Wednesday, 29 October 2008

I Love: Experimenting and Creating

If you've visited this site (or my previous one) you'll notice I like to create stuff and post up my own recipes. I thought I'd use this post as a simplistic insight into the process I got through when making stuff up. Sometimes you get it right, and the flavours work first time and need no re-making or adjusting. That's equal quantity luck and good judgement I think. Sometimes things need a little more work for me to get them to a point were I'm happy enough to share a recipe.

My example is going to be taking this recipe from yesterday - which is itself a veganisation of a traditional English dessert and an old family favourite (due to an abundantly producing almond tree in one of the places we lived growing up) - Bakewell Tart. We only ever had big ones cut into slices, as per my post yesterday, and I wanted to use the flavours of the tart in a smaller format, and with less sugar as the big tart is super sweet.

Trial 1.
No photos of this one I'm afraid, but it involved making a smaller version of the pie with a little less sugar in muffin tins - pie crust and all. They were good, but after making then I thought I'd really prefer it without the crust as a more muffin type thing. (You all know I love muffins!) So on to...

Trial 2.
I rejigged the recipe using a muffin recipe I already had and knew worked as the base for volumes of ingredients. I thought to put a little batter on the bottom of the tins, add a spoon of jam and then top with the batter, as in this picture. It worked, in that it tasted how I wanted it too taste, if a little too sweet still, but the jam went everywhere and wasn't as ascetically pleasing and easy to eat as I'd hoped. So, I went back to the proverbial drawing board for...

Trial 3.
This time I had the idea to put the jam into a bottom layer (and use it as the sweetener to loose some of the sugar) and top it with a super almond batter layer. Like this - and it worked, tasted more like I was aiming for as it was a little less sweet, though maybe a little too much less to be honest. The mix ended up a little dry so....

Trial 4.
I rejigged the liquid a little so the batter would be slightly less dry, and increased the jam for the bottom layer to be more jammy and a little sweeter and here we have it -
Bakewell Muffins
Makes 12

Mix 1.
½ C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
½ C Plain Flour
½ C ground Almonds
2 T Cornstarch
1 t Baking Powder
¼ t Salt
6 T Raspberry Jam
2 T Oil
½ C +1 T Soy Milk
¼ C Soft Tofu
½ t Vanilla Essence

Mix 2.
½ C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
½ C Plain Flour
½ C ground Almonds
2 T Cornstarch
1 t Baking Powder
¼ t Salt
1/4 C Sugar
1/3 C Flaked Almonds
2 T Oil
½ C + 3 T Soy Milk
¼ C Soft Tofu
½ t Almond Essence

Topping -
½ C Icing Sugar
¼ t Almond essence
2 t Water
¼ Flaked Almonds

Preheat oven to 375F and prepare muffin tins.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, almonds, cornstarch, baking powder and salt from mix 1.
In a separate medium bowl whisk together the flours, almonds, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and sugar from mix 2. Toss in the flaked almonds to coat.
Using a whisk (beater / blender) and a small bowl mix together the oil, soymilk, tofu and essence from mix 2. Hold to one side.
Using a whisk, handheld beater or blender, in a small bowl mix together the jam, oil, soymilk, tofu and essence from mix 1. Pour liquid mix 1 into the dry ingredients 1 and mix to just combine. Spoon the batter mixture into the bottom of each muffin hole.
Pour liquid mix 2 into the dry ingredients 2 and mix to just combine. Spoon the batter on top of the batter from mix one in the tins.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until tests done.
While in the oven prepare the topping – mix together the icing sugar, essence and water until smooth.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Carefully remove each muffin from the tins and place on cooling rack.
While still warm, spoon 1 t of the topping mix onto the top of each muffin and place 1 t of the flaked almonds on top of this. Allow to cool completely.


Jeni Treehugger said...

Experimenting and creating is AWESOME!!
You got the Bakewell vibe bad LOL!
I really like your blog - when MoFo's all done and dusted I shall read all your previous entries.

Bex said...

those look great, I love experimenting too.

Carla said...

Thanks Jeni - though I'll warn you there's a lot of not so good stuff here too!
I gave one of these muffins to M's teacher yesterday and she was raving about them today!!

mattie said...

Wow, that's some inno-vation! I love how it's so unconventional. Lately I've been doing the banana walnut muffin thing and although it's good, I need to take it to the next level. these are that level!

Mike said...


Mike said...

I did like the way you adapted it for your own use but I love the original, not that i will be able to eat it now I am diabetic.

Courtney said...

I love to play/experiment in the kitchen too--such fun! Your creations are always beautiful and delicious!


Alicia (Vegan Guinea Pig) said...

These muffins look amazing! I must make all three variations immediately.