Food blogging has taught me a lot. Through trial and error of writing, shooting and playing around with pots and pans, I’ve learned a thing or two about cooking and food. The importance of lighting in a photography shoot, to always leave your written words a day or two so you can mull them over, and when a baking recipe calls for a pinch, it really only means a pinch! But of the many lessons I’ve learned so far, the one that I’ve found most valuable is how to think on my feet when in the kitchen.
Whether it’s a missed step on a recipe or a literal flaming mistake, there’s no use crying over spilled batter. You’ve got to put on your Big Girl Apron and come up with a brilliant solution to save your dish. I had to put this to the test this past weekend, when I had what can only be described as a fu-cupcake.
I found this recipe for something called dirt bombs, a mix between a donut and a muffin, coated in a mixture of melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. It looked delicious, and I was itching to try it! All was going well until I took the muffins out of the oven and tried removing them from the tin. The muffins fell apart in my hands. No matter how gently I tried to prise them from their cocoons, I was left with mangled, cracked and crumbled muffins.
So what did I do? I made spiced cinnamon sugar cake pops, of course! I crumbled what was left of the muffins into coarse crumbs, stirred in melted butter and shaped the mixture into smallish round balls, or pops. Coat them in cinnamon and sugar, let them chill in the fridge for a couple of hours, and voilà. You’ve got yourself a batch of spiced cinnamon sugar cake pops – a fragrant earthy flavour with a dense texture, dipped in a throat-tingling mixture of cinnamon and brown sugar.
Sometimes, I surprise even myself with my daring ingenuity.
*FYI, this is where I got the inspiration for the dirt bombs, and what they’re actually supposed to look like!
Recipe for Spiced Cinnamon Sugar Cake Pops
1¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon butter, softened
½ cup white sugar
1 egg, whisked
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
½ cup milk
¾ cup melted butter
½ cup brown sugar + 1½ tablespoon ground cinnamon mixed together
Yields: 12-15 cake pops
Top Tip: If you’re lucky enough for your muffins to stay intact when you remove them from the tin, then feel free to skip the cake pop steps and make dirt bombs instead. For this, you’ll need to dip the muffins in melted butter then coat them in the cinnamon and sugar. Let the muffins cool properly before doing this.
Preheat oven to 180°C. In a muffin tray, coat six pockets in non-stick spray and pour water in the remaining pockets
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add whisked egg and vanilla essence, and stir
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in two additions, alternating with milk. Stir well to ensure everything is combined but do not overmix
Pour batter in prepared pockets and bake for 15-20 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the centre of a muffin and ensure it comes out clean
Allow muffins to cool for 20 minutes
Remove muffins and, in a large bowl, crumble them until they resemble coarse crumbs
Pour in melted butter and stir
Using your hands, shape tablespoon-sized portions of the mixture into round balls. Pack them fairly tight so the balls don’t fall apart
Coat the balls with a generous helping of sugar and cinnamon mixture
Chilld in the fridge for up to 1 hour and then enjoy