Sunday, April 12, 2009
This morning I tried again with the carrot squash muffins, making the planned adjustments -- reducing the sugar, using wheat bran, and using oil instead of yogurt.
I was also pretty meticulous in employing the "muffin method," mixing wet and dry separately and then mixing them together with the greatest of care.
I love the heartiness of bran and the feel in my mouth compared to the cakiness/sponginess of regular muffins and the combination of bran and whole-wheat flour, plus lots and lots of veggies, was perfect. The finished product was a yummy balance between crumbly and moist -- not the cardboard crumbs you sometimes get with bran. I could see reducing the sugar even more, but only because the carrots here are so gosh-darn sweet.
The only thing that could make these better is a little more crisp on the outside. The first batch were getting brown at 25 minutes, but were still a little moist on the inside. I think some fiddling with the temperature and cooking time could make this recipe even better, but maybe it will also require an ingredient shift... I left a message on a real pastry chef's blog to see if she could help with the chemistry of it all. Will report back if I hear from her.
Bran Carrot Squash Muffins
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cup wheat bran
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/2 cup organic canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups grated raw carrot
1 cup spaghetti squash, cooked and well mashed
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup raisins
1) Grease your muffin tin really really well and consider using muffin liners to make things easier on yourself -- this is important. The bran makes these muffins fall apart more easily, so you'll need to take care or your muffins will stick and your tops will fall off. This is okay in a Seinfeld episode, but less cool in real life. If you're filling the muffin pan to the top because you want big crispy muffin tops, also make sure that you grease the top of the pan and not just the inside of the cups or it will stick.
2) mix dry ingredients: flour, bran, salt, bkg pwdr, bkg soda, nutmeg, cinnamon
3) in separate bowl, mix eggs, oil and vanilla
4) mix carrot & squash into flour mix
5) mix wet stuff in -- just give it a couple stirs, some flour will remain floury
6) add sugars and raisins and mix until just combined
7) put into your well-greased pan
8) cook 25 minutes at 350