Friday, March 19, 2010

Never too late for Muffins

This week-end I am going to travel. A 3 days trip to Vermont, 5 hours in the car and then 2 nights and days in a ski resort known to have, well, greasy dangerous food. I am planning already snacks (healthy or comfort food) and if I got bored of my Fuji apple, I know what to aim for: Muffins. Blueberries muffins would be my favorite right now: blueberries are juicy and sweet. Perfect timing. There are many recipes that one could follow: depending what defines you: vegan recipe, dairy intolerant recipe, low calory or non of the above, just depending on what is left in your pantry. Muffins are very flexible. During my chef training program I took a class called: Converting Practicum, that teaches you how to change an existing recipe to make it safe for you. Mine should aim for migraine-free recipe, but this one wasn't on the program. My recipe today yields 12 muffins.
The general guidelines for converting:
1. get clear
2. time and space
3. make sure that the original recipe work (but don't eat it)4. what's staying? what's going?
5. mesure and write down.
6. one ingredient at the time
a. as is
b. replace flour
c. replace milk
d. replace additives (chocolate chips, sweetened cocoa, peanut butter, canned fruit, processed products)
e. replace sugar
f. replace butter (add moist and give a fluffy soft texture, coats the flour and prevents the gluten to developping, gives color, goes in between the layers of the flour, when baked, melts and creates holes)
g. replace egg (contractive)
if results at any given stage are unsatisfactory, repeat that stage again before proceeding
7. namesake
Watch out for pittfalls: * keep your sweeteners lower than standard; people who consume complex carbohydrates regularly on the whole need less sweetness in their food
* avoid imitations and stick to real food.

original recipe ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extrait (optional)
1 cup of blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin tin and use cupcake liners.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. add egg, mixing thoroughly.
Sift dry ingredients and add to butter and egg mixture. Sift until flour has been incorporated completely. Add milk, vanilla (optional), bluberries and mix gently.
pour batter into cupcake liners, filling 1/2 - 2/3 full.
cook for 20 minutes and check if done with a toothpick. (top must be brown).
Looking for a better recipe: replace sugar by maple crystal: dehydrated maple syrup. 93% sucrose, 1% to 3% invert sugars. Light brown granules with maple flavor. Use in all baked goods, but this stuffis quite expensive! but i think it is perhaps the most richly flavorful of the bunch of other healthy sweetners (date sugar, palm sugar, stevia, agave, brown rice syrup, honey, evaporated whole can juice (rapadura, sucanat), molasse). easy to use: substitute straight across for white or brown sugar called for in recipes. add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup maple sugar.
Blueberries muffins always look so pretty!

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