I like to bake. I also like to write. What I like even more is to tell jokes. Sometimes I combine all three. Some days I just stand in the kitchen, baking and telling jokes to myself and laughing and then writing about it. Usually flour goes everywhere and then I spend time not laughing and cleaning-up. My kitchen is sort of like a mental asylum crossed with the Women’s Institute.
When I decided to make carrot and orange muffins, I knew I was in for some serious cleaning-up afterwards.
Q: How do you tell the difference between a walrus and an orange?
A: Put your arms around it and squeeze it. If you don’t get orange juice, it’s a walrus.
This recipe is taken from the Australian Women’s Weekly Complete Book of Cupcakes and Baking.
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
1 1/2 cups firmly packed coarsely grated carrot (about 2 carrots)
1 3/4 self-raising flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mixed spice
For the icing:
2 cups icing sugar
20g butter, melted
2 tbsp orange juice
1. Preheat oven to 180 oC. Line 12-hole pan with cases.
2. Beat oil, sugar, eggs and rind with electric mixer until thick and creamy. Stir in carrot, then sifted dry ingredients.
3. Divide mixture in cases; bake about 30 mins. Stand cakes on wire stand to cool.
4. Make glace icing by sifting icing sugar into small heatproof bowl; stir in butter and enough juice to make a firm paste. Spread onto cakes.
Orange you going to ask what it is?
Attempting to zest the orange and failing.
Instead I grate it on the cheese grater and chop it up finely using a knife. Is this what’s known as the spirit of the Blitz?
Is anyone else reminded of Alcatraz?
Quite honestly I feel less worried about the eggs being happy than I do about the chickens. Happy chickens = good. Happy eggs = uneaten, presumably.
The modest star players.
Orange, carrot, it doesn’t matter. On the day of judgement, you will all meet your grater.
Bad news. He’s going to be a vegetable for the rest of his life.
Sifting the dry ingredients into the wet.
Nutritious and delicious.
I wasn’t lying about the flour.
Month-old coleslaw anyone?
Fresh from the oven.
Look at that texture.
This is perhaps the best icing I’ve ever done. Totally accidental.
Pretty snazzy huh? Note the whimsical single blue case.
Good. I have to admit that the muffins are lacking in spice (which is my fault for leaving out the mixed spice). They are nice and robust, and not too sweet, but there’s not much to them. While you can’t taste the orange, the carrot adds a pleasant subtle flavour. The icing helps to pick it up overall.
Easy. Healthy(?) It contains two (TWO!) of your five-a-day.
None. If only I hadn’t left out the mixed spice, it could have been perfect.
But what to do with the leftover orange?
Cheap, cheerful Halloween pumpkin substitute?
Don’t have nightmares.
We got him in the end.