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Monday, June 27, 2011

Blueberry Muffin

I needed to make breakfast because I have nothing quick to eat in the morning. Since I'm not a morning person, I need a breakfast on the go. Also, I don't want to buy breakfast because it's usually not healthy.

I used a recipe from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. As I said in a previous post, it's my favourite recipe book. I've made at least over 6 recipes and they have all been great.

Anyways, back to my muffin. First I greased my muffin pan. I usually use the butter wrap to grease. I guess it would be easier to buy spray...

I bought a big bucket of blueberries from Costco. I dunno...every summer I buy lots of blueberries but I tend to bake with them than eat them fresh.

The America's Test Kitchen suggest to coat the blueberries with flour. This is to prevent the blueberry juice turning the muffin purple and having the blueberries sink to the bottom of the muffin.

To prevent gluten from forming, mix dry ingredients separately from wet ingredients. Gluten forms when flour is over mixed with wet ingredients. The bad thing about gluten forming is that you have bread like texture or tough muffins.

The dry ingredients include flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

The wet ingredients include yogurt. However I have no yogurt so I replaced it with sour cream. Yogurt/sour cream is suppose to make baked goods moist. I was also suppose to add lemon zest but the lemon I saw at Urban Fare looked terrible so I had no choice but to use lemon juice.

Add 2 eggs to the sour cream...

And mix...

Now this is the part I often fail, the folding of wet ingredients into dry ingredients without over mixing.

I'm used to a more wet batter for muffins so when folding, it seem like there wasn't enough liquid to properly mix so I think I might of over mixed.

After mixing, add melted butter and folded again.

Because I've already mixed so much, it made it worse when I added blueberries since it required folding AGAIN just to evenly distribute the blueberries in the batter.

After I put 1/3 cup of batter in the muffin tin.

And bake....Let it cool in pan, remove from pan and cool.

Final Thoughts:
Hmm...I finally realize why some muffin recipes don't impress me because rather than a muffin texture, I get a cakey texture. It's because I overmix and gluten is formed.

In this case, the same thing happened. The muffin wasn't very "muffiny" texture but cakey. I think I over mixed. I actually knew that when I was folding the wet and dry ingredients and blueberries because it started to feel stiff.

I will try this recipe one more time but at this time, I'm just ok with this recipe. I think it's the first recipe in this book that hasn't impressed me but then again, the fault may lie with me and not the recipe.

Also this recipe used 1/2 cup of butter. Yes, this recipe makes 16 muffins, so 1/2cup butter for 16 muffins isn't too bad but 1/2cup is still 1/2 cup and that's still too much.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, June 20, 2011

Korean Grilled Pork Belly (삼겹살)

This is probably one of my unhealthiest blog in terms of the food I ate.

I went to eat at Korean Grilled Pork Belly All you can eat restaurant. I dont know the restaurant's name in English as there is no sign except this one:

I think the restaurant's name is Pork Belly Buffet. But not sure.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bake Sale for a coworker - cupcakes

Another book that I borrowed from the library was Hummingbird Bakery. From what I read, I think it's a well known bakery located in UK. Sometimes it's hard to know where a place is because numerous locations have similar names. The funniest location mix-up is Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada and Sydney, Australia - people have ended up in small town in Nova Scotia when they wanted to be in Australia.

Anyways, back to baking. The book had very nice pictures and recipes sounded interesting plus Gwyneth Paltrow commented on the book cover (so it must be good).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Baked Brownie

Last night, I was suddenly in the mood for something chocolatey. I decided to make brownie from a recipe book called Baked the New Frontier of Baking (side note: I didn't buy any new recipe book because I'm trying to keep up with my 2011 new year resolution BUT I didn't say that I wouldn't borrow books from the library and photocopy them hehe).

It's been mentioned in O magazine as a favourite and America's Test Kitchen as one of the best brownie.

Brunch at Provence

Today I went to brunch with some friends at one of my favorite brunch places. The place is called Provence. I've been there for brunch a couple of times and supper and really enjoy their food. Good quality and amazing taste.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Penang cafe Again

This afternoon I went to Penang Cafe for lunch. It was really busy. Lucky for us we got a seat right away. I was impressed as the owner quickly cleaned the table and even switched a warm chair to a fresh chair for us.

We were about to order our food when we were asked to move to another table so they could seat a party of 6.

I was ok with it but they were going to move us to be beside the washroom. I dislike being beside the washroom. They can disguise it with sprays but even that type of spray really makes me sick. So we were going to leave cos we didn't want to sit by the washroom (they should serve 1 less table and get rid of that table.)

Anyways, the owner and staff told us to stay and made the party of 6 to squeeze together or wait for a bigger table. I felt bad but I also do not enjoy eating by the washroom.

Anyways, the food was good. A lot of customers are from Malaysia or Singapore so it must be pretty authentic. To me it seems authentic but I only ate Malay food for a couple of days as a tourist so not as accurate as people from that area.

I ordered the following:

Cold Crab

I made cold crab ( 凍蟹) tonight. It is a dish from a Chinese village called Chiew Chow. You can see some dishes I learned from a class that taught a few Chiew Chow in this blog.

First I went to a Korean fish store and bought the crab. The lady said it was expensive because recently it was windy so hard for the fishermen to catch. But she also said it's crab season, so the crab will be meaty. I decided to buy the crab. It weighed 2.5lbs.

Here's me checking out the crab at home after I bought it. It was quite active and what's bad was it's big claws were not tied. I was thinking "oh no! What did I get myself into!?!?"

Chiew Chow Class 2

On our second Chiew class, we made Cold Crab (涷蟹), Deep fried shrimp ball (炸蝦棗), Szechuan pepper chicken (川椒雞).

I was interested in learning how to prepare crab. It seemed easy (incidentally it seemed so easy that I bought a live crab to cook tonight. I'll blog about that experience later).

I was also impressed with the shrimp balls, as they had a nice bounce and tasted very nice. I was less impressed with the chicken dish.

So let me go into the dishes...

The cold crab is apparently quite expensive at Chiew Chow restaurants.

It's a steamed crab that allows you to enjoy the natural flavour of the fresh crab since the sauce isnt strong. There was a nice garlicky vinegar dipping sauce that goes well with steamed crab.