I had a lovely container with some remnant dry-roasted hokkaido, which is very tense with a creamy, almost chalky texture. I like to roast a whole squash or pumpkin and just keep the pieces in the fridge for snacking. It's useful to have a pre-cooked vegetable in my fridge when I'm starvingly hungry, and it gets included in other meals as well. It's like the Autumn tradition of what my mother used to do in Summer, which was keeping a huge tub of sliced watermelon in the fridge for snacking.
I decided that I wanted to make some autumnal muffins, nothing too sweet, to eat with a little slather of marg in the morning. They're almost-savoury, cinnamony, and hold up well to being held on the toasting rack over your toaster - that appendage that only appears on European toasters for the ubiquitous bread rolls. They're probably a little too cakey to actually sit in your toaster in slices, but warm them by whatever means necessary, before you slice and slather. I promise you, it's worth the wait. If you're feeling lazy, or have a craving for sugar, drizzle one with a little maple syrup. Delicious, I promise.
I decided that it was time to try out my new baking pans, because really, everyone knows that pumpkin and pirates are a natural combination. Ahem. Either that or everyone knows that I'm a child at heart, that I like ridiculously decorated bakeware, and that I'm well on my way to becoming a crazy cat lady. As it turned out, these muffin pans were a great idea. A certain housemate had occupied the freezer space that I was intending to stuff with breakfasty treats, so I took half of the batch with me when I went to visit some friends in Muenster. And, as luck would have it, their kids have an especial interest in pirates. They ate healthy food without even caring what was in it, simply because it was wrapped in shark-and-pirate papers. They didn't even ask what flavour they were! After seeing the way that kids can be picky eaters, even with flavours that they do like, I was astonished. And amused.
I only had a 6-hole muffin tray (ok, it's a bit small, so it's more of a cupcake tray) so I used my ridiculously-long loaf pan to bake the other half of the mix. These were quite large, and owing to space restrictions, they ended up being quite cute and square when they were baked. I'm definitely going to do this again in the future. I'll definitely be making this again, but I'm probably using more pumpkin next time. I think that this recipe is good, but I like my muffins to be so loaded down with fruit (or vegetable, as the case may be) that they struggle to rise. So, really, what I'm admitting to here is that I'm going to make a recipe that definitely won't be blog-friendly, but that will be perfectly suited to my tastebuds. I'm excited already.
Yes, that is a Paderborn Student Union mug that you can see in the background, and no, it's not mine. I think all student-sharehouses just grow one or two mysteriously in the kitchen shelves.
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
2 cups wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder*
1/3 cup neutral-flavoured oil
1 cup applesauce or apple syrup or maple syrup, depending on how extravagent you feel, and how sweet you want your muffins to be.*
3/4cup or more of milk (I use soy)
1 firmly-packed cup finely diced cooked pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract or powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Mix all ingredients together, adding more liquid if needed, and bake in muffin tins in a 180 degree C oven for 20-25 minutes. Alternately, bake as a loaf for 40ish minutes, until your skewer comes out clean.
*If you have access to self-raising wholemeal flour, simply use that instead of the plain flour and baking powder. The amount of milk needed depends entirely on whether you use syrup or applesauce for this recipe - just add more if you need. I used the syrup that is left when I make apfelmus, so that these muffins don't have any added sugar.