Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Muffins and Donuts and icing oh my!

Hello there! So, it seems like it has been forever since I have updated my blog. We had a bit of a lull of class because of the Veteran's Day holiday. Well, last week we got back under way and it was a great class!

I wasn't too excited about the lab of making donuts and muffins but it turned out really fun. We got to pick our partners (YAY) and one of the guys I have made friends with partnered up me. It is always good when you can partner up with someone you know is on top of it. He and I work well together as well as fast. We made coffee cake muffins which turned out soft, moist and SUPER yummy. The odd ingredient in the mix was lemon peel but you know really made a big difference in the taste! I am not usually a fan of citrus anything (although I can do lemon and lime a lot easier than orange) but the lemon really made the muffins.

Tips on most muffins: 1. Don't over mix. Most muffins require you to blend ingredients until just incorporated and I think a lot of people over mix. I know I used to. Over mixing can cause the muffins to turn out too tough. It should be mixed only until dry ingredients are moistened with the wet ingredients. Most batters will be lumpy. That is okay. 2. Muffins will rise a lot better if you do not use paper cups. However, paper cups are many people's preference because not only is it easier to get out of the tins, but it makes eating a lot less messy. If you choose not to use the paper cups, make sure you grease the tin!! 3. You can put most muffin recipies in a loaf pan as well. If I had it to do over again, the Coffee Cake Muffins would have been done in a loaf pan. I think it would have been easier to eat.

Coffee Cake Muffins with blueberries

After the muffins were put in the oven, each team paired up with another team to make donuts. Unfortunately for our team that did cake donuts that meant that there weren't very many donuts! But the making of the donuts was fun. I honestly thought I would hate it. But, it was enjoyable and our donuts tasted pretty good. We took fondant icing at the end and poured it on some of them and cinnamon and sugared the others. Because we used a donut cutter we had donut holes too. Some of the other teams made yeast-raised donuts (similar to churros), orange drop donuts (like donut holes with orange zest in the mix and on the outside), and Beignets (made popular in New Orleans). I didn't get a chance to taste any of the other donuts, but ours were awesome!

Tips for making donuts: 1. Make sure after you cut out the donuts to let them rest 15 minutes before frying. This allows them to rise slightly as well as settle the gluten. 2. Make sure to keep the frying oil at a constant temperature. When you put donuts in the fat, the temperature will go down so make sure to keep an eye on the temperature. 3. Watch the donuts carefully and flip them over when half done.

Cake style donuts

Today we make old fashioned pound cake. Sounds easy....but I REALLY don't think it is going to be!

I am thankful for many things, but for the sake of this blog, I am very thankful for my family and friends who support me in my decision to go to pastry school and a special thank you to my mom, who has let my cat and I invade her home so I can pursue this dream. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

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