Muffins! Who doesn’t love a good muffin? But how do you get them exactly right? Not dry, not too sweet but just perfect. Keep reading, and you will know how in no time!
Truthful Food continuously adds more tips and useful information to make sure all you Truthful Bakers can find the information you need to create the most spectacular and perfect baked goods! In the tips category of the Truthful Food articles, you can find a lot of useful tips for when you are making your favourite baked goods. If you are missing some specific tips, let me know!
Before you Start:
- It is easier to work in an organised kitchen. Clean up and make sure all the dishes are done before you start. If you need something, it will be clean and where you expect it to be.
- Prepare your muffin trays and anything else you will need, so it is all ready to be used.
- Put a little bit of grease on the inside of your muffin tray.
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. This will prevent your batter from curdling.
- It is worth it to invest in good quality ingredients. When using chocolate, cacao powder or fruit, you can taste the difference.
If you are only baking on rare occasions, it would be wasteful to invest in expensive baking supplies. If you are a frequent baker, however, I would say that it pays off to invest in some quality supplies. Some basic supplies I cannot go without when I am baking muffins are:
- A digital food scale. You can also use a manual scale, but I like the accuracy and speed of the digital scales;
- A stand mixer. A hand mixer will work just as well, but I like to have my hands free to do a bit of cleaning up or measuring while the batter is being mixed;
- A silicone spatula of high quality. I hate wasting food, so I always make sure that I get all the batter out of my bowl by scraping it out with a spatula. I prefer a good quality silicone spatula, they can handle extreme heat and cold, they do not discolour when using food colourant, they are hygienic, and well let’s be honest, it’s awesome that they come in all kinds of colours.
- Muffin Trays of high quality. What does that mean? The material is thick, and the surface is shiny. These muffin trays are usually of a lighter colour.
- A Cooling Rack.
- An Ice Cream Spoon. You can use this to make sure all your muffins are the same size.
When buying cupcake cups and muffin cups, make sure you choose a cup that is made from thick quality paper. It will keep your baked goods fresh, and the cups won’t look greasy after you take them from the tray. If you are not giving away the muffins, you can use silicone cups.
Making the Batter:
- Measure all your ingredients carefully. Ideally, you weigh them using a food scale, but some recipes use measuring spoons. Whichever method the recipe dictates, make sure to stick to the same method for all your ingredients.
- Do not use both imperial and metric in the same recipe. If the units are mixed, convert them before you start.
- Weigh all your ingredients before you start mixing so they can be used in a timely fashion.
- Preheat your oven in time, so when that you are done mixing your Ingredients, the oven is ready to be used. This way your batter will not curdle because it is sitting around, waiting for the oven to heat up.
- Sieve your dry ingredients to prevent lumps from forming.
- Use the firm whisk beater(s) to mix the batter.
- Use a silicone spatula to remove ingredients sticking to the insides of the bowl while you are mixing. Make sure they get absorbed into the batter after you have loosened them.
- Mix until all your ingredients are homogeneously mixed, and your batter is smooth. Stop mixing as soon as you have reached this point. It is possible to over-mix your batter.
Adding Additional Ingredients:
- When adding fruit, make sure the pieces are not bigger than a blueberry. If they are, they will influence the structure of your baked goods.
- When mixing in additional ingredients, make sure they are not just in one place in your batter before you stop mixing.
Moving the Batter:
- Fill the muffin tray cups till they are three-quarters full.
- Use an ice cream spoon to transfer the batter one portion at a time. Using the ice cream spoon will ensure that all your muffins are the same size.
Baking the Batter:
- Bake your muffins in the centre of the oven.
- Do not open your oven for at least the first half of the indicated baking time. Ideally, you should leave it closed for at least the first three-quarters of that time.
- Always test if your muffins are done before you take them out of the oven if you are using the recipe or the oven for the first time. How? Check out the article; How do I know my Cake is ready?
- It is possible that when you are making a recipe for the first time, the indicated temperature is too high. One temperature setting is not the same for all ovens. If this is the case, your baked goods will start to brown before the inside is solid. You can still save your baked goods by covering them with aluminium foil. Don’t forget to make a note in your recipe that will remind you to lower the temperature and increase the baking time the next time you are using it
Removing the Baked Goods from the Trays:
- Let your baked goods cool down a little before removing them from your tray(s). This will keep you from getting burned.
Taking Care of your Muffin Trays:
- If you put the right amount of batter in your muffin tray cups, it should not be necessary to wash them with soap after you are done. Wiping them down with a moist cloth should be enough. This will keep your muffin trays as good as new for a very long time.
- Let your muffins cool down before wrapping them in plastic wrap, so they will not dry out.
- Store your wrapped-up muffins in an airtight container.
- Muffins have a short shelf life. They taste best when eaten shortly after you take them out of the oven. If stored correctly, they will stay good for several days.
- You can not freeze raw batter. The freezing process will destroy the structure of your batter.
- You can freeze your baked muffins for several weeks if wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in airtight containers while in your freezer.
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