On June 30, I made Richard’s Black Forest chocolate fondants.
And she never baked again.
I gave up sugar, again, mid-July and the last time I gave up sugar, I started this blog and would occasionally partake but dump the majority of my baking at a communal place in my workplace for my numerous co-workers. Since the onset of the pandemic, however, my workplace has been my home and the communal place has been my kitchen counter and the only person eating was, well, me.
In an effort to stop overindulging, then, I cut out the thing we all know we need to have less of and therefore I haven’t really been baking.
I started watercolour, and I’m terrible at it but hopeful that I’ll improve.
I bought multiple Kakuro, KenKen and Sudoku books to keep myself busy.
I’ve read a number of books in an effort to minimize my screen time.
(I’ve also had a lot of screen time.)
But I still have 27 recipes left in this book and if I don’t find a way to get through them, it’ll be yet another project I don’t finish.
Also plum season is basically over and if I don’t do this recipe now, I will have to wait another year!
I quickly threw this one-spoon recipe together, as always slightly confused by how the seemingly minimal measurements would yield a dozen muffins. (Spoiler: I only got 11.)
In one bowl, I put the softened butter, two-thirds of the amount of suggested sugar and lemon zest.
In another bowl, I put the wholewheat flour, all-purpose flour and baking powder.
This post may go very quickly. There wasn’t much involved.
After beating the sugar and butter and zest, I slowly added the beaten egg.
By “slowly added” I mean I dumped in the egg in two batches (even though the recipe said three, but the viscosity made three batches impossible). And then stopped my old machine that doesn’t reach the sides to scrape down the batter.
Then I eventually took the bowl out of the machine entirely and beat it by hand with a spatula before adding the sifted dry ingredients.
After the sifting was done, I folded everything together, along with the milk. Since I have no real milk in the fridge, I went with almond milk, even though I know I should be making the change to oat milk because it uses less water to produce it, but Costco sells almond milk so cheap! Not a good excuse, I know.
(Sorry, Greta Thunberg. I’ll try to do better, I promise!)
With the batter mixed and dropped into 11 (not 12) paper cases, I sliced up the plums, even though that was technically the first step.
I wasn’t sure what kind of plum this recipe required, but whatever the kind, I do enjoy plums. Like peaches, they’re super seasonal and therefore feel very special. I love apples, but tend to take them for granted because they’re around all the time. Plums are like the friend you see once a year, but when you see them it’s like no time has passed.
Also the house I grew up in as a kid had a plum tree, so there’s definitely nostalgia that goes with my love of plums.
Back to the recipe: I cut them in half and then cut each half into six slices.
Then I was supposed to put three slices into each muffin scoop, but I looked at the size of the slices and I looked at the size of the muffin scoops and made a judgment call.
I also don’t know how I do sponges wrong, but it always feels like less than what it should be. The recipe said the sponge mixture will rise around the plums, but it doesn’t seem like it could rise that much.
I think I deflate whilst folding.
Because I follow every other step as carefully as possible.
*20-ish minutes later*
After about 15 minutes, I checked and checked and checked to make sure they weren’t underbaked, assuming an underbaked fruit muffin is even worse than an ordinary underbaked muffin due to the moisture of the fruit.
But they looked and smelled done, so I pulled them out.
I saw them steaming so I had to wait. I had to practice self-control. Even though they smelled absolutely delicious.
Eventually I could wait no longer and went for it.
I had one, was immediately convinced to put lemon zest in any batter I make in the future because it’s just delicious, and promptly packed up 8 to bring to my sister’s kids because I knew that they would not last long in my home.
This is why I don’t bake for myself anymore.
This is why I had to cut out (most) sugar.
The temptation is too much!
One turns into two which turns into a near dozen.
In short: I recommend you make plum muffins before plums are no longer in season.
See you again in a few months.
And in the words of the great Dr. Bonnie Henry, “Be kind, be calm and be safe.”