Friday, August 04, 2006

If You're Lucky...

Banana Muffins

Now, you have to bear with me while I experiment this and that trying to get used to my new (used) camera. ;P

Anyway, I probably didn’t mention this before, but I LOVE muffins. I wouldn’t mind having them every morning, sweet and savory kinds alternating every day. Then why didn’t I post about them more often? Or why didn’t I make them more often? Because I couldn’t find a muffin pan that suits my small oven. The one I bought several years ago did fit in there, but it got stuck and could not turn with the turntable. (I use one of those oven-cum-microwave ovens.) Of course I can buy, at the nearby 100-yen shop, these paper muffin cups that you can just pour batter in and bake without using a muffin pan. But it didn’t seem to be a very cost-effective idea to me, and the hesitation kept me from baking muffins for years.

Then just the other day, I found these metallic cups at the 100-yen shop, and a bunch of these thin muffin baking cups at MARUCO, our favorite baking goods store in Kochi. Hence, so much for my hesitation. (BTW, what do you call these metallic cups?)

I was originally going to make apricot-jam muffins to use up the jam I made the other day, but it was no good any more. I forgot to put it in the fridge for the last couple of days!! So the plan had to be changed at the very last minute and I decided to throw in banana instead of the jam. Too bad I had only one banana left this morning and the decision was made after I took a big bite out of it… Thus, these turned out to be muffins "with a possibility of hitting tiny banana chunks if you’re lucky." But I’m totally happy with the combination of these metallic cups and paper baking cups, so dear readers, be ready for more muffin posts to come. ;)



Anonymous said...

Those lucky-banana muffins look delicious! I'm so impressed at how you can throw together a delicious recipe from whatever you happen to have in your kitchen. I've always been a slave to written recipes, I'm trying very hard now to improvise more, like you do!

Anonymous said...

I've been getting into muffins lately as well. There is only one muffin tray at home, and like you I was loath to get another one so the individual cups and paper works for me too. Plus you can get different sizes and end up with mini or giant muffins!

Pinkity said...

LOL, youre so cute obachan :) I wish you're my neighbour so I can catch a whiff of delish whatever you're cooking on that day! Hehehe

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those muffins are very pretty! I love muffins myself and just baked a batch this afternoon (candied cherry muffins) ;-)))...

Nice pictures by the way!

Anonymous said...

I second Pinkity--you're so cute Obachan! I also recently baked banana muffins. The first time I added more baking powder than I was supposed to and they turned out great. Big and Fluffy. The second time I followed directions carefully and (I think) they didn't turn out as well. See why I can relate to your "adventures in cooking"?

Anonymous said...

ummm, 美味しそう!
have a nice weekend!

obachan said...

Thanks but mine is just a survival strategy in the emergency situations I create myself – usually by forgetting what I have and don’t have in my kitchen. So I highly doubt if doing something like I do means an improvement … :P

Oh hi! So happy to hear from you!
I agree. Individual cups allow more flexibility, plus, I can use them for making other desserts, too.

If I was your neighbor, you would witness my emergency situations quite often. ;)

Candied cherry muffins! Sounds really yummy. Why don’t you come over with your muffins? We can have a nice tea time with our muffins : )

Oh, thank you.
Believe it or not, I basically believe in following recipes strictly when making delicate and difficult-to-make sweets. But when I make something following foreign recipes, I cannot do a precise job anyway, because the ingredients are not exactly the same to start with. The sugar in other countries is not exactly the same as the sugar we use here. So is salt, baking powder, butter, cream … maybe flour, too… Besides, some errors are always included in the process of conversion, because I round the result of the calculation. So that’s why I don’t blame myself too much for being adventurous. And yeah, sometimes being adventurous or even gambling can lead to a better result (not very often in my case, though… ;))

ate cha
Thank you. Hope you have a nice weekend, too.

Anonymous said...

Your pictures are always pretty and professional looking. I hope the metal cups are safe. I am using glass cookware more now even though in the 1980s there was a big scare about lead in glass. Also, lemon in plastic so out went the lemonade/ice tea pitchers.

Anonymous said...

Obachan, I share the same hesitation as you to buy a proper muffin tray. I wish the 100yen store in my area will stock what you've bought soon. Now they only have tins for madelines, not even proper ones for tarts :(

One day I will invest in a proper muffin tray, perhaps a silicone one!

Anyway, your muffins make me drool!

obachan said...

anonymous commenter
Oh, I’m scared. Are all metallic baking pans unsafe or only those metal cups like the ones I bought? Is that more threatening than the fat and sugar which are more abundantly present in the baked goods? How about silicon parchment paper? Is that safe? Or bleached flour or flour made from GM wheat?

I wouldn’t hesitate if I could find a proper muffin tray which is small enough for my oven-cum microwave, but I just can’t find one anywhere…
Good luck with the 100 yen store. Things come and go pretty quick at those stores, so you never know…

Anonymous said...

re: metal pans- there was some conjecture that aluminum pans, especially when used for acidic foods, could lead to an accumulation of aluminum compounds in the brain, which is one of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. However, no link has ever been proven. AFAIK, non-reactive metals such as stainless steel are completely safe. However, since the paper cups prevent the muffin batter from contacting the metal cups, I doubt there could be any risk at all, no matter what the tins are made of. I have never heard of any risks associated with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets, which are widely used in professional cookery. だから安心してください。
That aside, there is one problem with aluminum pans: they will react with acidic foods, and can give a metallic flavor to wine sauces, tomato sauces, and the like. They will also turn egg-based sauces, such as hollandaise, a rather unappealing greenish color. For this reason, I always use stainless steel clad saucepans. (Plus which, they're a lot easier to clean and more durable than aluminum.)

obachan said...

Thanks for the info. These metallic cups are stainless steel, so I guess I don’t have to worry about them. None of my pans and pots are aluminum, and when I cook acidic foods, I use enamel pot, so no problem.

But my kettle is aluminum and I use it a few times every day to make tea and coffee. Mmmm… maybe this has been contributing to my recent forgetfulness????? No, I’m only half-joking. I might consider buying an enamel kettle in the near future.