Have you watched Ramona and Beezus? Based on the best selling books, the movie is about the hilarious and bittersweet adventures of young Ramona Quimby played by the very expressive Joey King and her older sister Beezus played by songstress Selena Gomez. I watched the movie recently and quite enjoyed it. It was sweet and heartfelt. I promise that I usually watch more meaningful, grownup cinema. But every once in a while, I like to watch something light and innocent where everything works out just fine for the leading lady and her loved ones. So what has Ramona and Beezus got to do with today's blog post, you ask? Let me tell you.
It is amazing what the mind picks up on it's daily visual journey of a million myriad images. During the movie in one of the scenes, Ramona's dad is preparing packed lunches for their school in the kitchen. I saw a dear little cafe style cake stand with a dome, filled with delicious looking muffins standing proud on their counter. Yes, I am that much of a foodie, because that was the most pressing thing I took from the movie. The movie ended late in the night and I went to bed dreaming of a similar cake stand with a dome on my countertop.
So the next day, I set out on a mission to get my cake stand and dome. The dome was mighty important to my mission, don't ask why. Three days later, I had not one but two fabulous cake stands. One was stainless steel with an acrylic dome that I got because I didn't want to have a heart attack every time one of my boys swooshed their light sabres around or threw a ball. The other was a strong, glass creation that also doubled up as a punch bowl. (I got this one because it was just oh so pretty and because now I had an excuse to create a beautifully iced celebration cake)
And just like that I had a terrible urge to bake ginormous muffins in rustic brown cases like the ones I pay a king's ransom for at my local cafe. So I did. Leila Lindholm's beautiful cookbook A Piece Of Cake has some very simple looking muffin recipes. I decided to bake the fuss free raspberry muffins using the frozen bag of raspberries in my freezer. They rose beautifully, browned to perfection, were just right in their sweetness and texture and tasted amazing dusted with some vanillin sugar when I served them warm for breakfast. The only problem was that the recipe made 6 large muffins which was nowhere near to filling up my cake stand.
RAMONA AND BEEZUS RASPBERRY MUFFINS
Preparation Time - 10 minutes | Baking Time - 20 minutes | Makes 6 large muffins
100g unsalted butter
zest of 1 lemon
2 organic eggs
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
240g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
135g frozen raspberries
Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F/gas 4 for large muffins and 200°C/400°F/gas 6 for small muffins.
Melt the butter and add the milk and lemon zest.
Beat together the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla sugar until pale and fluffy.
Stir the butter mixture into the egg mix. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and carefully fold into the mixture.
Put paper cases in a muffin tin, layer the berries and pour in the mixture until the cases are two thirds full. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes for the large muffins and 15 minutes for the small muffins. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Cool on wire racks.