap that would inevitably fall on them if they opened a cupboard door.
So, very pleased with myself for making my house look amazing in such a short space of time the first thing I did was text my husband to tell him not to use the oven when he got home. (Why I felt the need to do this is beyond me as the man wouldn’t even know how to turn it on, he does not cook!) Then, having neglected to clean myself at this point I hopped in the shower before evacuating the house with my youngest in time for the viewing to begin, still smiling that I’d done a great job. Ha pride comes before a fall yes!
So, later on that day, my children decided they would like jacket potatoes for dinner. I usually start the potatoes off in the microwave before moving them to the oven to finish them off and crisp up the skins. I switched the oven on and put three potatoes in the microwave before returning to the lounge to play with the children some more. When I went back into the kitchen to check on the potatoes I could smell something funny, and stupidly didn’t twig. I thought it was the potatoes and like a complete muppet even wondered why they smelt of burning plastic. I thought maybe a bit of the plastic bag they were stored in had made its way into the microwave. Yet I couldn’t find anything. Five minutes later and I went back in to find the smell had got stronger. Still, I didn’t twig. (remember when I said I was tired!) I inspected, no word of a lie, every potato for signs of plastic and obviously couldn’t find any. It was then, at the moment when I was walking past the oven snd back into the lounge, when I realised what was happening. In slow motion I reached for the oven switches and turned them off before opening the door shouting ‘nooooooooooooooooooo!’
Carnage. Absolute carnage. The plastic cutlery was all melted and fused together.
The pink mixing bowl had completely melted leaving a small part of the smiley face that had been on the side of it grinning up at me, laughing.
Oh the mess. The mess! The plastic had welded to the sides of the oven and dripped back down into the fan at the back. And the smell was horrendous, to think I had thought it was the potatoes! What an idiot!! I flung the back door open and turned on the extractor fan to try and get rid of the smell, which I’d now convinced myself was totally toxic and going to engulf the house. It took hours to finally go, by which point the melted plastic had solidified and I couldn’t get any of it out of the oven.
I eventually did, but it was clear to see the oven was ruined. My husband wasn’t amused. And now, several weeks on I still haven’t found time to buy a new oven. I must get one soon!
Have you ever baked anything you shouldn’t have? Please do tell me in the comments section below so I know I’m not the only tired fool out there x
I’ve decided to link this up with a brand new linky from @The_Doves all about photos telling a story. Technically you’re only supposed to use one photo, but I’m sure she won’t mind that I’ve used three!