Sunday, June 24, 2012

Muffins: Cupcakes in Disguise

A friend messaged me at 3:30AM to warn me that the slowly-blooming bruise where I scraped my leg yesterday meant that the bruise ran deep and would hurt for a long time.  When I saw the message after I woke up at 7:30, I thanked him for the warning and excused myself so that I could hunt up some coffee.

Coffee in hand, I returned and found that my friend had shared his own breakfast plans with me: a muffin and a glass of milk.

"For me, muffins are like pasta," I wrote to him.  "I like them, but in terms of nutritional value, I don't like them enough to eat them very often."  (They're both heavy on processed carbohydrates-- not very filling, and I love the nutritionally-similar breads, biscuits, and bagels so much more. Also, desserts.)

"This is why I seldom purchase muffins," he replied.

This didn't satisfy me. "I just don't understand why, if you are going to eat something that is in all respects like cake, you do not actually eat cake."

The question became: what is the difference between a chocolate muffin with chocolate chips and a chocolate cupcake?  In an effort to demonstrate the essential similarities between the former (a breakfast dessert) and the latter (a dessert breakfast when eaten before 11:00AM), I made some cupcakes.  Because I didn't want leftovers, I made a recipe of two cupcakes, adapted from this recipe.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/8 c. whole wheat flour
    1/16 c. white flour1/8 c. granulated sugar1/8 tsp. salt1/8 tsp. baking soda1/16 c. cocoa powder (and a bit)1/16 c. oil1/8 c. leftover coffee1/8 tsp. vanilla3/8 tsp. vinegar
  • Mix all the ingredients up together.
bowl of batter and two custard ramekins
No eggs in this, so you can eat the batter if you like.
Pour into custard ramekins and bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until you jab it and the jabbing implement comes out clean.
two chocolate cupcakes and a bowl of frosted
Two cupcakes and a bowl of frosting.
While they're in the oven, make frosting.  When they're cool, frost and eat immediately. I used a spoon, but your mileage may vary.
two frosted chocolate cupcakes
Finished cupcakes!
Yield: Two cupcakes.

They came out a little dry for me, actually-- I might have cooked them for too long.  Still, I enjoyed my cupcake and heard no complaints from my mother about the one I gave her. Definitely better than a muffin, in my opinion.

So, how do these cupcakes stack up against the muffins you've eaten?

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