This world of ours is full of contrasts and contradictions.
We’re told that obesity is a prevailing issue of our time and yet, this year, the KFC Double Down came into existence.
Over the past few months, Tony Abbott has cast aspersions on Julia Gillard for usurping Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister without being voted in by the public, yet he himself became Leader of the Opposition through the same process of usurpation, and the public didn’t get to weigh in then either.
In San Francisco, I walked out of the Ferry Building Marketplace after spending an unwholesome amount of money on fancy cheeses, pastries, and fruit, only to see a homeless man pulling food scraps out of a rubbish bin.
The corps de ballet in Swan Lake are presented onstage as ethereal, delicate, and unaffected by physical pain, and yet their ballet shoes hide a myriad tales of blisters, lost toenails, and torn ligaments.
The media presents paedophilia as utterly and incontrovertibly wrong (no arguments from me there), but at the same time teenage celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Momsen are earning oodles of money dressing like coked-up prostitutes.
Nutrition guidelines dictate that I should eat five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day, but peanut butter, blue cheese, and dark chocolate taste better*.
And a week or so ago, I showed you a holiday-spiced chocolate that I couldn’t stomach because it included orange essence, whereas yesterday I baked a batch of 18 muffins made with orange juice.
More to the point, I’ve already eaten seven of them. Just goes to show that not all contradictions in this world are bad.
A few words on these muffins: the best way I can think to describe the taste is Grown-Up. They aren’t particularly sweet, and while neither the cardamom, carrot, nor orange dominate the flavour, there is definitely something interesting and almost-but-not-really-bitter going on. The texture is intriguing, too – more doughy than crumbly, but in a good way. Almost like crumpets, but without the holes, so, really, nothing like crumpets.
I’d never proclaim these to be as splendiferous as my Spiced Sesame Slice or Date and Banana Bread, but they’re unlike anything I’ve made before, and that has to count for something. Plus, I’m an avowed anti-orange lass, and I foresee no problems in finishing these muffins myself. So that’s something else to count for something. What does that mean, anyway? I stopped counting when I quit maths in Year 11.
Carrot and Cardamom Muffins
Makes 12-18. I made 18 because the original recipe said to use 12×1/2 cup muffins tins but I only have 1/3 cup muffin tins, so I feared the batter would spill everywhere if I made only 12. However, I’m certain you could safely make 12 slightly-bigger muffins than 18 slightly-flatter muffins. I don’t really mind, though. This way, I can eat seven in thirty-six hours with nary a qualm.
- 1 large carrot, finely grated (mine came to 150g)
- 1/4 cup (90g) honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or macadamia oil, if you’re wearing fancypants)
- 1 cup orange and passionfruit juice (or just orange juice. Whatever floats your boat.)
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups (250g) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- Preheat oven to 190°C and oil or line a 12-hole muffin tin. (I used my silicone muffin tray for the first time since receiving it over a year ago. It worked like magic! No need for lining or greasing, as the muffins popped out as easily as babies don’t.)
- In a large bowl, mix together the carrot, honey, oil, juice and eggs.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and cardamom into the wet ingredients, and stir quickly to just combine. Don’t overmix - you want it to look a bit lumpy.
- Spoon into muffin tin and bake for 16 minutes, until golden. (16 minutes worked for me as I was making 18 muffins… if you make only 12 muffins, I’d estimate letting them cook for 18ish minutes.) Cool in tin for a few minutes, then turn out and serve warm. Or, if you are like me and have to eat almost all of these yourself, pop some in the fridge and some in the freezer and eat them at any temperature you see fit.
Question Time: What contradictions or contrasts in the world have you noticed recently?
*Little bit of a fib there. I adore vegetables as much as chocolate, and in fact I’m crankier if I’ve had a day without greens than if I’ve had a day without chocolate.