Monday, 5 May 2008 by kinakoJam
You know those Sundays when you wake up and suddenly spring seems to have come and the trees are all green and wavy and the sun is glinting off the train tracks - and that one train with the 'Neil Young' graffiti that never moves is sitting there all rusty and sun baked - and warm light and green currents of air are flooding through the window.
Then you just have, repeat, have to bake muffins. To a soundtrack of birdsong and imperceptible leaf rustling.
Muffins, a banal has-been fad of kiwi baking, written off long ago as cake repackaged, are somewhat foreign and exotic in Germany so you can pawn them off on your friends if you, like me, are prone to eat six in one day if they're just lying around all forlorn and unwanted.
But you don't need to feel too guilty since these particular muffins are chewy and soft with wholegrain spelt flour, soy milk, maple syrup, and raw sugar (which imparts a slightly malty, caramelised flavour) - infused with lavendar and studded with pinky-red chunks of organic strawberry.
Think of them as 'Laura Ashley vegan'.
Good with a Chinese green tea from the Parisian tea company Mariages Freres, fresh cut flowers and an open window.
Inevitably, having done this cheerful morning baking, you remember that you have got work to catch up on, and you end up chained to the laptop munching on muffins in your pajamas while all the other kids are playing outside.
Just a typical Sunday, I guess! Not quite so Laura Ashley though. I'm sure she would at least put on some pink lipstick.
Strawberry Lavender Muffins adapted from the 'Fresh at Home' cookbook, which in turn are based on a recipe from a Toronto baking company named Sweets of the Earth.
1& 1/4 cups soya milk
3/4 cup Grade c or D maple syrup
2 tbsp lavender
1 cup apple sauce/apfelmus
4 cups spelt flour (ideally a mix of light and medium wholegrain)
1/2 cup raw,unrefined sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups roughly chopped strawberries
1/4 cup sunflower, canola or olive oil
1. Grease the muffin tins
2. Heat soya milk, maple syrup and lavender in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat (don't worry that it curdles)
3. Remove from heat, cover and infuse for ten minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and add applesauce. Set aside and cool completely.
4. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
5. Add strawberries and toss.
6. Add liquid and oil. Mix gently until mixture just comes together.
7. Scoop into muffin pans
8. Bake at 180 degrees for anywhere from 30 minutes to 50 minutes depending on your oven. Make sure to test one - better to have them on the deep brown side than undercooked.