Baking for Technophobes No. 1: Carrot Muffins

Last night’s dream was something of a strange one, even by my standards. It was less about post-apocalyptic survival, and more about apocalypse prevention.


I have to pose as a military inspector to gain access to a secret army base. I’m wearing a beret in the hope that they won’t notice I’m a civilian. I uncover an andocentric spy ring who are planning to wipe out all women. In their chauvinism they have assumed that women must remain in the kitchen at all times, and that therefore they can kill womankind by blowing up kitchen equipment. They have wired together a contraption (made of microwaves and blenders) that is apparently linked to every kitchen gadget in the world. They plan to detonate it by microwaving a ball of tinfoil. I engage in (slow motion) hand-to-hand combat with the ringleader. He pulls a gun. I defeat him by hitting him over the head with a frying pan.


What a classic of gender-orientated, military and tom-and-jerry style dreaming. Not to mention the baking influence. And, as with most of my dreams, some kind of concern that the technological takeover of the world can only lead to bad things. As a result of the dream I am feeling a little twitchy about using kitchen gadgets, so today I present you with Baking for Technophobes No. 1: Carrot Muffins. The only tools this recipe requires are an oven, kitchen scales, a grater, a sieve or flour sifter, bowls, and spoons. If an oven is too technological, then I bet you could successfully make this on a fire. (But lets be honest, if an oven is too much like technology for you, then you are unlikely to be reading a blog.)

Carrot Muffins

The recipe is from Muffins: Fast and Fantastic by Susan Reimer. Of course.

280g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 egg

60 – 90ml milk or water (I used 70ml water)

2 tablespoons honey

110-140g light brown soft sugar or caster sugar (I used 130g light brown soft sugar)

340g carrot, finely grated or however well grated you have the patience for

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

90ml vegetable oil or 85g butter, melted (I used vegetable oil)

optional 60-85g walnuts or raisins (I used neither, although it is delicious with raisins)

I love that there are variations to this recipe, and it is worth playing around with the different ingredients and measures. The oil/water/light brown sugar choice leads to a nice light muffin – it is still moist, but would never think about crossing the line to damp and heavy.

1)   Preheat oven to 375 F, 190 C 170 fan.

2)   Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon together into a large bowl.

3)   In a separate bowl beat the egg. Add milk/water, honey, sugar, carrot and vanilla. Stir. Add oil/melted butter. Stir well.

4)   Pour liquid mix into dry. Stir until just combined, being careful not to overbeat.

5)   Spoon into muffin cases. You should get 12. I must have done something wrong because I got 17. Oh well.

6)   Bake for 20-25 minutes. The tops should be springy when pressed.


60g cream cheese

100g icing sugar, sifted

½ teaspoon vanilla essence

1)   Beat ingredients together until blended.

2)   Wait until the muffins are completely cool before icing, otherwise the icing will get runny and separate.

Tea recommendation: the cinnamon spice in these muffins is subtle, and so is complimented well by a nice cup of chai, latte or otherwise.


6 comments on “Baking for Technophobes No. 1: Carrot Muffins

  1. Hmm might try these on my colleagues–the blueberry muffins from Betty Crocker will take some beating though…and I need a real world beater to help swing the panel my way…
    And anyways us technophobes don’t like scales…too precise. Will work on Chaos Cake recipe for you…

  2. I’m going to use to microwave with trepidation now…

  3. Your dream seems strongly influenced by the plot of G-Force (with Bill Nighy seemingly taking over the world via kitchen equipment). Awesome movie, considering it’s all cgi meerschweinchen …

    • I’ve not seen G-Force, maybe I should! I seem to have the habit of having dreams that predict the plot lines of films. I have had a dream that is apparently the exact plot of 28 days later, although I still haven’t seen the film, so I can’t be sure.

  4. […] have another recipe for cream cheese icing here, which is much easier to mix together without mechanical […]

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