Saga of a broken oven, or, where’s my fucking muffin?

Macarons. Are you familiar with them?
For the uninitiated, they’re tricky little French biscuits, coveted by all but perfected only by Adriano Zumbo, that pimply kid off Masterchef and my sister. She’s gone slightly macaron mad, posting many delightful renditions of the almondey bickies, feet and all, on her blog.
Now, I’m no Adriano Zumbo. I would never attempt a baked goodie that required a template to make. But I had this banana.
Happy little banana it was too. Used to say hello to me every day, greet me quite emphatically at the door. There could be no allusions at all about the presence of a banana in my flat.
Bananas have a window of unpleasantness between nice to eat and nice to cook with; this afternoon I noticed my topical friend had matured into a black, shriveled, gooey mess.
Today, at long last, was banana muffin day.
My recipe, lifted from Cooking for your baby, the natural way calls for two, so I made up the difference with a few wizened old apples that would make Jeff Murdoch quake in his boots (if you don’t get the reference, click here, you poor culturally-deprived soul) and stewed them up.
Mix made, batter divided, six for apple, six for banana. Now place into a preheated oven.
Which is not remotely warm. Like, not at all. Not even a hint of burnt fingers when I touched the element, which admittedly was a stupid thing to do and would have made me anonymous to forensic evidence forevermore had the damned thing been working.
No muffins for me.
The oven has been sketchy for a while now – see macarons take one – but to fail altogether?
It was karma for not getting to know my neighbours better. After 9pm on a Wednesday was possibly not the best time to introduce myself and requisition their oven for 15 minutes.
But then, a ray of hope, for I recalled the microwave’s lesser-used full name was microwave oven.
Clutching at straws, I hear you say? But it could work. After all, I wore a vinyl skirt to work, so microwave baking was a natural progression in eighties revival.
The preliminary trial was not promising. It made a pretty little tinkly sound when dropped on a plate, not a sound I associated with cake, so cooking times were adjusted accordingly.
I started a production line to spoon the mixture from the muffin tray into my cute little red china teacups, lined with baking paper, and nuked each one for 45 seconds.
But alas, the pallid results did not satiate my desire for perfect little muffins, tiny pockets of love evoking lazy weekend brunches with tea and Leunig. Instead they looked like something a grubby six-year-old might find under a rock and poke with a stick until it died. Poor little Golumn cakes.
Maybe I’ll ask my sister to make me some macarons instead.