When looking at how people decorate their space my favorite thing is to discover the hidden details or random things used in a unique way. Sometimes the most random things get make an impact. I think it shows a persons personality.
Oatmeal Stout Cake with Apples & Whiskey Cream Makes 1 loaf
The whiskey is optional, as is the cream. The cake is wonderful with and without ‘em.
1 cup oats
11/2 cups oatmeal stout or other dark stout beer
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup neutral oil
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch dice
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1-2 tablespoons whisky
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
Though I have a lovely view of the lake from my corner office (woohoo!) I would so much rather work from home. But rather than plant my bum on my couch every day and make a permanent dent, I think I would build a backyard studio/office. How great would one of these be?
This past weekend I had an impromptu relaxing Sunday and spent absolutely zero (yes, zero!) hours in the lab working on my design project. So what if it was because I left my keys in my office? Oops! Anyway, it was wonderful to just lounge around at home. And how did I start this great day? By making these cute little muffins.
I must admit that I read the recipe way too quickly and thought it said apple cider vinegar (which I have in my cupboard) instead of apple cider (which I don't have). Again, oops. So instead I shredded the other half of the apple and it worked like a charm. Instead of walnuts I used almonds because that's what I had. Although I didn't do the glaze since I was missing the all-important apple cider, I think they were still very, very tasty!
Preheat oven to 400°F. and grease twelve 1/8-cup mini-muffin cups (about 1 3/4 inches across top and 3/4 inch deep).
Lightly toast walnuts and chop fine. Core and peel apple and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a saucepan melt butter and stir in brown sugar. Remove pan from heat. Whisk cider and egg into butter mixture until smooth and add to flour mixture, stirring until combined well. Stir in walnuts and apple. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake 15 minutes, or until golden.
Make glaze while muffins are baking:
In a 2-quart saucepan boil cider 15 minutes, or until reduced to about 1/2 cup, and pour through a sieve lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth to remove sediment. Return cider to cleaned pan and add sugar. Simmer mixture, stirring, until syrupy, about 5 minutes. While muffins are still warm, with a wooden pick make several holes in top of each muffin. Brush warm glaze over muffins several times until absorbed.