The importance of using the proper units and other cooking lessons

Yesterday we decided to try and concoct some home-made muffins. The recipes I found on the net sounded easy enough, so we set on our task in a cheerful, optimistic mood. But, alas, it was not meant to be that easy.

The recipe I was following said “bake at 400 degrees” and I decided that, as my oven reaches a maximum of 300 ?Ǭ?C, 300 ?Ǭ?C was the proper temperature for baking the muffins. 15 minutes later, the first batch of muffins was burned. Then I did some more research and found out that, of course, the recipe meant “400 ?Ǭ?F”, which means 200 ?Ǭ?C. No wonder they cooked so fast…

So we immeadeately tried a second batch, which we baked at 200?Ǭ?C. It was not that bad, although the muffins got stuck to the paper cups. Some more online research into the matter suggests that the batter should not be too mixed (i.e. it should be left lumpy), and that the use of low-fat ingredients makes the muffins stick to the paper. I also found some recipes that give different proportions of ingredients; I presume that this versions with more egg and oil will make less sticky muffins.

Conclusions:

  1. always check that you work in the proper units
  2. look for different recipes to gain some better insight in the factors affecting the outcome of your chosen dish, before setting out on your cooking experiments