This afternoon, the school mums group had organized a little gouter (as the afternoon snack is called) in the primary school canteen.
This is an annual end-of-the-school-year event, at which the children in the various classes gift the collective presents from their families to their teachers.
It is the mums who usually provide the snacks and drinks and I took along Indira’s favorite after-school snack, which is date muffins.
When she was much younger, she assumed that any brown colored food was chocolate. I was happy to exploit this misconception, and routinely made cakes and muffins with dates instead of chocolate.
This is not to say that she has been spared a fondness for chocolate. But she does love dates too, in any form, which I consider an adequate reward for my efforts.
At the gouter today, too, I was glad to see that the muffins were well-liked.
This is my recipe –
Date Muffins (or “muff-uns”, as Noor calls them)
(makes around 16)
1 and a 1/2 cups of finely chopped soft dates
3/4 cup of very hot water (just boiled)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup (a 160 ml cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 and 3/4 cup refined or wholewheat flour (I use the latter when baking for the girls, but you may want to use white flour. The difference in taste is not very significant, to my mind, and hence I stick with wholewheat flour since that packs more nutrition)
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Mix the first 3 ingredients and leave to cool. Next, mix the last 3 ingredients in a bowl and keep aside.
Beat the eggs till they are frothy, then add melted butter and sugar, and beat again till these 3 things are well-blended.
Once the date mixture has cooled, add it to the eggs-butter-sugar mixture and mix a couple of times to blend. Now add the flour mixture, and mix everything together so the flour is well-blended.
While you mix everything together as described above, remember to switch your oven on, so as to pre-heat it for 5-8 minutes, to 180°C.
Fill the muffin moulds 1/2 to 3/4 full, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
These muffins are extra nice with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side, if you really want to make this in to a fancy dessert or really indulge the kids.