Though the dining table is my kind of place, one of the things I enjoy doing the least is spending time in the kitchen. I love eating and often eat at a very slow pace to admire every taste from the sweetness of Thai rice to the tough characteristic of some high-fiber vegetables. On the contrary, I’m normally not quite interested in cooking or baking. It seems to take a lot of time and I am not good at doing more than one task at the same moment, which has caused me a lot of trouble trying to take control of several dishes that need to be ready simultaneously.
Recently, because of having more free time, I’ve been able to learn some new recipes that are simpler and less time-consuming to prepare than our traditional Vietnamese food. My interest in cooking increases little by little (though I still can’t say that it has become really avid) and I now dare to arrive at the conclusion that cooking isn’t as troublesome as it seemed to be! In fact, thanks to spending more time looking up ingredients and herbs, my eating attitude has also changed significantly. Instead of using common adjectives like “delicious, nice, tasty, too sour, too sweet,…” to describe a dish, I’m beginning to ask more questions: “Which herb has the cook used?” “Which ingredient can produce that piquant taste?” and as a consequence to pay more respect to those who devote themselves to these perfect recipes.
Then I have this friend who is fond of baking (bread, cakes, etc…) and who posted a note explaining his hobby on facebook. This one remark of his has greatly caught my attention: “The difference between cooking and baking is that you cannot taste the combination of your ingredients while baking”. I was extremely surprised reading his statement, for I have never been able to realize that before. It aroused my curiosity in a curious way and I decided that I would have to bake something so that I could live that moment of trying to resist eating the mixture of baking powder and raw egg!
So my target was muffins, due to the wide choices of different combinations that they can offer (with banana, chocolate, honey or poppy seed for example). I bake apple cake occasionally, but this is my first time baking muffins!! I looked up the recipes on the internet and went to the local library to borrow one how-to-do book. The muffins in the photos looked so round and short that I was overwhelmed with their cuteness. I then chose a basic vanilla muffin recipe to avoid messing up too much on the first attempt. Unfortunately, all the nearby shops selling muffin pans and silicone liners were closed (because of either summer holiday or weekend). Nevertheless, I was too eager to wait until Monday to try the recipe out, so I doubled up the paper liners that were available at home and placed them close together on one large round baking pan often used for apple cake.
I must say that I’ve had a lot of fun riding around town on my dear bicycle just to find out that all shops were closed and wondering how much one teaspoon or one tablespoon should be. And this is the end result!
Just as expected, I’ve messed up a little by using too little of everything that was on the ingredient list. I’ve probably used 150gr flour instead of 200 and 200ml sour cream instead of 285! The mixture was, therefore, not enough to fill 12 paper liners like I had wanted. I baked 11 of them in total but the muffins were still too small in comparison with the liners provided. They were at least tastier than I had expected. The fact that I had used too little sugar turned out to be a good thing because my family can’t really stand the usual amount of sugar that is usually added to merchandised cakes.
Some muffins received a rather weird form because they stood too close to each other during the baking process.
Though I’ve made some mistakes here and there, baking these muffins wasn’t as complicated as I once thought. It also didn’t take a lot of time. I’ll make sure to buy a pan and try baking some banana muffins next time! It is finally really worth the effort when you can enjoy your self-made muffins with a hot cup of tea afterwards.