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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Muffin, Cake and Brownie

Tonight I felt like baking so I baked. If I had a big freezer and ingredients at home, I'd bake more things. Actually ingredients is no problem since Safeway is opened til 12am so my problem is storage. I don't like wasting food, that unless it is eaten, I can't make more.

Tonight I made three items but will only blog on two of them. I made a pound cake, spinach corn muffin and brownies.

I'm not blogging the brownie because it's the same recipe I used before called Baked Brownie. It was the best brownie I ever made and this brownie has been voted best brownie by O Magazine. I'm not blogging about it since did that previously plus I didn't use good quality chocolate this time - I just used Baker's chocolate not Callebaut like last time.

Pound Cake

I wanted to bake a layered cake. However, I won't be going to work until Tuesday so no way to dispose of the cake (ie bring to work for coworkers to eat) and I can't eat a full layered cake myself. So instead, I made a pound cake.

Pound cake is a very old cake. I know in the late 18th century it was commonly made since it was easy to make and stores well for a period of time, making it available for sudden guests. It's easy because the recipe called for 1 pound sugar, 1 pound butter, 1 pound butter etc., hence the name pound cake. Anyways, very rare are the recipes just a pound of everything. I think people have refined it to suit our modern taste buds and modern ingredients.

I used a recipe from my America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.

First I preheated the oven and prepared my baking pan by greasing it and covering it with flour.

In a mixing bowl, I added flour, baking powder and salt.

I'm suppose to use a food processor for the next step. The recipe said blender was ok so I used that since I have no food processor. I have no intention to buy a food processor because I plan to get a Thermomix.

I put sugar, vanilla and 4 eggs in the blender and mixed.

When it finished blending, it smelled nice.

I melted the butter and made sure it was hot. I poured the butter while my blender was still running.

This is what it looks like after mixing.

I slowly added sifted flour into the egg butter mixture in thirds.

I gently whisked, even if the flour wasn't fully incorporated to prevent over mixing.

After all the flour was whisked in, it was ready to be poured in the baking pan.

And put into the oven to bake.

Here is the final product.

The cake was too sweet for me and I had already reduced the sugar from recipe by half a cup. The texture was nice but I like my pound cake denser. I would use this pound cake to make a layered cake because it had a soft moist texture. I will have to try my mom's pound cake recipe which uses sour cream. I like that texture more.

Hopefully you can see the texture of the cake from the picture. It's very soft like velvet.

Spinach Corn Muffin

I got this recipe from Agnes Chiu's class on Thermomix. I don't have a Thermomix because I bought one for my mom and will have to save up to buy one for myself.

First I washed and drained the spinach.

Since I don't have a Thermomix or a food processor, I had no choice but to use my blender.

That was such a mess and took forever since blenders only grinds things on the very bottom.

After a long time and green juice mess, I finally finished. I guess chopping would work but it wouldn't create enough liquid to make the muffins green. Chopped spinach below.

I added sugar and butter and mixed.

Even though the butter was room temperature, butter didn't cream and incorporate. I think it's because the spinach was cool.

Agnes Chiu suggested to use this baking powder, as it makes the muffin rise very well. It is true, my muffins were really fluffy. I guess you could use this for other bakings but it's pretty expensive so I'll probably stick to just muffins or fancy cakes.

I added baking powder, eggs, flour, milk and parmesan cheese. Again I mixed.

The batter turned green. I think that it's a very nice green for Halloween treats. What's cool is that it's natural colouring from spinach not food colouring.

I then folded corn niblets but reserved some for the muffin's topping.

I used my new muffin pan by Chicago Metallic. I saw this pan and was impressed by the weight of the pan. It really felt like a commercial pan and not like Nordic Bakeware and Wilton's Commercial baking pan, which are very light. Also, I like the muffin size. I bought it and washed my pan. After it finishing drying, I saw rust like stains. I emailed Chicago Metallic customer service and after one correspondence plus emailing pictures, they will send me a new one. Very good customer service!!!

Anyways, I still wanted to use what I had but because of the rust stains, I didnt dare use it without paper liners. Here's the picture of my muffin pan.

I bought a ice cream scoop and wow... It made filling the muffin pan so easy and mess free!!! Imagine all these years using a teaspoon and the clean up I needed to do. Anyways, after the batter was scooped into the pan, I topped it with corn niblets.

After baking, they looked like this. Look how nicely they rose.

I'll be having this for breakfast for a while.

Final Thoughts:
I really enjoyed the spinach corn muffin that learned in class and had to make it right away even though I didn't have the correct equipment. It was still worth it. I think if I was to make again, I might use more cheese or a stronger cheese. I like cheese so would be nice to have stronger cheese flavour in the muffin.

As for pound cake, I would use this recipe again but reduce the sugar, as it's too sweet for me. Though I like denser pound cake, this cake had a nice soft/fluffy texture that many will enjoy.

I'm still in the mood to bake but I guess since I have an early morning, I should go sleep and think about baking tomorrow. I might have a request for a cheesecake. Wonder how serious that request is??

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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