Friday, July 24, 2009

FoodFail: Crater Blueberry Muffins

I saw this on a license plate frame today: "I used to be schizo, but we're OK now." That's a good description for how things are while I move the Old Wasabi at Vox to the New Wasabi here at Blogspot. I promise the recent confusion will subside, and I thank everyone for being patient with the changeover. To alleviate some of this self-imposed busybody-ness, I decided to bake blueberry muffins, as baking can sometimes be a calming thing. Everything leading up to the baking part went smoothly, but I was telling fellow blogger, Ms. Picket Fence, that I wished I lived near or around Crater Lake, Oregon, because then I could have called these Crater Muffins. Let's not ruin the post quite yet and just gaze for a moment at this serene tableaux of ingredients, shall we?

Still life with muffin ingredients, prior to "the Crater Incident" - photo by Wasabi Prime

Per some earlier Tweets this week, I was inspired to do something with blueberries. They're in season and incredibly well-priced right now. I decided to go with the blueberry muffin recipe I found on the charmingly funny blog, Omnomicon. The recipe was originally from Food Happens, and Omnomicon's Aleta had given it a foodie thumb's up. Bless her heart, she wisely advised to lighten up on the pecan and brown sugar topping, as that tends to cause the center of the muffins to collapse a bit while baking. I made sure to heed that bit of advice.

Food pr0n alert!! - Photo by Wasabi Prime

However, I'll be the first to admit that I made a substitution mistake, replacing the buttermilk part of the recipe with Greek yogurt. The recipe said yogurt could be used as a swap, but I think the thicker Greek-style yogurt made the batter more concentrated. I don't know what kind of mad science took place during the baking process, but it wasn't the kind of mad science that creates sexy Kelly LeBrocks from Barbie dolls. No, this crazy mad science created Crater Muffins that, instead of rising into fluffy mounds of goodness, they made a vertical dash for their neighbor and I wound up with sunken-in, crazy Siamese Twin pastries. But you know what? They were still damned tasty.

Pecan and brown sugar topping. It looked better before it went into the oven - photo by Wasabi Prime

While not pleasing in an aesthetic sort of way, the finished muffins were still pleasing in an om-nom-nommic sort of way. I had no trouble eating a couple, and in an act of nutritional defiance, called it dinner. This was probably the least offensive photo I could take of the finished muffins. I placed a little coffee mug with the Finnish cartoon characters, Moomin, as a crutch of happiness to lighten the gravity-stricken baked goods.

Moomins make everything better - photo by Wasabi Prime

Overall, I can't be that discouraged over the result, especially since I knowingly put the batter in harm's way with an untested substitution. I also swapped regular flour with whole wheat, hence the darker color, but I think the Greek yogurt 'twas what done this batter in. Live and learn. I'm still pleased with the photos and weather permitting, may try this recipe again, minus ingredient swaps, before the blueberry harvest peters-out.

I believe it's time for an ingredient montage! - photo by Wasabi Prime

* Post Script * Another big THANK YOU to Tastespotting for posting a photo of the blueberries from this post! As Leo Sayer would say, you make me feel like dancing!

* Post-Post Script - Big blueberry thanks to Photograzing at Serious Eats for posting the 'money shot' of blueberries getting mixed in batter. HOT!

* Post-Post-Post Script - Thanks to Foodie View for posting the pr0n-tastic blueberry mix photo!

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  1. Moomins do make everything just a wee bit better, even perfect blueberry muffins (want!). Love the photos--what amazing lighting and detail!

  2. Blueberry muffins are my favorite! Here are some more blueberry recipes if you need 'em!

  3. Great photos! You are quite talented behind the lens. Don't worry, my baking efforts also come paired with varying success - I usually struggle to stick exactly to the recipe.


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