Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A Muffin Off By The Ovenly Challenged

It was with GREAT optimism that I challenged Single Parent Dad to a ‘Muffin Off’.

Knowing what I know now I'm wondering if I was just plain delusional with a hint of foolishness thrown in for good measure. At the time of the challenge I was confident that I could produce beautiful muffins far superior to his.

He is the maker of 'packet bish bash bosh buns' and I am just 'ovenly challenged'.

After putting on my daughter’s apron (there is no photographic evidence of this, but if you imagine an elephant sporting a flannel you are there) and putting the Police with Reggatta de Blanc on the ipod (classic muffin making music) I followed English Mum’s recipe which I found really easy to follow.

I was delighted with her tip about overworking the gluten and decided that this was the reason that everything I bake looks and tastes like concrete.

It started so well, I even used the special Mickey spatula for luck.

Everything sniffed (the 3 year old) and mixed (me) I nervously waited whilst the oven did its thang. I kept chanting the well known mantra ‘A watched muffin doesn’t flourish’ or something like that and kept my eyes averted.

The failed noise From Family Fortunes rang out as I removed my muffins from the oven (Uh Urrrrrr doesn’t quite do it). I imagine the husband was sat in the office (next door to the kitchen) rolling his eyes back in his head as I swore repeatedly.

They weren't burnt, they were cooked but there was something wrong ...

Only I could produce ‘Dwarf Muffins’. Please note the pony at the front is there only to distract your eye for the shortcomings of my baking, not to make my muffins look bigger than they are. Note also the dimmed lighting ... Ahem.

Not only did they come out dwarfed but they were also peaked. This meant that when I tried to disguise them for any photographic evidence each one ended up looking like a hillock with a moat. Even the chocolate sprinklies decided to bugger off into the moat for a swim pushing the humongous muffin cases further away from the teeny tiny muffins.

The only saving grace is that they tasted ‘alright’ and ‘not bad’ (husband). ‘Alright’ is actually about a 6 out of 10; after all he has endured nearly 9 years of my deliberate poisoning baking attempts. The 3 year old ate one and the 4 year old who doesn't eat buns ate two muffins.

I made husband do a repeat tasting post icing. The icing was still runny and he agreed that the muffins were far tastier without. The phrase 'you can't polish a turd' springs to mind.

Tonight, when I asked for a direct muffin quote from the 4 year old she simply coughed over the remaining muffins and went on her way.

I have let English Mum down. What kind of baking ambassador am I? I'd like to blame the baking powder ... or the overworking of my mix.

As for Single Parent Dad, at the time of writing I haven't seen his attempts, but I don't need to. I know that they will be much better than mine.

Now, where did I put that recipe for humble pie?

To find out how Single parent Dad got on meander over on here.
If anyone would like to take on the muffin meme, just let me know!


Single Parent Dad said...

Being a tad harsh on yourself there Laura. I for one think you have lovely muffins. And thanks for sharing them with me.

Littlemummy said...

Oh dear hon, are you sure you didn't mean to make mini muffins??

I'm gonna give muffins a go next week, so I won't judge you (yet!)

Working mum said...

Popped in to catch up on your last few posts. The burglar one had me in stitches and you've made me consider starting a cork collection of my own! I liked the muffins and as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating!

PS Could I do the muffin thing retrospectively? My post:

shows our Valentine's ones in all their pink glory!

Scope said...

Gad-ZOOKS! But, I wouldn't even dare to try these magics of "baking" that you speak of.

FYI - I've mentioned you in today's POST.


English Mum said...

Now look, let's not put ourselves down here. They're very pretty - and they obviously taste very nice (nobody in their right mind eats two of anything if they're disgusting), but I'm just not sure how they came out so small... or so..erm...pointy. Still...good first result I think! I therefore bestow upon you the honour of being my Friday photo. Tada!

Mary T said...

Nice Muffins! My dear friend what has become of you muffin making for kicks.

Exmoorjane said...

Chortling over the elephant and flannel and thank you for putting me right on the horse and perspective - was thinking the horse was Sindy-sized and that this was Day of the Muffin with killer muffins stalking the streets.
Well.....(sucking teeth), I'll have to see SPD's but I think you've probably been outmuffined.

ModernMom said...

Hee Hee. I bet they will still get hovered up by your little ones. They are not "dwarf size' they are just child friendly!

Mum's the word said...

I haven't yet attempted muffins, just cakes and biscuits.
I have a friend in Chicago, who just whips them up in 5 minutes flat.
So well done you for giving it a go.

English Mum said...

Gah... where's my comment gone? I'll wait for a bit in case it's still in the system... but I said something about not being too hard on yourself, and them looking jolly nice and not knowing why they were a bit stunted. GOOD JAWB anyhoo xx

Mum Gone Mad said...

Oh dear, baby muffins are cute! Now I have to try and make muffins just to see what happens, like the disguise technique btw :)

Anonymous said...

I was going to write a witty comment, but I've been put off by Single Parent Dad's comment which has left me rolling round on the floor laughing!!

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

The only way is up! Bet they tasted good anyway.

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The Book Chook said...

I checked out Single Parent Dad's muffins and it seems to me he has a bit of a breast thing going with his muffin shapes and decorations. Whereas yours are well...unusual.

My muffins never go wrong but that's because I always put fruit or vegetables in my baking. It converts cakes into a healthfood in my eyes. Let me know if you'd like my banana muffin recipe!

DulwichDivorcee said...

Well, I was going to say something really supportive about your muffins but .....erm, I'm just not going to look at SPD's and that way yours will always be the best as far as I'm concerned.

PippaD said...

I'm no Richard Dawkins but Top Ender, Baby Boy and I will make some muffins tomorrow...

How are your microwave cake baking skills? I shall post the details of a yummy sponge cake if you like :)

Jo Beaufoix said...

Snort. I may have to try that recipe. I'm also a rubbish baker, not that I'm saying you're rubbish. You just made kid size ones right??

Jennynib said...

Not DAMN thing wrong with your Muffins Missy, small but perfectly formed! ;)

And I LOVES the aesthetic!!

As for the smallness/pointiness, I would fill to 3/4s / stir / put a dish of water in the bottom of the oven.

Above all - Try, Try again!! And again!!

Jay said...

Oh .. but .. I thought the 'moat' look was intentional and I was most impressed by your creativity! I thought they looked kind of designer!Handsome is as handsome does, they say, and if your family ate them, they were Good Muffins.

Came over via EM, now wandering over to see what SPD has to say for himself. ;)

Don't Bug Me! said...

Size isn't everything and as I long as you didn't poison anyone or break anyone's teeth, then I would count that as a victory.

Sparx said...

Very very funny... I'm sure they were lovely!