Do you sometimes get that feeling when you meet a person that you really ought to make friends with them for good of your future self? I think I’m pretty spot-on with such hunches; usually the people about whom I have that feeling turn out to be keepers.
Case in point: my best friend from primary school Katie. She just came up to me one day in the playground, six going on seventy with her wise little face and said “Wanna be my friend?” and I was like “Yup.” I really did – she was so cute and had a forehead the size of which I’d never before encountered which made her pretty rad in my book. I hung out at her house and absorbed the dry hilariousness that is English humour by osmosis. I occasionally wished I had siblings that called each other things like Scaff (inexplicably, short for Scaffolding) and Gant. I admired how she used words like “laconic” completely incorrectly but somehow appropriately (he walked laconically down the street). She grew into the forehead but she stayed really purty and smart and even though we haven’t lived in the same country for nearly ten years, whenever we meet up, like the tired cliche it’s as if we saw each other yesterday. But hey, don’t knock cliches, they’re cliches for a reason after all. Plus, if you pretend you don’t know how to pronounce it and say it how it looks it sounds really funny. Try it now – see?
I can even rely on the feeling over the internet – hey, maybe it’s one of my superpowers! – without fail, all the people I’ve been compelled to meet over the internet have been worth the trepidation and possible awkwardness (What if they’re actually psycho-killers? What if they say something really offensive? What if I say something really offensive?). So far I’ve only met one psycho-killer and she was so amusing that I could politely ignore the more distasteful parts of her personality (faint scent of chloroform and machete tucked into waistband).
I didn’t get that feeling when I first saw these muffins, but maybe I should have – I wouldn’t kick them out of breakfast in bed, I can tell you.
How are your hunches?
These Cinderella muffins are adapted a bit from the lovely Tiina’s stylish-in-the-way-only-Scandinavians-can-be blog Sparkling Ink. The batter is very loose but don’t worry, they’ll be fine. I ate some of them as is and they were light and reasonably virtuous but they were certainly also a treat with lime mascarpone billowing prettily atop (quick change artists, just like Cinders!) I decided bananas, lime, macadamia nuts and cinnamon are all rather tropical and therefore not inappropriate for summer.
For the muffins
150 g (7/10 cup) melted butter, cooled slightly
175ml (3/4 cup) milk
175 grams (3/4 cup) sugar
2 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
220 grams (1 and 3/4 cups) flour
Small handful of macadamia nuts, chopped
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 200 celsius (400 fahrenheit) and line 2 medium muffin trays with muffin cups – start with 16 but you mightn’t need them all.
Mix the cooled butter, eggs, milk and sugar.
In a bowl large enough to eventually hold the dry ingredients, mix together butter, eggs, milk and sugar.
Add the mashed bananas and vanilla.
In another bowl, combine the flour, walnuts, baking powder and cinnamon.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet taking care not to overmix.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups until they are about 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
For the lime mascarpone
The zest and juice of a lime
250 grams (1 cup) chilled mascarpone
156 grams (1 1/4 cups) icing sugar
Beat the mascarpone and icing sugar until slightly thickened but do not overbeat or it will collapse. Mix in the sifted icing sugar and the zest.
Dollop onto the muffins as needed; it’s best to do this not long before eating, they won’t keep well once iced.