Sunday, 14 February 2016

Poker face muffins

Some things come along that just have that WOW factor.Things that make you sit up and say"I wish I´d thought of that. I am just a sucker for Bloody Mary´s and if there is a Mary being mixed any where in my close radar I will come hither.The other thing that inspires me is creative and witty interpretations of things familiar.So watching the television the other night I scored double whammy. For those of you not familiar with British television, The Great British Bake Off is one of the highest rating British cookery shows.Twice a year there are spin off shows for charity when well-known faces don their aprons in these special editions for Comic Relief and Sports Relief respectively.This is an entertainment show in which celebrity contestants try to raise money for charity, and have a bit of fun at the same time.
Victoria Coren-Mitchell in muffin mode
Unfortunately, in the case of writer, broadcaster and competitive international poker player, contestant Victoria Coren-Mitchell, the fun value back fired.She tried to amuse the palate of someone who´s never drunk a Bloody Mary and the joke fell flat.For the queen of the Victoria sponge and doyenne of dough, Mary Berry, it was her first experience of a Bloody Mary and these unusual muffins threw her.What was a chance for a stroke of creative genius from Coren-Mitchell was merely admired by the judges.She went on to win the technical challenge with her pies but then sadly she fell again at the last hurdle with her showstopper chocolate sea sponge, another stroke of genius that missed the mark.Too much salt in the sponge,Victoria.Sadly the look on the judges faces said it all.

" It was remarkable how sad I felt when Mary’s face fell at Muffingate-"
Mary Berry thought the sea sponge was pretty revolting. And Paul Hollywood the other judge said: “Victoria let herself down with that cake”. "But I genuinely think it’s really nice! It isn’t that salty! It’s a bit salty! Some of us like salt". Moscow mule muffins or Vodka Stinger muffins perhaps might have made Mary´s eyes light up, but the missed point here was that they taste like a Bloody Mary. In muffin form! I put it to the test,made them (see above) and tasted them and our verdict was fan bloody tastic. 
There is a moral to this story.....Taste, of course, is one of the five senses. In everyday usage, it refers most often to its gustatory sense at the table or in the kitchen. Some food tastes good; others don't. Is the pleasure derived from what you like up to you or to the thing that pleases you? The answer may seem obvious. That which gives pleasure does not necessarily please everyone. As the rhyme goes, "some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it in the pot nine days old". Some things please only a few, while there are things that please a whole lot of people. So, some things are apparently more successful in providing pleasure than some other things. Taste depends on the thing liked or disliked; or does it?
Victoria Coren-Mitchell´s Bloody Mary Muffins
Makes 24 mini  cocktail muffins
Dry Ingredients
400g flour, sifted
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons celery salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Wet ingredients
16 tablespoons milk (350ml)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons tomato ketchup
4 tablespoons Worcester sauce
One tablespoon Vodka
4 teaspoons Tabasco
4 large eggs

300g sunblush tomatoes ( Cherry tomatoes, semi-dried)

Mix the sifted flour with the baking powder and celery salt, black pepper and bicarb. Then whisk the milk together with the olive oil, ketchup and Worcester sauce, vodka,Tabasco and eggs.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients but do not over mix, then fold in 300g of sunblush tomatoes (do not use fresh) and "a drizzle of red food colouring" (optional) "for festivity". Divide the mixture between 24 muffin cases and bake at 180c for about 20 minutes (or until they seem risen and cooked).
Leave them to cool on a wire rack.Serve them with small celery sticks on the side and a shot of vodka (optional)












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