This afternoon, I was sitting in my study feeling the temperature dropping and becoming more and more hunched over and cold when I decided there was nothing for it but to run my hands under warm water for a few seconds (works wonders) and put the oven on. It was also afternoon tea time and since I've only got a few more days off before starting a new job I thought I should take the opportunity to get baking mid-afternoon, whilst I still can.
We are getting low on ingredients of all kinds in our house at the moment, but we did have some pumpkin and I had an idea. I love putting pumpkin into sweet things, being a little bit sweet itself, it adds a richness to the mix and such a golden yellowy hue. I've been enjoying the autumn colours so much lately, it feels like a visual pay off for weathering the colder temperatures. Similarly with food, there's something about eating colourful, especially golden, ingredients - it feels like you're ingesting light and warmth.
Pumpkin and ginger muffins
Adapted from this recipe
200g plain flour
100g wholemeal flour
75g brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
1 lightly beaten egg
120g pureed pumpkin
dollop of honey
75ml skim milk
40ml sunflower oil
3 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
Preheat the oven to 175C or 350F. Line a muffin tin with baking cases.
Chop and steam the pumpkin and then puree.
In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients with a spoon.
In a large bowl, beat the egg, pureed cooked pumpkin, milk, oil and honey until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and fold together, adding the crystallized ginger in at the end, being careful to avoid over-mixing.
Spoon the mixture into the baking cases and bake for 20 minutes. Remove muffin tin from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Take out the muffins and cool on a rack.
Now, here's the enjoyable bit. Make yourself a cup of tea, or a coffee could be rather good too, and find a patch of afternoon sun to sit in whilst you eat enough muffins to feel like you're glowing from the inside.
Have a happy and warm weekend!