Morning everyone, my friend Liz has given up sweet things for lent. She did it last year too and I honestly don’t know how she does it. I am in awe. I have officially given up caffiene but have a had a decaff coffee every other day, which David says nulls and voids my efforts. Meh.
Anyway, this isn’t about Liz (or lent), well it sort of is, sort of isn’t. On Saturday it was Kingston parkrun’s 4th birthday and they held a ‘bring and share’. Being the baker in my little crew of parkrunners I couldn’t just take one cake, so I took three. I decided to go for a proper birthday cake, which you can see above. It’s Chocolate with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. I won’t be sharing this recipe as it’s part of a separate project I hope to share with you next year.
Cutting cakes can be a bit of a pain at this sort of thing so I decided to make some no-serving-required treats too. First up these Marzipan Baby Cakes which I adapted from this recipe by Ruby Tandoh. I don’t feel like I can call them cupcakes as they have no frosting, so I went with baby cakes, in hindsight I could have gone with the more traditional Fairy Cakes. These were delicious and who knew grating marzipan would be so easy and satisfying. I’m hoping to use that technique again soon.
Last but not least I couldn’t let Liz go without something to munch on, so I rummaged through my cupboard and made these Bacon and Sweetcorn Muffins. I think they’d work well with wholemeal or a 50/50 mix of spelt/white flour too, so I’ll be making them again to test my theory.
- 225g smoked streaky bacon
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 150g plain flour
- 170g polenta
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 197g can sweetcorn
- 1 tbsp single cream
- 125ml semi skimmed milk
- 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 200'c. Line your muffin tin with wrappers, or silicon cases.
- Cook the bacon in a large frying pan until dark and crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and allow to drain on some kitchen paper. Put the onion into the pan with the fat from the bacon. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened and golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Break your crispy bacon into tiny pieces. I did this with my hands but you can chop it. If you have any bacon fat left in the pan reserve this and use in place of all/some of the vegetable oil.
- Mix the flour, polenta, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a jug mix together the sweetcorn, cream, milk, egg and oil (or bacon fat).
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix (with a wooden spoon, not a mixer) until just combined. Fold in your bacon and onion.
- Using an ice cream scoop or spoons fill your muffin cups to the top with mixture, they will hardly rise.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool.
These are great eaten warm with a simple soup (maybe tomato) or I left mine to cool overnight and we ate them cold at parkrun.
It was a great day for parkrun, dry, cool and still. Even David came down and volunteered for the first time, which made my day even better. Fingers crossed I’ll persuade him to do it again soon because I honestly thought I would explode with pride as I saw him helping as I ran down the finish funnel. Upon reaching the end of the finish funnel I was handed my token and then found myself shaking hands with DANNY NORMAN (of parkrun show fame, great podcast – check it out) who greeted me with a ‘not a real magpie’. If I hadn’t been excited enough already, I was now giddy!
I hoped to catch up with Danny for a chat but he was in high demand, welcoming in all the runners, chatting with friends and then doing his *tut* ‘warm down’ and somehow I didn’t get the chance to catch him. This means that some parkrun stalkage is in order. I will get to chat to you Danny Norman!
After parkrun David and I went for a walk around Ham (the village just north of Kingston parkrun) and found a fab German deli complete with outside gym! I can see us heading down there after parkrun over the summer to sit in the sunshine with a coffee and pretzel.
As we left Ham, a text came through a new course PB for me! Could this have been the most perfect parkrunday ever?