I woke up yesterday and remembered I hadn't made anything for Maison Cupcake's 'Seduced by Chocolate' Forever Nigella challenge. I fretted about what to make for about five minutes, then Hana the Super Nanny rang and said she was too sick to look after the Small Girl and suddenly my day became a lot more complicated.
As it turned out, my lovely boss was understanding and the Small Girl and I had a really fun morning. Then the Boy Wonder rang, sounding panicked. "It's Christchurch. There's been another earthquake. I don't know when I'll be home tonight."
The news from Christchurch is just horrible. The September 4 earthquake was bad enough, but then it was just about buildings. Now it's about mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, colleagues and friends, who have lost their lives due to an incredible dose of bad luck.
It's pathetic, but the only thing I felt I could do last night was make a batch of Nigella's chocolate chip muffins for the Boy Wonder and his workmates, who have put aside their own personal attachments and worked through the night to deliver news that nobody wants to hear.
Comforting Chocolate Muffins
I couldn't find the recipe for this on Nigella.com, so here's my slightly tweaked version. I hope you won't mind me suggesting this, but maybe you'd like to consider making a batch of these for your colleagues and asking them to donate to the Christchurch earthquake relief fund at http://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/. Thank you.
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
160g caster sugar
150g dark chocolate, smashed into little bits
6Tbsp melted butter, cooled (about 100g)
Preheat oven to 200C. Put paper cases in 10 holes of a standard muffin tin.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then stir through most of the chopped chocolate. Mix the wet ingredients together in a jug, then pour into the dry mix and fold together until just combined. Add a little more milk if it seems a bit dry. Sprinkle the rest of the chopped chocolate over the top. Bake for 20 minutes, until they are springy and pass the skewer test. Cool for five minutes before taking them out of the tins and setting on a rack to cool completely.