Thursday, November 17, 2016

Confirmed. A muffin is not a cupcake.

Remember a recent blog post where I made such a big deal about how a muffin is not a cupcake? Well I felt I needed to make a actual muffin just to prove my point. I dug around for a muffin recipe and finally picked Joy of Cooking's (JOC) chocolate muffin recipe. JOC has lots of videos/recipes but I've mostly watched the bread ones to pick up techniques. The chocolate muffin recipe is the first JOC recipe I'm trying out.

It's a simple recipe. Cocoa powder to get the chocolate colour, chocolate chips for the surprise. This recipe uses buttermilk which ordinarily I would avoid if I were baking for myself. But I made the muffins for my kids. Unlike cupcakes, muffins usually use oil. This recipe used butter but it is melted. That counts as oil rite? I cut the amount of sugar and chocolate chips. Everything else, I followed. As always, I used unbleached plain flour. I also used Hershey's semi sweet chocolate chips.

The muffin batter is done completely by hand. It's so much easier than cupcakes. Just mix all the liquid and dry ingredients separately. Next mix them together.

You will get a gooey batter. Most recipes and this recipe is no different will tell you not to over mix. Honestly, I have no parameter in my brain that can tell me at which point I should stop before I crossed the line of over mixing. I just fold until I stop seeing any dry ingredient. At baking school, I learnt this term "incorporate". It means to blend everything together evenly and to stop once that's accomplished. In our language, it means to mix but don't over mix.

I used a muffin pan that could fit 12 muffins. The recipe yielded 16 muffins. So I ended up having to bake two times and the second time I only have 4 muffins to bake. I thought that was a waste of electricity so the next time I make these muffins again, I will scale the recipe down by 75%. (this just means multiply every ingredient by 0.75)

I baked at 190 deg C for exactly 15 min and the muffins were done. In my first batch I have one domed muffin and the rest were flatter. I wonder why.

I couldn't wait to try the muffin and allowed myself one. It was soft and nice. Not too heavy but not light like a cupcake. Sort of in between.

The chocolate chips were a nice surprise and some melted inside - an added bonus. The chocolate chips did not sink to the bottom, a fact which is important only to the baker.

I'm really happy with how the chocolate muffins turned out. It's too bad I'm too afraid of getting fatter and only ate one. My son ate 4 last night and would have eaten all if I hadn't stopped him. I gave him 2 more this morning so no, I'm not starving him. My girl said it was nice but better with milk. Would you believe she dunked the muffin in milk? Hubs liked it too. It's quite hard to bake something everyone liked. It made me very happy.


Jane McLellan said...


Linda said...

Yum! Those look delicious. I have that cookbook, too! I'll have to look it up.

Kate said...

Just catching up, as I have gotten behind in my blog reading.
I learned muffins old school, and we were taught that muffins are stirred no more than 50 turns. Just in case you need something more exacting then "Don't overmix".

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Kate, 50 turns is a lot. I don't think I've over mixed. Thanks.

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