And suddenly, it’s mid-December and Christmas is upon us! I’ve been really busy running around, so the blog’s been a bit quiet.
Among other things, I was on the radio. Yeah, that happened. I was asked to do a small bit of about five minutes for DRadio Wissen’s Redaktionskonferenz on a show about food intolerances. It’s a show that runs between 6:15 and 8 pm every Monday through Thursday evening, and every day they discuss a different topic. Between getting asked to do a five minute bit on Monday and the airing of the live show on Thursday evening (4 December 2014), my contribution to the show was upgraded. I went from being an example of someone who eats a bit differently than everyone else for justified reasons (as opposed to people who are picky eaters simply for being picky eaters), to being the main interview partner of the show. I wasn’t exactly told this before, which is good, because even just knowing that I would be asked to speak twice for about five minutes each on a live show, I was freaking out: I sat around paralyzed all day, unable to do anything productive, very restless and waiting for the clock to turn to 16:45, which is when I had to leave in order to arrive at the studio on time. It was a tad bit awful to be in this state of nervousness, but also really exciting. I love radio, it’s my favorite medium, and deep inside I wish I was a radio talk show host or working doing something else cool (like picking music or writing content) on a fun radio station. So, of course, I was thrilled and looked forward to seeing the insides of the radio studio again (the last time I went, I was still a university student). The experience was all I hoped it would be – and more. The girls at the studio were all really, really nice, and Vera (who was doing online content that evening) gave me a tour of the studio and the DRadio Wissen office (I tried not to geek out too much). Kaline, the talk show host, patiently explained to me all the workings of the studio and found answers to all the questions I asked about the gear (which I did to calm myself down). By the end of the show, shortly before eight pm, I was feeling incredibly comfortable and could have continued to sit in the studio and talk about my life as a gluten-free person for another two hours. I had a really good time and recommend that if you get asked to be a guest in a radio show, that you go!
Despite being in something of a shock state of having to speak live to an unknown audience, I went into the studio prepared. I am me, after all. I had long decided to bring a gluten-free something with me to the studio. This way the team would have an idea of what it means to eat a gluten-free cake or whatever. Part of me was also kind of scared that we’d be having a discussion about the legitimacy of a strict glutens-free diet or about how my quality of life might have decreased and what a poor soul I really am (which I’m not), so I wanted to set up some tools to work with. Fortunately, it wasn’t necessary. The muffins were a big hit with everyone who tried them and the gastroentereologist, who was talking to us from a studio in Bremen (up in the North of Germany), commended me on being well informed and on my suggestions on how to live a happy and fulfilled life as a person with celiac disease – so phew! But getting that kind of feedback is not something to expect, even from a doctor. I am happy that I didn’t have to use any of the research and citations I’d armed myself with. I was prepared to name-drop, to get all huffy and puffy and to show teeth (in a charming way), should it have been necessary to defend what we know about celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity. You can listen to the show online, here. I’ve not listened to it, but I’ve gotten really good feedback, particularly that I don’t sound nervous at all, which is a great relief! Nevermind the awful picture of me on their site though. I promise, I usually don’t look like Frankenstein’s drunk wife! Ok, I do. Maybe. But only when I’m really, really nervous!
I think, in part, the experience went so great, because of the muffins and because when you bring people a small gift, they can’t be mean to you. So, of course, I am going to feature the recipe here on the blog. They’re actually two kinds of muffins, in terms of the name. I think they make a great treat to bring in to the office for one’s birthday, so I was going to feature them under the name “Birthday Muffins”, because I made them for my husband’s birthday one summer. But, they’re now also “Radio Show Muffins”. Aaaaaaaand,if we want to be really accurate, they’re originally Holli’s Lemon Cake. Back during my gluten-filled days, my friend Holli baked a Lemon Cake the day before a Tori Amos concert in Stuttgart. He brought me a piece to try, and since then I’ve loved his recipe as a base for muffins – or lemon cake. I guess, we could also call these muffins Cupcakes for Radio Shows and Birthdays adapted from Holli’s Lemon Cake. You could also keep it simple and say they’re Peach Muffins with Lemon Frosting.
Whatever… Make these, give them no name and eat them. Just be sure to enjoy!
Ingredients (for six large muffins)
110g butter (at room temperature)
110g sugar (you can use less, if you like)
1 tsp vanilla aroma
110g gluten-free flour (I used one half Harina de Reposteria by AdPan and one half Schaer Farine)
¼ tsp gluten-free agents (e.g. xanthan or guar gum, arrowroot and carob flours, etc.)
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
lemon zest (or lemon juice – but the zest tastes much better)
1 small can of peach halves (drained)
For the sugary topping
150g powdered sugar
a few drops of lemon juice
Heat your oven to 200°C.
Place the butter and sugar into a bowl. Use a handmixer (or your kitchen machine) to mix them together well, until the sugar has almost dissolved. Add the eggs, one by one, and continue whisking. Add the vanilla aroma and the lemon zest. Mix the gluten-free flour mix, the gluten-free agents and the baking powder well in a separate bowl, and then add to the egg-sugar-butter mixture. Continue to mix (for a few seconds), until the flour has been incorporated into the batter. Chop up the peach halves into small squares (about two centimeters wide), add them to the batter.
You can now either use ready-to-use muffin cups, place a piece of packing parchment into each individual cup in your muffin tin or grease your muffin pan (I don’t recommend the latter though), and then proceed to add about one tablespoon full of muffin batter into each muffin cup. These babies will rise quite a bit, so please don’t overfill, you will regret it later. Place the muffin tin into your oven and bake muffins between 25 and 30 minutes. They should be golden brown and you should poke at least one of them with a chopstick or with a small knife to see if the batter has cooked thoroughly and turned into cake. Allow muffins to cool off. I winter, I simply place them on my terrace and allow the weather to do the job for me.
Meanwhile, mix a few drops of lemon juice. You should now have a very thick sugary glaze. Once the muffins have cooled off, remove them from the muffin tin and proceed to cover each muffin in a thick-ish topping of glaze. If you like, you can decorate with small pink hearts. So pretty! These muffins are an excellent dessert to make ahead of time, they are very juicy on the inside and will keep well for up to two days.