Saturday, May 12, 2012

cinnamon brown sugar muffins for mother's day

I am elated to announce that all the work it takes to get a manuscript off to the printing press is finally finished for my second cookbook and as you can see if you kindly turn your gaze to the right sidebar, it's called "Mum's Not Cooking". Many, many thanks to the wonderful team at Epigram Books, Singapore's coolest publisher, by far! I'll let you know all about it very soon and you don't want to miss it because it's an a-do-ra-ble little book, but more importantly, there'll be a....... GIVEAWAY!! Boy, where are the happy dance emoticons when you need them?!?

I'm feeling generous so, it will be really easy like a umm.. GIVEAWAY, no epic Iron Chef battle type cook-offs, to get your hot little hands on a copy  of Mum's Not Cooking and....there'll be not one, but THREE copies up for grabs! The giveaway will be open to all readers, local and international, (yes, you silent lurkers,

 I know you're there, and I would especially love to hear from YOU!) so, please stay tuned and keep checking back here for details.Now, to the business at hand. Today it's all about mothers here. What can I say except that they/we are an under appreciated lot. I'm sitting here, writing, stuffing my face with the fabulous muffins I'm going to give you the recipe for later and all the ways I never appreciated my mum are tumbling out of the annals of  my misspent youth and washing over me like a tsunami of guilt.

Of course the realisation only began to haunt me once I had myself become a mother and felt the sting of sometimes being treated like a disposable tissue by my own children. But, it's a rite of passage, like falling off a bike, cutting your wisdom teeth or having your heart broken for the very first time, all painful and unpleasant but necessary and educational, if I'm going to be philosophical and euphemistic about it.

Our children teach us strength, how to love selflessly and unconditionally and make us indomitable. Though I wouldn't be honest if I didn't admit to sometimes fantasising about karma finding them and biting them in the behind, hard. That's right my darlings, it's coming for you too. Better watch your back! ;)

I'll try not to get too sentimental or mushy, but my mum didn't have it easy, not in her childhood, not in adulthood, nor in marriage or motherhood. She was a single mum in the singlest way possible - my dad left us without looking back very early on in my life and she remains even today, a dedicated (you can relax now mum, I'm 44) and still single mum and grandmum. Eh! What are you gonna do about it? Get up, dust yourself off and keep walking. 

She taught me all about courage, strength and how to cook a curry devil that could scare the horned and hoofed one into repentance, still worries that I'm hellbound (yes, mum, I'm still going to church), tells my boys, "are you trying to send your mother to an early grave?" when they get out of hand and still let's me raid her china cupboard when I'm having a fancy dinner for friends, or want to make my table pretty for a blog post shoot (see tiered cake server, teacup /saucer and cake plate for this post)

So, mum, thank you for everything you've ever done, in the name of motherhood, for me, your sometimes unthinking and unappreciating daughter. Your's is still the first name that comes to mind, when I manage to get myself into a fix (finally realise where my talent lies).  I guess what I'm trying to say is "you'll always be my mummy" even when I'm 64 and have grandbabies of my own.

If you haven't called your mum because you know she'll say the same thing she always says, go on,  pick up that phone this Sunday and let her tell you that you should be a) attached b) married c) pregnant d) adopting or e) promoted. Of course you're not going to do what she expects, when shes expects it, but she's earned the right to tell you anyway.

Get her a nice gift, take her out to dinner or if she appreciates the small, personal gift above big gestures, make oh, I don't know, some cinnamon brown sugar muffins, and put them in a pretty box for her...maybe?

Happy Mother's Day!

Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Muffins with Salted Butter Glaze

Prep15mins                  cook20mins                  makes8


200 g (2 cups) plain or all purpose flour
150 g (11/4 cups) soft brown sugar, sifted if lumpy
2 tsp cream of tartar, sifted if lumpy
1 tsp baking soda, sifted if lumpy
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
100 g (2/3 cup) butter, melted and cooled
100 ml (1/2 cup) milk


6 heaped tbsp confectioner’s sugar, sifted
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp milk
1/3 tsp salt

Ground cinnamon for finishing

·         Preheat oven at 185 C (370 F) and line a muffin tray with paper muffin cases.

·         In a large dry mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda and cinnamon until thoroughly mixed.

·         Make a well in the middle of flour mixture and set aside.

·         In a small pitcher or measuring jug, whisk together the egg, butter and milk until very thoroughly mixed. Strain this into the well in the flour mixture. Straining removes the strands of egg white that remain whole in very fresh eggs, which I hate biting into. If it doesn’t bother you, skip the straining bit.

