Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a good sleeper. At all. My bouts of insomnia and my tendency to wake up at ridiculous o clock in the morning and not be able to get back to sleep goes back to when I was in college and started to lose track of how many hours I was sleeping or not sleeping.
If I am going through a bad phase (which is more often than not) and waking up at 6am or 5am without alarms and usually at the weekend, I have found that I am better getting up and doing something. Whether that is going for a run, doing some writing or baking and then going for a snooze (or a disco nap) in the afternoon if possible.
Last weekend I was lying awake on Sunday morning at 5am. I was wide awake. As in Christmas morning, so excited, can’t wait to go and see what I got wide awake. I read for a little bit, did a list of what I needed to do around the house and then got up and started to bake. I decided that Cheesecake Topped Brownies would be first on the list as a welcome home for Mr. C after his travels.
Then I stood at the fridge door and some rhubarb caught my eye. I had robbed them from my dad’s garden last week when I was getting the road bike off him and had duly hid them at the back of the fridge. As you do.
I thought of stewing them but it was kind of warm and stewed rhubarb was not taking my fancy. So I did the next best thing. I made muffins. With sugar and cinnamon topping. And they are delicious.
The recipe is courtesy of Nigella Lawson’s Feast – a book that I really must explore some more!
Preheat your oven to 200C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.
You will need
200g soft brown sugar (I used dark), 80ml vegetable oil, 1 egg, 2 tsp of vanilla extract, 250ml buttermilk*, 175g rhubarb cut into 1cm dice (which handily is 2 sticks!) 75g walnuts, chopped (optional)300g plain flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp bicarb of soda, 50g wheatgerm
Mix the sugar, oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in the rhubarb and the chopped walnuts and mix roughly.
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarb of soda on top of the other ingredients and finally add the wheatgerm and mix until the batter has just come together.
Using an icecream scoop (or a large spoon) scoop a measure of batter into the muffin tin. Make sure you get some chunks of rhubarb in each scoop.
Mix 2 tablespoons with a tablespoon of cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the muffins.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Again – keep an eye on them as the time can depend on your oven.
Remove from the oven and allow to cook before eating. Just a touch though!
THese are perfect just after your afternoon nap to wake you up with a dollop of greek yoghurt and a nice cup of coffee (or peppermint tea if you are avoiding caffeine)
*If you don’t have buttermilk an alternative is this. For every 250ml of buttermilk you need, pour 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into your measuring jug and top up with regular or dairy free milk to 250ml and leave sit for 15 minutes. Then add to your recipe as normal.