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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Measurements Count

Lest you think everything I make is perfect, let me tell you about these blueberry muffins.

Let me just backtrack a bit.  I've made blueberry muffins maybe 10,000 times and they've always worked.  I think I may have even made this exact recipe in the past, and it's always worked.   Blueberry muffins are the workhorse of muffins.  You can do just about anything to them and they work.  They're forgiving that way.

So, over the weekend,  I decided that some nice little muffins would be a good accompaniment to the omelet I was making for the two of us.  I always say "why have toast when you can have a muffin?"  I checked the frig for possible fruit additions and found that I had about a pint of somewhat less than inspired looking blueberries.  (It is February, after all.)  Anyway, I set to work.

I didn't want to make the 16 muffins that my standard Ina Garten recipe produced, so I thought "why not make half?"

Well, I'll tell you why not to make half.  Or at least why not to make half the way I made half.  To say that my measurements were a little sketchy would be a vast understatement.  I actually googled how to measure half an egg (because the full recipe called for 3 eggs), but mostly I eyeballed it.  Same with the berries.

Here's a basic truth.   In fact,  if you learn nothing else ever from reading my blog,  learn this.  You can't eyeball it in baking.  You actually have to have exact measurements in baking, because exact measurements matter.  Baking is chemistry, albeit really tasty chemistry, and being exact counts and really affects the outcome.

So, having only somewhat followed the recipe, I ended up with what can only be described as a blueberry mess.  The muffins were a little flat, and that would have been okay, but when I peeled the paper muffin liner away, half the muffin stuck to it.  I clearly went overboard with too many blueberries.  The end result was a little mound of blueberry glop stuck to the muffin paper.

Moral of the story: If you're going to make half, make sure to accurately measure out half of the ingredients.  Because eyeballing just won't do the trick.

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