Last weekend in Spain I saw my two friends called Paula. Both complained about recipes in this blog, which , as every blogger knows, is thrilling, since it means that your friends read your blog.
So, to start, I´ll try to address Paula F´s complaint first. The lemon muffins-cupcakes-madalenas, call them what you will.
It has been my arduous duty to make these winsome little cakes several times over the past few days, in different ovens, even, and all I can say is, I have no idea what can have gone wrong in Paula´s kitchen. These babies practically make themselves.
Maybe it was all due to The Fear. Cakes, like dogs, can smell it, and will bite given the chance, so here is some cake advice:
1- be confident but
2- be obedient. this is not where you splash merrily around and substitute ingredients and quantities to suit your prophetic soul.
3- this means, be attentive to measurements. I posted the recipe using volume measures, and they can be notoriously wayward, so here is one in grams, all nice and tidy. However, if you have no scales (though you should) and want to use cup measures, note that I use a set of cups that is marked 1 cup 250 ml, 1/2 cup 125 ml, etc.
4- do not overbeat. Be gentle. An unhurried few strokes, just enough to make the flour dissappear, even if there are lumps, will be enough.
5- if you have a muffin tin, then don´t bother with the paper. a little butter and flour will mean you don´t lose the crunchy outside.
These are the measurements in weight, which is more consistent and easier, if you have a scale.
The measures are in cups, but for Spanish eyes, half a cup is 125 ml, or the size of a normal yogurt.
180 grams of flour
100 brown sugar
100 caster sugar
125 ml natural yogurt
1/2 teaspoonful baking powder
pinch of salt
zest and juice of one big lemon
75 gr. butter, melted or really really soft
Preheat oven to 180ºC and put muffin cases in tin (12)
Measure out the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in one bowl.
In a bigger one, mix the butter, eggs, yogurt and lemon.
Tip the dry stuff into the big bowl and mix, with a very light hand. Better have lumps than overbeat.
Spoon the mixture into the cups, and good luck to you if you think you can do it without spilling stuff between the paper and the tin. Don´t go above two thirds, although you won´t, if you´re dividing evenly.
Bake for 20 or so until golden and puffed up. They don´t rise an awful lot, and the texture is grainy and not feather light, but they are pretty awsome.
I usually sprinkle some icing sugar on top, but that is very much optional.