Something yummy for a post school tummy

My memories of growing up in the outskirts of Melbourne invariably included weather extremes. 40 degree hot days that turned your eyeballs inside out and icy cold wind that made you question which hemisphere you actually lived in.

No matter what the weather, one consistent memory was coming home to Mum’s pikelets. Light, airy and always delicious.

These are not those pikelets.

No matter what I do, whenever I tried to replicate her recipe, they never quite tasted the same. Only bitterness and self loathing ensued.

A few months ago, whilst perusing the internet, I found a neat wee recipe on a blog called Cupcakes and Cauldrons. I have tinkered with it a tad (yes, I am on a buckwheat spree) and these pikelets now pop up on the afternoon tea menu at least once a week. The lads scoff them down every time they are placed before them. A tad of butter and a smear of jam and all is once again, right with the world.

The ulimate praise from The Kids has been ‘They are almost as good as Nana’s.’

I can live with that.

WHOLEMEAL AND BUCKWHEAT PIKELETS

YOU NEED
1 1/4 cup wholemeal flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tbl coconut sugar (or raw, rapadura, caster)
2 tbl butter, melted

METHOD
Beat eggs, buttermilk and milk.
Sift flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and gradually add the milk mixture. (I sometimes use an electric hand beater to do this.)
Add the melted butter. (If the mixture is a little stiff, add a tad more milk.)
Let the batter rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
Heat a non-stick pan, grease lightly.
Place spoonfuls of the batter on the pan. When bubbles begin to form on the surface, turn over and cook on the other side.

Go here for the original recipe: http://cauldronsandcupcakes.com/2012/09/22/nanas-pikelet-recipe-and-a-few-good-yarns/


Christmas Ginger Muffins

It’s 10.30 am and the temperature outside has already hit 32 degrees celsius. Perfect baking weather. The smell of ginger and spice wafts through the kitchen. Little boys wander in on a break from the continual games of Trouble, chess and various Trash Pack and Lego scenarios.

‘What’s for morning tea Mum?’ Yup, school holidays have begun. ‘Christmas muffins,’ is my inspired response. ‘Fantastic!’ they cry. Add the word ‘Christmas’ and anything sounds good. Christmas spinach and brussel sprout pie anyone?

I adpated these wee beauties from an old muffin recipe book, giving them a bit of a ‘health makeover’. They exude a warm ginger glow and are not overly sweet. It’s worth baking them just for the smell of the spices alone. (Although perhaps on a cooler day than this.) Today I used wholemeal flour, they are equally as good using 1 cup of wholemeal and 1 cup of wholemeal spelt flour.

Speaking of spices, my very favourite to use are Herbie’s. You do pay a little more but the quality is worth it. On saying that, this cheergerm is not a food elitist and will happily use the cheap and cheerful supermarket brand as well.

Get these down ya my lads, then bugger off! I mean, go and play dear sweet children of mine. It’s mumma muffin and coffee time.

YOU NEED
2 cups wholemeal plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup coconut sugar (or rapadura, or brown or caster)
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice

2 tablespoons golden syrup
80ml rice bran oil (or grapeseed oil)
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I use low-fat milk)

METHOD
Preheat oven to 200C. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.
In a microwave dish or saucepan, gently warm the oil and golden syrup. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Add eggs and milk to oil mixture and beat well.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix lightly.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the centres spring back when pressed.

Adapted from Marvellous Muffins by Alison Holst

Some magnficient muffin tips: I always use paper cases because I am lazy and it lessens the washing up. Try to get your ingredients to room temperature before baking. Sieve your dry ingredients. Add all the liquid and extra ingredients at once. Fold the dry and wet ingredients together with as little mixing as possible.

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