·         Give the mixture as few stirs as possible with a whisk, until you have a thick batter the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Whatever you do, do not stir more than necessary, to get feather light muffins.

·         Put one ice cream scoopful of batter into each muffin case and bake for 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Test after 15 minutes with a fine skewer or tooth pick. If it comes out clean from centre of tallest muffin, remove immediately from oven.

·         Transfer muffins to cooling rack. When cold, stir together the glaze ingredients until thick and smooth. Plop and swirl a heaped teaspoon of glaze over each muffin and leave to set slightly before  sprinkling over a little cinnamon. Serve when glaze has set.


  1. Happy Mother's Day! Stunning dessert! How elegant, simple and yummy!

    Congrats on finishing the second cookbook! This is wonderful! Please keep us posted about that giveaway :-)

    1. Thanks! It's such a relief and sense of accomplishment after over a year's work for me and my poor editor! I will definitely keep all posted on the giveaway and look forward to your participation :)

  2. Hi Darling Denise, wishing you a very Happy Mother's Day too! Actually, we're not supposed to cook or do anything on Mother's Day. Isn't it? HAHAHA..... What an excuse! Well, Men doesn't do anything on Father's Day! Right? :o) Wow...your books are ready! Phew....finally. All the best, lady.
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Kristy :) Thank you my dear, hope you had a lovely day too! Yes, it is FINALLY finished!! Looking forward to the giveaway and lots of participants too!

  3. Cinnamon brown sugar! Love how these muffins look! :) Love the butter too!

    1. Hi - they are pretty aren't they? I guess parading them on a pretty cake server helps too lol Aren't mummies the sweetest, most lovable creatures? That glaze is addictive and dangerous, but soooooooo good *sigh* Thanks for stopping by and hope you take part in the giveaway :)

  4. Yes, motherhood is a right of passage but one that usually does not come back empty handed. When all the sweat, tears, and sleepless nights spent nurturing become evident in the child's life (like what the pastor said in his sermon this morning), it can be very rewarding. I was really touched by my boys' gestures now that they are more independent and can drive. They are able to get stuff and do things without dad's orchestration :) So glad too that I got to speak to my mom last night. Excited that I will be seeing her and dad soon.

    Your cupcakes look amazing! Love your mom's china and that frontal shot of the cake server, not to mention that creamy butter glaze. BTW, I do have a similar ice cream scoop but with a different color handle :)

    Wow, 3 copies for the giveaway! How exciting! Can't wait to hear more about the book.

    1. Hi Biren - sounds like you had a marvellous Mother's Day. Glad to hear it :) How blessed are you to have such loving boys, but I guess you reap what you sow. My eldest boy is very thoughtful and made me a CD of all my favourite Beatles' songs, though he thinks the Beatles are so "tame"!!! Oh well, he's 18, what does he know lol I was speechless as I did not realise he knew me so well :) My younger boys got together with hubs and got me some coveted kitchen accessories I've been eyeing for a while. I doubt they would have done it without hubby's intervention (orchestration - I like that lol) but they are young yet ;) Glad to know you called your mum - we all don't do that often enough I think...

      My mum does have the most to-die-for china from the 50s and 60s and even some pieces from the 30s that she inherited. But she won't let me use those as they are too delicate and precious :( Is your scoop a "Nutbrown" too? I love mine - makes me feel like I'm working in a 1950s ice cream parlour each time I use it!

      I am so excited about the giveaway and the completion of my book. Can't wait to give away those copies and looking forward to lots of participants!

    2. You are not doing too bad yourself. That is very sweet of your eldest. Now you can listen to your Beatles CD while cooking. If you get the chance, do visit Liverpool. I enjoyed myself even though I was there alone.

      Your other two boys are still young. Give them some time :)

      The handle of my scoop is slightly different. It is more squarish and is orange and beige in color. The best scoop for ice cream - gives a nice and round scoop of ice cream. Don't know how to use the new hook like scoops.

      Yes, I hope you get lots of participants for your new book. It looks and sounds interesting. Nice cover too :)

  5. Denise, thks for sharing such an inspiring & heart-warming post! Moms are such superwomen & I began to admire my own strength too. Hahaha!

    Congrats on your cookbook & what a nice giveaway! Hope u'd a good time on Mother's Day & that's a lovely recipe you've got here!

  6. What a warm and wonderful Mothers Day post! Your mom sounds amazing, as are you! And the muffins look delightful :) Hope you had a fantastic day!


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