Friday, April 20, 2007

Bye Bye Miss American Muffins

My boss at the Bicocca is going on maternity leave as of today so we're having a bon voyage pot luck for her. She's quite curious about American stuff so she asked me specifically to make "muffins, the real American kind" (as opposed to the muffin recipes that are popping up all over in Italian cookbooks these days - really, it's true!) I think she figured there was some sort of Real American secret recipe and as I'm a Real American, I'd be a muffin expert. I've made muffins about 3 times in my life but hell, I can follow a recipe as well as the next person. So I sent her a short list of muffin possibilities (Date Nut, Blueberry, Lemon Poppyseed, etc) and she chose the Chocolate-Chocolate Chip by Nigella Lawson. Isn't Nigella English, though? If so, I won't tell my boss.

Here's the recipe I nicked off of The Food Network Website:

Makes 12 standard-sized muffins Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsps cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
3/3 cup chocolate chips, 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 cup milk
1/3 cup plus 2 tsps vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp valilla extract

**It looked like too much baking soda and powder for so little flour, and I have no baking powder at the moment, so here's what I did differently: I used 2 tsps baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt (for taste only) Since baking soda needs acid to work well, I replaced the 1 cup milk with 1/4 cup of plain yogurt and 3/4 cups of milk.

Pre heat oven to 400F
Combine the dry ingredients (the first 6 minus 1/4 cup chocolate chips) in a large mixing bowl. Mix the wet ingredients (the last 4) until smooth. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Mix until the dry and wet are just barely combined. Overmixing can leat to less fluffy, denser muffins. Music to barely mix American muffin batter by: "American Pie" by Don McLean. Pour into muffin tins (either lined with muffin cups or VERY well greased. Sprinkle on remaining chips and bake for 20 minutes. Halfway through baking turn the pan to ensure even cooking.

Serve these to non-Americans who will think they're the most exotic thing they've ever seen!

10 Comments:

Blogger Maria said...

Yum- I like muffins! Yours look super yummy. Thats a cute story, I'm sure your boss loved them. For those that have never had "real American" muffins, chocolate chocolate-chip are the way to go.

11:25 PM  
Blogger J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Yes, Nigella is British, but we won't tell her. :) I make chocolate chip muffins sometimes too, but Betty Crocker usually helps me out...shhhh...

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Ivonne said...

Great post! Love the muffins!

12:29 AM  
Blogger Violette said...

Thank you for the recipe. I was actually looking for a chocolate chip recipe. I tried explaining muffins to an Italian once. It was a funny conversation.

1:23 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Maria, Yeah I think she liked them. And anyway chocolate pleases just about everybody.

HI J., How are the Betty Crocker ones?

HI Ivonne, Thanks!

Hi Violette, So they didn't get the concept? Nowadays, they're kind of an in-style food here especially at the in-style brunches at chic bars.

4:49 PM  
Blogger swapna said...

Hi susan
good recipe of chocolate muffins.for sure will try this.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Paz said...

your muffins certainly look good. so, did she like them?

paz

3:44 AM  
Blogger Lotus Reads said...

Your muffins look delicious, Susan! When I lived in India, muffins were the most exotic thing I could ever hope to eat. I still love them but now that they are so easily available, I guess I kinda take them for granted...not the date and walnut or Lemon poppyseed ones though...I don't see those often enough and I crave them!

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susan,
Here is the homemade single-acting baking powder recipe I've used.
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Combine ingredients and store tightly covered.
For double-acting powder use 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar for each teaspoon needed.
xxoo
Mom

2:48 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Thanks Mom! I'm stll using baking powder from last year since it's hard to find here.

4:09 PM  

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