Muffin Moments

Muffin Moments

If you have grown up in Pune and haven’t visited Kayani Bakery even once, you aren’t living under a rock, but are sure living buried deep under a heap of mud. Kayani Bakery has the most mouth-watering mawa cake, cookies, and savoury pattice that one can ever imagine. Now, I grew up in the outskirts of Pune in the Pimpri – Chinchwad area. For us travelling to East Street or the ‘cool’ part of the Pune district, was like a monthly rewarding trip that I looked forward to. My Dad, Mom and me would hop into our 1970’s grey Fiat and rattle on for about 45 minutes till we reached the bliss of the modern city life in Pune; which was Main Street or M.G. road as it is popularly known.

M.G. road was one single street which was heaven for shoppers and foodies alike. Dotted with colourful street stalls selling everything from clothes, to handicrafts, to knick-knacks to street food.

A little off M.G. road on East Street is one of Pune’s most favourite and oldest bakeries, Kayani Bakery. Known especially for the deliciously buttery mawa cake and the shrewsbury biscuits. Every single time we went to ‘that side of town’, we came back home, laden with the biscuits and mawa cake.

I didn’t know what muffins or cupcakes were (again, humble upbringing; what to do!). But the mawa cake always brought a glow to my face and a twinkle to my eyes! So this article is an ode to that memory and experience.

Today, kids not just LOVE their cupcakes and muffins, but also, have an opinion on the frosting! Some kids, would love to live on them, whilst their parents would struggle to feed them a healthy meal of cereals. I know you want to punch a mirror (like in Bollywood movies) or hit your head against a wall (like in psycho movies), when your child simply wants that muffin. Relax, take a deep breath and read on. Enter, The Rice Muffin. Yep, all the fun and flavour of a muffin minus the non-existent properties of white, refined flour or, the recently founded enemy, gluten. The fluffiness, the health benefits, the taste and the sheer joy of creating it with your kids, is sure to make this one a household recipe.

It’s rather simple and a delight to make. Coupled with a salted caramel sauce and fun garnishes, you and your little one/s are sure to have a blast.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Take a cup and a half of rice flour in a bowl. To the same bowl add a teaspoon full of baking soda and a pinch of salt.
  • In another bowl, take 4 eggs, get your partner in crime to whisk it until fluffy. To this add ½ a cup of milk, 1 tsp. vanilla extract (not essence) and a cup full of honey or maple syrup or golden syrup. Ask them to whisk it until well combined. This, will not just keep them busy and interested, but also help in working out the arms (a favour they will thank you for when older!)!
  • Now while you pour the wet mixture into the dry, ask your child to combine the 2 mixtures well with a whisk until there are no lumps. Again, thanks mom for the well-toned arms!
  • Once mixed, leave aside for 10 minutes. Ask your kid to grease the muffin moulds with butter or any oil of your choice, while you set the oven to pre-heat for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Dust the muffin moulds with more rice flour, and pour the mixture covering 3/4th of each indent in the mould (leaving place for it to rise).
  • Bung it in the oven at 180 degrees for 25 minutes. Once that is up, crank up the oven to 200 and cook for 10 more minutes.

    Humble beginnings
  • In the meantime, make the salted caramel (this one you will have to do by yourself, though you can save walking to the fridge and get your sous chef to get you the ingredients.). In an evenly flat thick bottomed pan, add a cup of sugar and evenly spread. The stress on the kind of pan is simply because I have endured many a catastrophe with making caramel and would like you to learn from my mistakes!
  • DO NOT stir the sugar. Let it caramelise on medium heat by itself. Stirring it will crystalise it and leave you with a hard to clean, sticky pan (that I don’t want to be cursed for, so follow the instructions!).
  • Once the sugar has caramelised (read brown), turn the gas further low and add 1 tsp. of salt and 3 tbsp. of heavy and rigorously whisk until combined. Take off the flame.
  • In this time, your muffins should be done. Take them out and leave them on the kitchen counter to cool slightly. Now, get your child to wear an oven mitt in one hand and arm him/her with a small round scoop or a slightly deep desert spoon, in the other.
  • Holding the muffin tray with one hand, ask them to scoop each muffin from the centre (enough to fill in the luscious sauce). The scooped portion can just be had as spoils!
  • Now into the centre, pour in the warm salted caramel sauce until it reaches the top of the muffin. Let it cool (room temperature).

    The array
  • Now you can let the sous chef go wild! Give them an array of M&Ms, chocolate sprinkles, liquorice, gummy bears, lollipops or any candy of their choice and let their imagination run wild decorating it. Done!

Well, a picture speaks a thousand words; and as you can see and tell, my art and craft skills were never much to tom-tom about. But nonetheless, I had fun with it and I am sure you and your little ones will do too. One muffin is a tasty, sweet, satisfying meal, full of goodness. To add to the wonder, while making the final batter, add in nuts and dried fruits to make it even better.

This one muffin, I am sure, your kids would love to make a meal of, and would save you from looking for a wall to bang your head into! So, make this fun recipe along with your kids and create your own muffin story and a sweet memory for them.

Feel free to shoot questions in the comments section and it sure wouldn’t hurt to follow me on Facebook and Instagram. On that note, have fun bonding!

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