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Muffin rant

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
ok, been testing recipes and competitors products for the past 2 weeks, testing "BOXED" mix vs scratch mix , other people's muffins...I'm all "muffin'ed out".

Here is what I have found.

Sratch batch muffins don't stay too fresh unless they are more cake than muffin. But, that's NOT what I want to make!!!

I want to make a true muffin but I'm afraid that the customers won't buy them since they are used to the moister cakey product that passes for muffins.

I'm ready to throw my hands up and call up my food service guy and get the RTU muffin mix that most places use! ugh!

I have made some lovely flavored muffins, but they tend to "harden" after sitting a while.

I'm about to tear out my hair, unless someone can point out what I'm doing wrong.

I do use a mixer, but I mix for 30 seconds, then scrape ..then mix another 30 seconds...:cool:
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #2 of 29
Stay Fresh? How long are we talking about. I would never sell a muffin that is more than a day old. I never sell any quick breads after two days. Remember that packaged stuff is going to have additives that keep it soft.


You are mixing more than 30 seconds?! Though I am an avid advocate for the mixer for muffins it is by hand all the way. Wet in one bowl, dry in another, and mix BARELY! (and yes I am mixing fairly large batches 3 dzn large or so, I mix and bake all muffins fresh.)

Just my point of view.
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"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
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post #3 of 29
I just want to give you some food for thought; people eat muffins differently now days. It used to be that you sat down with a warm muffin, buttered it. Now, they are eaten out of the hand, being chased by a designer coffee.
My point is, I think expectations are differant for a muffin today.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
What I'm afraid is someone "saving" their muffin for "later" since the muffins will be delivered when the offices open around 8 to 9 am and they will find their little muffin turned into a hockey puck.

I don't mix them by hand , I also do the wet then add 1/2 the dry, mix for 30 seconds then scrape my bowl down and mix for 30 seconds...I have 3 mixers going for the batches since I have 6 full racks to fill.

( can't afford to be running that oven several times a day)

I kinda like my muffin batter to look "rustic" and as a pastry professional know that it's NOT a cake, but that's not what the average Joe is used to and there is a STARBUCKS around the corner with those big cakey muffins.

I'm baking them in quantities to fill orders so they are not laying about getting hard and decided to add a few extra for those people that get reminded about the muffins when you show up.

I have friends that are home bakers that make batches of the cakey muffins and deep freeze them for later on...I just don't have the heart to offer FRESH BAKED DAILY and give them a thawed out muffin..:cry:
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Yes, I know, I have a STARBUCKS nearby...so I have to offer a FRESH BAKED muffin that can stand up to theirs at a fair price to me and the customers.

But, I've gotten back some feedback that people don't like or want their OVERPRICED stale muffins.

Consumers today are aware that chains bake, store and freeze off premiss and bring in products that are days, even weeks old.

When I was out there doing my market research people seemed to be very excited to recieve a FRESH BAKED DAILY MUFFIN delivered, but my complaint is this...

That I've invested all this time and effort to develop, bake, test...got in new , larger mixers to offer this ( someone in my family is going to come in and do this ) and the product is not well recieved because it's NOT what people are used to.
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #6 of 29
I've had good results using applesauce in place of some of the water.
Keeps it moister longer, and the apple isn't overpowering.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #7 of 29
sSSSHHhh...Top secret. If you use this technique you are forced to become my apprentice for the next 10 years...

Make YOUR muffins, scoop 'em out, and..freeze them. Take them out of the pan and keep them frozen You can bake off frozen with virtually no flavour/texture loss, bake off as many or as little as you want, as often as you want.

Soooo... I've got 10 kgs of slab couveture I want chopped....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #8 of 29
Speaking of muffins.
When I used to open a restaurant where we baked fresh biscuits and muffins daily, I always had a little bit of muffin batter left over.
Instead of waiting for the pans to free up to bake off 2 or 3 more muffins, I'd scoop them out onto a sprayed baking sheet, bake them off, and offer my favorite morning waitress muffin tops.
Yes, I was a slut.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'll be right there with my chocolate chopper and French Knife! ( this WAS actually one of my favorite things to do at school...you know what they say about Puerto Rican and their Knives!!! lol)

I have "heard" of this, and actually thank you for the tip as it will save soooooooooooooo much time!!
:roll:

so, tell me, are the muffins moister this way?

and can you freeze them with the fruit bits? or would it be best to add some frozen fruit bits by hand at the end and then putting in the freezer?

and exchaning some of the water for applesauce sounds brilliant!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
This sounds brilliant as they are the best bit of the muffins anyway!:p
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #11 of 29
You're right.
Offering someone the top of your muffin is the highest form of compliment.
I make a peanut butter and jelly muffin.
Peanut butter in the mix, and halfway through baking, I pipe grape jelly into the center, then finish.
I usually use a squeeze bottle for the jelly, and I use grape because it's the smoothest, and pipes easily.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
WOW, that sounds like a "POWER" muffin, add some rolled oats to the top and you don't need much else for an almost complete meal!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #13 of 29
my dilema too. I want folk to want the real Mcoy. But They are looking for something else.
I stopped at a garage yesterday and bought a breakfast muffin and a gorgeous, huge coffee on special for £2.50 $5 I was well impressed.
I cannot compete pricewise for the size, texture and keepability with these manufacturers. Although i have a range of savoury muffins 1/2 size for buffets that seem to be a bit of a novelty and i think i could charge a bit mre for.
i'm seriously considering a packet mix, although our menus are all advertised as entirely home made.........
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #14 of 29
Risque... after paying homage to my brilliant, albeit modest intelligence, I have to say I ripped the idea off of C.I.A.'s "Professional Chef" I didn't think much of it , but tried it out and it worked very well. Fruit chunks in the batter freeze well, but I don't know about the top surface. I jut make 'em and freeze 'em, and then stuff them in a tupperware, usually enough for 4 or 5 days supply. The technique works well for me, since I'm the only one in the kitchen and have to use every/any advantage I can get while still keeping my "fresh, made-in-house bragging rights.

