Chef Dina

Now available for Bay Area full service catering in conjunction with "A Fork Full of Earth" organic catering, intimate dinner parties and weekly meal preparation.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Muffin Lady

Every morning I get in the galley by 8:20 so I can get muffins in the oven by 8:30> Easy Peezie and mmm...mmm good.

All right, you can make any kind of muffin you want with a basic ratio. Here it is:
1 3/4 c flour
2/3 c sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter (or fat of your choice)
dash of salt
milk, or other liquid added a little at a time to desired consistency.

Helpful hints:
Vary the sugar from 1/2-1 cup, depending on the sweetness you desire or what the other additions are.

Use yogurt, sour cream or butter milk in place of milk or liquid for a yummier muffin. Who cares about the fat, I's a muffin. It's not going to be a health bomb any way you work it. If it's almond milk or sour cream...I know what I am picking. If I want almond milk, I'll put it on my cereal. For quick, easy and delicious baked goods, don't skimp on the fat. If you have some serious time on your hands, you can experiment with the egg-replacers and non dairy substitutes...good luck to the busy home cook. I do, however, have a great vegan cupcake recipe I will follow up with. Can't say they are any healthier, but if you are one of those trendy cooks (or just plain have allergies, I suppose)...

Coffee is also a good liquid to use with chocolate muffins. Coffee brings out the chocolate flavor.

Baking soda can also be used in place or in combination with the powder for muffins with ingredients higher in acid.

Be careful with banana and other high moisture ingredients, you may need very little to no additional liquid.

Toss your fruit or chocolate chips in with the dry stuff so they don't sink.

Soak dry fruit, like craisins, in hot water so they plump up.

Make sure your oven is HOT before you put the muffins in- this guarantees a good rise. Don't be hasty or you'll be sorry.

Know your consistency. Muffin batter should generally be pretty thick. If you have too much liquid, they will fall and be wet in the middle. You should be able to scoop it with an ice cream scooper, plop it in the tin, and have it mound up a little higher in the center.

Cream the butter and sugar, and eggs one at a time until you have a nice fluffy wet mixture to fold into your dry. I don't always do this, but I definitely do with this blueberry muffin recipe.

If you want to turn any flavor muffin into a chocolate combination, I think 1/4-1/3 c. sifted cocoa powder should do the trick. I like to make zucchini-chocolate :)


2c All-purpose flour
2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
zest of one lemon
1tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1c sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2/3c sour cream
1.5 cups dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 375.
Cream butter, sugar & lemon zest. Gradually add egg, vanilla & sour cream.
In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.
Toss blueberries in flour mixture.
Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
Use a large ice cream scooper to fill greased muffin tin (fill any empty cups with water to ensure even baking).
Sprinkle brown sugar on top (optional) and bake for 10-15min or until muffins spring back when pressed lightly in the center.
Unmold muffins, cool on wire rack & enjoy!

Other easy muffin ideas that work with this ratio:
orange- craisin (orange zest, craisins, and oj for the liquid. sub out 1/4 cup of the flour for almond meal)
chocolate chocolate chip (choco chips, a 1/3 c cocoa powder and coffee for the liquid)
blackberry lime (lime zest, juice, and blackberries)
banana-date-sesame (sprinkle some seeds on top. 1 smashed banana should suffice)

For other awesome muffin ideas, and another great base recipe, visit

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