I landed on a recipe about a certain kind of muffins on La Fête d’Emily’s blog. I will do those muffins soon, but I wanted to do another flavour that she talks about in that post. She doesn’t give the recipe for the one I attempted, just the flavour combination. This is therefore a real experimentation, since it is also not a true success either. I used the batter recipe that she offers in that posting and she mentions it is from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.
I had been thinking about how to bring out the pear flavour. I thought about baking the pear. But then I will have pear purée and I didn’t want that. Caramelize the pear? But I would need to mash it anyway…. maybe that could work…. I had an idea of brown butter…. Then I settled on salted caramelized white chocolate. Somehow I wanted it to be inside the batter. But since caramelized white chocolate hardens when cooled, I’d need to ‘cut’ it with some liquid. The liquid in this muffin batter is yoghurt and I can’t put cold yoghurt in the warm caramelized chocolate because it will seize. So, we had to be content with having it as a glaze at the risk of it hardening on top of the muffin. Needless to say, the top of the muffin is the best part! hahaha Which is not to say to not make the muffins! 🙂
I exchanged a few comments with her as to why mine weren’t a complete success. I understand that it is very difficult for someone to help you and to understand what went wrong exactly when they’re not there with you in the kitchen and there is a million and one variable. But she did assure me of one thing: that adding the raw pear grated in the batter shouldn’t cause the muffins to come out as they did. OK, we’re good on that front.
They came out gooey/gluey almost… The taste is there. Buuuut… and then I researched. I believe the cause was too much baking powder and not baking them immediately. I was making half a recipe than the original batter, which was for 12 muffins and I still got 11 with half a recipe! In her full recipe she has 3 cups of flour, 1 tbsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda. I measured 1 1/5 cups flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda and then I actually did 7,5 ml in teaspoons to halve the tablespoon. I made sure to have the exact half.
Because I was making these as I was waiting the 1h10 for the caramelized white chocolate to caramelize, I ended up finishing them up before the oven was available. I don’t know how much the batter waited to go in the oven, but apparently enough for the baking powder and baking soda to start releasing their gases because they came in contact with the liquid. When I took them out of the oven, they had these amazing muffin top domes; I was thrilled. Which then collapsed into an unsightly inverted cracked dome by the time I finished taking each individual silicone cup out of the oven 😦 *sad panda*
Now I wonder if I should reduce the amount of baking powder for next time and bake them immediately, naturally, or use the same amount?
She also mentioned maybe I have overbeaten the batter. I was kind of left with no choice since the goat cheese I used in the batter is one that is almost the consistency of cream cheese. I can’t crumble it like she did. I was going to be left with 3-4 globs of goat cheese for the entire batter…. Next time, if I am using the same one, then I will beat it in with the egg.
1 1/2 cups (210 gr) white flour
1/2 cup sugar (I used 3 tbsp + 1 tsp maple syrup & 1 pack vanilla sugar 8 gr))
1/2 tbsp baking powder (1 tsp + 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cups (180 ml) yoghurt (I used 0% fat fromage blanc)
4 tbsp (56 gr) butter, melted and cooled
2 oz (56 gr) goat cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp chopped/grated frozen ginger
1 pear, grated (I used a Williams or a Bartlett pear)
1 Salted Caramelized White Chocolate recipe (glazes 9-10 muffins)
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
2. Sift together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Beat together the egg with the yoghurt.
4. Beat in the sugar/maple syrup and vanilla sugar with the egg. (I folded the goat cheese later on, but this is where I would incorporate it. It will depend if yours is creamy like cream cheese or more crumbly, in which case incorporate later on)
5. Gently fold the egg/yoghurt mix with the dry ingredients using a spatula.
6. Then fold in the butter, goat cheese, grated pear and ginger.
7. Spoon in the muffin moulds and bake 15-20 mins. I found that 22 was good for my batch (realized this at the 2nd batch)
8. Once cooled to room temperature, glaze with the warm salted caramelized white chocolate and optionally, sprinkle with more coarse gray sea salt. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.