One of the great things about living in Bombay is the way anything (and I mean anything) can make its way to your doorstep with just a phonecall.
The downside (and amusement) comes in when you open the door and see that something is not quite what you ordered: Nutella instead of Nutrela; ladyfinger instead of beans; soap instead of flour, or the likes.
A while ago we received a kilo of oatmeal. So we tried to make some stuff to use it up: I made muesli one evening, but it barely used a fraction of the jar, I tried (and failed) and some flapjacks, and then my mum and I made the cupcakes.
On a side note, I haven't posted in ages because I've been in the middle of my 10th grade IGCSEs, and much to my dismay, studying obviously takes priority (but now I'm almost done!).
One afternoon I just had my maths exam the next day and I felt like being in the kitchen, so I decided to finally give muesli a go. There are infinite granola and muesli recipes out there, but I just based this on some I've tried at my grandma's and at a few hotels. I think I'm the only person in my class who goes 'yummm' at the sight of über-healthy, seed and nut loaded, oaty muesli and cringes at the thought of fruit loops and lucky charms.
After my friend fell in love with speculaas (slather some bread with butter, add a couple of cookies and let it soften overnight... heaven), I tried using an oat flapjack recipe and then speculassifying them by adding the necessary spices. The problem was, I looked at two recipes and couldn't decide, so I kind of winged it, leaving me with a pan of flaky, burnt, barely spicy oats.
Yeah.Plus I had forgotten that speculaas cookies need ginger, so they went without. I like to think that burning them was a sign that they just weren't meant to be ;)
On the bright side, I discovered how delicious melted butter and honey taste together and I had that on a some toast with cinnamon the next morning.
Lastly my mum and I made some honey-oat cupcakes. They're more like muffins, because we really reduced the sweetness by using less honey. They're very oaty and solid, but light and fun to have warmed and topped with butter, jam, honey, or cheese. Essentially, they taste like honey oatmeal- just cuter.
And after all this? We've still got about half a kilo of oats left.
Got any oatmeal recipes, anyone?
There really is no recipe for this stuff- just throw in what you want.
I roasted some oats in the oven for a few minutes, powdered some brown sugar and mixed it with cinnamon, chopped some raisins, almonds (roasted) and walnuts and roasted some flaxseeds.
The possibilities are endless: don't roast, add different oats or grains (this version is quite soft because it uses instant oats), add or change the dried fruit, add or change the nuts, add more spices or sugar, add some chocolate, mix in some other cereal, or even use honey or syrup to form clumps and make granola.
Search around online for a few ideas and techniques and then make your own batch.
Honey and Granola Cupcakes
From Cupcakes From The Primrose Bakery, by Martha Swift & Lisa Thomas
Note: we used plain oats instead of granola. Granola will have more crunch and sweetness- it'll be delicious. We made some more alterations- see the brackets in the ingredient list) and we added some chopped walnuts and almonds.
The book recommends trying it with cream cheese frosting for a more cupcakey experience.
Makes about 14 regular cupcakes (we just added the extra batter into the 12 muffin cups instead of baking a second batch for just two cupcakes)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature (omit the salt if you're using salted butter)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (remember to powder the sugar if yours is in large crystals)
1/2 cup mild honey (the honey ran out and we used just under a 1/4 cup, and it tasted fine, but I certainly wouldn't object to using more honey either. Just use according to your tastes.)
2 large eggs, try to use free-range or organic (purely from an ethical point of view)
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, at room temperature (or just whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (we had run out, so I added some cinnamon instead for flavour)
1/4 plain low-fat yoghurt (we used regular plain yoghurt)
2 1/2 cups granola (pick out any large nuts if you can)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare your muffin cups (either put liners in a tray or brush butter into the moulds and dust evenly with flour).
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter, brown sugar and honey until the mixture is light and fluffy, which should take about 2-3 minutes using an electric hand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together into a separate bowl. Mix the milk, vanilla and yoghurt together. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one third of the milk mixture and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added. Fold in the granola carefully to incorporate evenly.
Carefully spoon the mixture into the cups, filling them about 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown. To check they are cooked, insert a wooden skewer in the centre of one of the cupcakes- it should come out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave the cupcakes in their pans for about 10 minutes. Serve warm with butter and honey or with a little cream cheese frosting.