Peanut butter and grape jelly muffins.. Now THAT sounds like an idea...
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #15 of 29

muffins gripes

Here is my opinions as an avid consumer of muffins/

First of all, what are muffins suppose to taste like? I am accustomed to cakey texture.

Starbucks look big but no flavor and cold.
My favorite around my area, is Central Markets blueberry and cranberry muffins. I am biased towards blueberry.
The top is moist and wet. Unsure if it is syrup of some kind. Any ideas? My coworker thought it was cream cheese. But I disagree.

I tried some breakfast cafes that claimed home-made. Had no flavor and smelled like a mix. Also, blueberries were ground up or tiny.

I tried some internet recipes but it is a hit and miss. Turned into a biscuit the next day. Most require buttermilk and veg. oil. Some says sour cream? Why? I usually don't have these dairy products on hand.

I never seen a recipe with water..

Can anyone share a reliable muffin recipe? I like a moist muffin. I have some frozen cranberries in the freezer. Was planning to make muffins, but no buttermilk. Oh well.
That PBJ muffins sounds intriquing!

Thanks for the education you guys. Who needs baking school when you have cheftalk? just kidding!
vale
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vale
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post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hi,

well, I know what a muffin is not supposed to be no matter what they try to pawn off on ya.

It's not cake in a cup!

The ones at Starbuck are all baked with a sugar crust on top! UGH, there was so much sugar on the Banana Nut "muffin" I had the s ugar shakes after I ate it..lol

A muffin is also a "quick" bread. you just stir the mix...BARELY, it looks pretty raggedy when you're done.

We made some at school that were not to bad, but I was angry with my bread instructor and shredded the final project notebook with all my recipes.

*Hitting myself on the forehead for being a dummy! lol
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #17 of 29
I feel your pain. I'm looking at being able to open a bakery soon myself and when I tell people that, half of the time I get "with soups and sandwiches? That'll be great!" Obviously, people are confused as to what a bakery is!

I was once told it boils down to two choices:
1) make what the customers I have will want
or
2) get the customers who'll buy what I want to make

Sounds like you may be in a similar situation.

Best of luck? :crazy:
Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
ERik,

Yes, exactly. Since I have a very LIMITED product, sometime my shop has a great deal of down time...I have been approached to do some classes or demos but I can't schedule something like that because I may get a last minute call for a cake and then what? lol

I figured on doing this muffin thing in the am when I'm not "officially" there..(there catching up on bills and can "supervise" the muffin makers..lol)

Trying to get a little ahead of the game by utilizing down time and an extra pair of willing hands.

My next thought is to do the Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns, I have a great sticky bun recipe and it's home made!!:lips:

I really don't want to make "CAKES in a CUP" unless they are my cupcakes..lol
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #19 of 29
Nice thing about this route is it gives you options! I actually made some of my cinnamon roll dough tonight. Whatever I do with it, I told myself I would not make cinnamon rolls - I've got about 4 other ideas :lips:
Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Erik,

Don't shy away from the cinnamon roll because contrary to muffins these are ALWAYS pretty darned good.

I have some variations on them and that's what I was thinking of offering..I can come back when I get to the shop and post the different filling that I've found..

Guess what? I was picking up some mint to experiment with a "MOJITO" icing for the 1,000 mini cupcakes and what do I see at check out? a CINNAMON ROLL as front cover for Family Circus magazine..lol
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #21 of 29
Oh, don't worry....I'm not shying away from them!! My cinnamon rolls are awesome! But I already know I can make them ;)
Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
I hope my little step by step answer will help you, I love chef talk also and am glad this forum is here for us.
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
here are the results of my experiment of mixing the muffins batter with cake batter. They are more cakey muffins, but sweet like cake. Not really a cake as they are a little dry, but I think they will be excellent with the fruit additions. the recipe gave me enough batter for 44 "muffins" maybe with the addition of fruits and nuts I get an even 4 dozen.

Here is a pictorial...

I added the sugary top to the muffins before they baked, I think I added too much? it didn't get crunchy like the top of a STARBUCKS banana nut muffin..



these were baked in a regular household oven that I have at the shop. Also baked in the metallic cups. I like the way they pouffed up, but they didn't crack like regular muffins usually do.

The next photo shows the ones I baked in the convection oven. Don't like they way they looked. I turned off the fan when I saw the batter undulating in the oven. The first 4 on your left as you look at the monitor do not have any granulated sugar sprinkled on top, they browned much darker and sooner.

Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #24 of 29

muffins

Risque

Try some raw sugar for the topping - think you will like the outcome better - should be more crunchy.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
I didn't have any so I used granulated, they still sucked ...:crazy:

I don't know what I'm going to do since I planned to launch this delivery service next week.

Well the Cinnamon Buns and the Chocolate Chip cookies came out ok..sigh:bounce:
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #26 of 29
You could also pitch the muffins and go with rugelach. :lips: :bounce: ;)
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post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
I have the recipe from Grandma's Rugelach that use to be in Chelsea Market ( don't know if they are still there ) It was late 80 early 90's when they renovated the place and rented space to vendors.

But, I'm not going to brag about my recipes anymore because I have to be reaquainted with my ovens after not baking in them for 3 months..lol

I agree with you about pitching the muffins..lol
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #28 of 29
I thought the muffins you just posted looked great. How did they taste? I was going to ask for the recipe.
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
I just combined my yellow cake recipe with a muffin recipe. that's all I did.

Does that help you any? lol
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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