a blog about an Essex girl living in Swansea, chatting about baking, rowing, other bits and bobs, and some crazy teaching times in India

Friday, 5 October 2012

Back to Basics

So being a student means you're low on funds, right? Baking suddenly becomes not quite the same when you're on a budget - no more skipping round the aisles of Tesco or Asda, picking up whatever you fancy and flinging it into your mother's shopping trolley. Or, more often than not, going on a mad dash around the local Co-Op with one of those hideous plastic baskets (when did they introduce these? I like the old school wire-mesh ones, they might be smaller and more awkward but I feel like a real shopper when I carry one of these about) and paying for your goods with that little bit of extra money you earned from your summer job.

But no. The days are gone when I can afford high-class ingredients, no more Tesco Finest or big-brand names, I am back to the basics. And because I can't fit in the time to go for a humongous 'big-shop,' as I call it, I am rooting round my cupboards for the remnants of the shopping trip that my parents kindly did with me when I first arrived. Bearing in mind this was almost three weeks ago now, so my shelves are looking fairly empty of fresh things. All I see in my cupboard when I open the door are stacks of baked beans, my vitamin collection, some packet soups and an unusually large amount of porridge. If I could eat anything for the rest of my life, I'd have to be boring and say porridge. I get through it by the bucketload. Every morning without fail, hangover or not, I will have a steaming bowl of porridge. Two minutes or so in the microwave, made with water, and sometimes milk if I fancy; and out comes my breakfast, looking more like a flapjack than the creamy mix that porridge normally resembles. Chuck on some sugar and you're good to go. It's my perfect way to start the day - I don't know what would happen if I didn't. Probably nothing bad but I like to think that without it I'd behave similarly to how Superman does when he is exposed to Kryptonite. I'd dramatically fall to the floor in lectures, no longer able to grasp my pen. Porridge is my power-food.

I definitely tried doing a search on Google for superman and porridge. Sadly no pictures with both in, I was very disappointed.

That's definitely not what this recipe is about though. No way am I making porridge cupcakes. Don't be disgusting. Maybe oatey ones at some point? That sounds good. And healthy. But I don't like healthy, not with cakes anyway. If you're sticking sugar in the mix, why compromise on other ingredients? Go the whole hog and make that fatty cake. It will do you good, I promise!

So these cupcakes were made with my usual cupcake recipe, but I threw in some other bits as well. If you're at university, you probably don't eat a huge amount of fruit. I try to be an exception, and have been making some sneaky one off trips to the supermarket to stock up on the fresh stuff, but all I seemed to have in my little pink fruit basket (pleaded with my Dad for it to be pink, I am overly girly when I want to be) was a couple of apples. So I popped on some wellies and my coat and headed round the corner to the lifesaver that is Sainsburys Local. Bought some ground cinnamon and a little Cadbury's Fudge bar, and also a bit of double cream. It took a lot of willpower not to scoff the Fudge on the way home; gave myself a little pat on the back for that one. Or I probably would have ended up like this...

So check out the next post, it's going to be the full-fledged recipe for Apple and Cinnamon Cupcakes. Spice is definitely needed in this weather.

Keep dry, and make sure you have that umbrella on you at all times!

Big love, xo

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