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Recently I have noticed plenty of females in my online world going crazy for a guy. Crazy in the way that I and many others went crazy for Harry Styles from One Direction on last year’s X Factor, an obsession I would like to blame on post-pregnancy hormones or whatever, but I’d be lying. I just fancy him. He’s 18 now, right?
Photo Credit: Reviews of Tings
Anyway, recently everyone’s gone nuts for Robert Billington, a contestant from the amazing Great British Bake Off. He’s young! He has dimples! He’s got great hair! He can bake! Right now he is the lusty culinary world’s Brad Pitt. A female’s Nigella (though he does lack her unctuous curves). As I don’t have too much of a sweet tooth I will always prefer a man who can deep fry me some shit over one who can whip me up a batch of delightful macaroons, but I can definitely see his appeal.
Photo credit: RTE Food
To this end I would like to present to you one Donal Skehan, who I found by following a link from Sophie at The Littlest Things. Just look at him – he kind of reminds me of Harry Styles – and he cooks as well as bakes apple muffins! I may have found possible pervy male cooking nirvana. He’s Irish (sexy accent), has written some books (not illiterate), used to be in a failed boy band (One Direction-esque) and is a fairly grown-up 25. You are welcome.
If my hormones get any worse I may well be wallpapering his face to my new kitchen.
The first recipe I tried of Donal’s was the Apple Muffins, which I am re-posting due to someone on Twitter asking me to (sorry – can’t remember who). These apple muffins were lovely as they weren’t too sweet and the crumble topping set them apart from your usual boring cake. You can also pretend they’re healthy and eat them for breakfast. The recipe calls for cooking apple but I had none and so used regular eating apples (Gala – I think).
- 75ml of olive oil
- 200ml of buttermilk
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 large free range eggs
- 150g of caster sugar
- 250g of self raising flour
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 250g of peeled and diced cooking apple (Approx 1 large cooking apple)
- For the crumble topping:
- 50g of vanilla sugar (or substitute with caster sugar)
- 50g of plain flour
- 50g of butter
- Preheat the oven to 190?C. Line a muffin/cupcake tray with paper cases.
- Measure the oil and buttermilk in a pyrex jug and then stir through the lemon zest and set aside.
- Using a handblender with a food processor attachment, blitz the ingredients for the crumble topping until you get left with rough crumbs. You can also do this by hand in a bowl using your fingertips to combine the ingredients together. Set the crumble topping aside.
- In a standalone mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in the oil, buttermilk and lemon zest and whisk until combined.
- Gently fold in the flour and cinnamon until just combined. Fold through ¾ of the diced apple until combined. Be sure not to over mix the batter.
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, top with the remaining apple and about a teaspoonful of the crumble topping.
- Place in the oven on the middle rack to cook for 20 minutes until brown on top.
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire wrack to cool.