The Daring Bakers challenge this month was a quickie, which was lucky since I’ve had hardly any baking time lately. Remember how I told you that I was starting post-grad study this year? Hoo-boy, has it started! The minutes have been chewed up with reading, forum discussions and worrying about impending assignments.
Any spare time I’ve had has been spent gearing up for a big move to Singapore. (Ok, so it’s the furthest thing from the Sin City of my title, but I had to get your attention somehow.) Mr. Kitchen Hand needed to move for work, and we were up for an adventure. We leave in four weeks! And while we’re sad to leave Sydney, we know we’ll be coming back one day.
Now, back to the challenge.
The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.
(For those not in the know, Lisa and her friend Ivonne originally started the Daring Bakers in 2006. The “little baking group” went from the two of them, to goodness knows how many bakers today. If you’d like to read some DB history, you can find it here).
I was almost going to give the challenge a miss as we’re not really big fans of quickbreads or muffins. (Did you know a muffin is technically a quickbread? I didn’t.) But, I just couldn’t resist a challenge that has this as a mandatory : “Can’t take more than 1.5 hours to prepare and bake through.”
Panela, yoghurt, rhubarb and ginger muffins
So I flicked through one of my favourite baking books, and a recipe caught my eye - brown sugar and ginger muffins. Oooh, I’ve been obsessing over panela lately. Panela is a type of brown sugar, the packet description is “evaporated sugar cane juice”. The taste is gorgeous, with lovely caramel notes and quite a complex flavour. It tastes a lot like dark palm sugar, which I adore so I have to restrain myself from eating the panela straight from the packet!
I knew MC Junior would have issues with the chunks of crystallised ginger called for in the recipe though, so I swapped the ginger for rhubarb. But I still wanted a mild ginger flavour in there, and used some of this ginger syrup, a gift from my mum in law that I’d stashed in the cupboard one day and forgot about. (Oh the things you find when moving!).
Next, I discovered I didn’t have any buttermilk handy, so I used some plain yoghurt instead. By this stage, I’d fiddled with the recipe so much, I was quite surprised the resulting muffins actually worked! Even more surprising was how much of a hit they were, even with the usually fussy Mr. Kitchen Hand and MC Junior.
I’m not tying the recipe here because it was such a random process I’m not sure how you’ll go trying to replicate it. But if I do find time to bake these again, I’ll double check all the measurements and share. Meanwhile, why not have a look at all the other goodies baked by my fellow Daring Bakers, you might find a few good recipes there.
Take care my friends, thanks for dropping by, I am still reading your blogs if not commenting as much and I’ll try and get back here very soon!