Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Good & The Ugly

I was thinking that the best way to start the morning would be to whip us up some frooty shakes. In goes the frozen fruit, in goes the yogurt, in goes some juice, and in goes . . . . what is this? There are 3 soft, over-ripened, no-longer-yellow, squishy things on my counter. Really, I would have been totally grossed out with one of those in my frooty frosty.

You know what that means, don't you? Even though mooshing them in the blender had the 'ick' factor, baking with soft squishy bananas is a good thing. BS asked for banana pancakes, but he ain't getting them. I am a cruel & inconsiderate mother, with no consideration whatsoever for his wants & needs. So I am making banana muffins instead. Maybe banana chocolate chip muffins? Oh my.

BS: Banana muffins!? Ooh, that's even better.
Me: Don't ever second-guess the wisdom of my superior intellect!
BS *rolls eyes*: WhatEVER!

I wanted to cut down on the gluten so the muffins would be more tender, so I used a combination of 100% white whole wheat flour (higher in gluten) and some brown rice & buckwheat flours (zero gluten). I've never used that combination before, so we'll see how they taste.

The Players:
3 squishy bananas
2 eggs
the last of the vanilla yogurt in the carton (~1/3 cup)
scant 1/3 cup white sugar (evil stuff, I know)
1/3 cup brown sugar
big ol' splash of vanilla
1/2 stick melted butter, cooled
couple Tbsp safflower oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup each brown rice flour & buckwheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (there is a total of 1 1/2 cups flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda (because of the yogurt)
scant 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mush the bananas & beat in eggs, yogurt, sugars, melted butter & oil. Whisk well.
Combine the dry stuff & add to the wet.
Whisk (gently) until combined.
Stir in chocolate chips . . .

Wait, where the he!! are my chocolate chips? I coulda sworn I had some, right there on the top shelf of the cupboard next to the stove where they belong. Whaaaa? Where did they go?

Drums fingers.
Really wanted the chocolate chips.
What else is up there?
Heath Bar bits?
Hmmm, that has possibilities.

. . . so, instead of chocolate chips, half the bag of toffee bits went in.

I really liked the results. The brown sugar added to the 'toffeeness' of the flavor. The combination of flours was fine - the buckwheat flour didn't overpower the flavor. The Heath Bar crumbles lent some crunchy bits, which is always good.

Very, very nice. Out of a perfect 10, BS gave them "at least an 8, maybe a 9".

Sorry, no money shot of a nice warm muffin, split open, with steam gently wafting over a pat of melting butter. They were so good, we were snarfing & gulping like piggies & I . . . sigh . . . forgot.

BUT, here's my gripe. Whoever designs muffin tins has got to be someone who hates muffins and wants the makers of muffins to either burn themselves getting them out of the oven or smash them grabbing the pan? Look at this and tell me how either of these mishaps won't happen:

Why don't they put handles on these suckers? Or a bigger edge that you can grab on to?

Then, there was that half bag of toffee bits looking at me. It would be wasteful and irresponsible of me not to use them, right? And its little toffee voice was whispering "I love chocolate" every time I passed by.

Oh, okay, toffee bits. Don't get your knickers in twist. You can get it on with the chocolate in the form of chocolate toffee mini-muffins.

The Players:
1 egg
1/4 - 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
about 1/3 stick butter melted with 1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
not quite 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
about 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 bag toffee bits

These were outstandingly delicious. Moist, chocolate-y, toffee-y, buttery. What's not to love, right?

Now, just go on ahead and ignore that entire thing. Here's why:
1) That was too much baking powder for the amount of flour I used. I didn't follow my own rules. BAD KATHY!
2) The proportions were way off.
3) The planets were not aligned and my moon was in someone else's house.
4) I dunno.

When they came out of the oven - smelling heavenly I might add - they immediately imploded, most likely because of the excess of baking powder:

And what do you think of the money shot of a couple warm ones on my plate?

Hmmm, something seems a little . . . off.

They are ugly.

They stubbornly refused to leave their warm wells in one piece, so I got a pile o' moist, blissful chocolate pieces & crumbs. I know taste is important, but a muffin, by its very nature, should be, oh, I don't know, muffin shaped? So, don't make these if appearance is a critical factor for you.
Or ease of eating.
Or neatness.
Or anything else.

Muffin - FAIL!
But a mighty tasty fail.


troy skeen said...

I love your blog w/recipes and pics and all, but I don't understand the push for white whole wheat. A finely milled red wheat, with more fiber and good stuff as offered at www.doctorgrandmas.com would work perfectly in your recipes! It would be a great health improvement w/o taking away, but adding to flavor. Just a note. BTW...their sugar substitute is awesome too, so I've found;)

Kathy said...

Hello Troy - I'm not pushing the white whole wheat, but for whole grains in general. Anything that gets people away from white, refined flour is a good thing.

I used the white whole wheat because it was in the front of the refrigerator at the time and I was too lazy to ponder one of the others out. I have (and regularly use) plain ol' whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat & several other whole grain flours, usually mixing them up to see what turns out.

Thanks for the comment, and BIG thanks for the link!

Anonymous said...

Harumph on your fake recipes! I've never been offered any of this food you supposedly make, and I would really have enjoyed a muffin, say, very early on a weekend morning, maybe near a beach. ;-)

Kathy said...

RAD - harumph on your supposed indignation. I haven't had many opportunities to offer you a warm, tasty muffin in the last... uh... 30+ years. Wait, let me count the opportunities. Hmmm. Oh, now I remember. ONE!

But, rest assured, the next photo session will include some bready sustenance.