Last Saturday morning was the weekend before the kids end of year school exams. It's not a very fun time for the kids as they are busy brushing up on their work. I on the other hand, had arranged some appointments for some home repairs. The Lovely Wife figured that the kids would be distracted by the repairs going on and hence wouldn't be able to concentrate on their school work. So, she decided she would take the kids out shopping while the work was being carried out. Not fair! I was going to be left all by my lonesome to stay at home to wait for the repairmen. They were only due to come late in the morning however and the day started off with my son yelling from downstairs:
"Dads! Can you make us some of your Chocolate Sauce? To eat with Mummy's waffles?"
I had to smile as there is something very satisfying about your kids asking you to make them something to eat - even more when it is Chocolate Sauce that in most households simply comes out of a store bought bottle. Anyway, I made up a batch of the chocolate sauce for them and they enjoyed it with their waffles. With breakfast out of the way, they left soon after and as expected, I was home left alone.
Alone, alone, all, all alone!
Truth be told, sometimes it's fun to be alone when you get to do your own things. However, being alone to monitor work being done isn't really a fun thing to do.
The repairs finished off sooner than expected and since I had a litle time to myself, I thought I would indulge in some therapy for myself. There's something very therapeutic about whipping up a quick cake and having your house smell wonderfully of freshly baked goodness. The smell of vanilla on your hands seems to linger throughout the day too and not matter how much you scrub it, your hands still smell great!
I had decided I wanted to make a cake but wasn't quite sure what cake to make. I considered making my usual chocolate cake or chocolate brownies - both of which are firm favourites. I decided though that I wanted to try something new. A few weeks earlier, The Lovely Wife had enjoyed a cake that had walnuts in it and so I thought that I'd use some walnuts. A peak into the fridge showed that there were indeed walnuts and also some chocolate chips. How about Vanilla Walnut Chop Chip Muffins? Seemed like a good idea to me!
I modified my usual Choc Chip Muffin recipe just a little and this is what I did:
3 Tsp Baking Powder
100g Walnuts - chopped
100g Choc Chips
1 Tbsp Milk
1 Tbsp Honey
2 Tsp Vanilla
Melt the butter until very soft but not completely liquid. Add in the sugar and beat well till light. Add beaten eggs a little at a time and continue beating
Fold in Sifted flour and baking powder.
Add in Honey, Milk and Vanilla. Mix Well
Fold in Chocolate Chips and nuts ensuring it is well mixed
Fill muffin cups ¾ full and bake for about 30 minutes or till done in 180°C oven
The muffins were halfway through baking when The Lovely Wife and kids got home and both my son and princess bounded into the kitchen to see what was causing the lovely smell. The muffins baked up and cooled while we were having lunch and then I decided that I would make a little icing with the Chocolate Sauce for some of the muffins.
I mixed the chocolate sauce with some icing sugar and more cocoa powder till it resembled a nice thick icing - almost like a ganache. I piped this over a couple of the muffins while I slathered it over another two.
AS expected, The Lovely Wife preferred the muffins 'naked' while the two kids loved it with the chocolate icing. We enjoyed the muffins later after dinner too and on Sunday as well. There was enough left over on Monday morning for them to take a muffin each to school for the first day of their exams.
The best therapy is not so much baking or even the smell of baked goods. The best therapy is the smiles and satisfied looks on the faces of the kids as they enjoy the food that your hands have created.
What's your best therapy??