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Why can't I make muffins?! or crumble?

(25 Posts)
tvaerialmagpiebin Thu 10-Sep-09 17:31:02

So what am I doing wrong, ladies, or is it my oven. Every time I try to make muffins they come out cake-y and don't rise. I use baking powder and the right kind of flour, I don't stir too much, but they never look like muffins, more like little cakes. Am I being over-ambitious to think they ought to rise up over the cases and have muffin tops?

And crumble FFS. It always looks like buttery flour. I use plain not SR flour, but it never seems to have that crumbley texture.

Maybe it is the oven, it is an electric fan oven, but I have my suspicions about the door seal being knackered (adds to long list of crapness left by tenants)

I have given up on being able to make "proper" tall cake that rises, in any oven, but I was hoping for a bit of crumble action with all these lovely blackberries about. Anyone got any ideas?

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 10-Sep-09 17:52:05

I have a fan oven and make muffins a lot. Currently I have ones in that are called Mince pie magic grin

Is your BP in date?

With your crumble is it getting too sticky when you rub in the butter with the flour?

tvaerialmagpiebin Thu 10-Sep-09 17:54:35

hmm like the sound of mince pie magic...

yes BP is almost new.

Crumble does get sticky but add a bit more flour to get it breadcrumb-y.

Have just looked at the side of oven and there is a bit of a scorch on cupbard door. Wonder if it could be the seal? Sometimes when attempting muffins and sneak a peek through the glass they are rising, but hen I take them out they have dropped.........

norktasticninja Thu 10-Sep-09 17:58:09

You have to mix muffins as badly as possible. If you get a toddler to do it they'll be prefect!

MarmadukeScarlet Thu 10-Sep-09 17:58:12

Excellent muffin recipe in last month's W'rose food illustrated - best muffins I've ever made, plum and youghurt.

Crumble I am hit and miss on.

Flapjacks I am rubbish at. Can bake everything else, but my flapjacks fall to bits - have tried several diff recipes too.

TitsalinaBumsquash Thu 10-Sep-09 18:02:04

You have to be extra quiet whn baking if you bang even a tiny bit, even heavy footsteps can make a cake or muffin fall.

Muffin batter needs to be lumpy never smooth.

you need to get some nice almonds and flur and butter and really rub it together, then give it a few extra dots of butter and a lieral spinkling of brown sugar... <drool>

millenniumfalcon Thu 10-Sep-09 18:04:54

i make a cracking crumble

usually use half and half plain flour and ground almonds, but ground hazelnuts can be good too (nuttier flavour) iirc the last one i made was 100g flour 100g almonds 100g sugar and 80g butter and that was too much for a 6-person crumble (spare freezes great).

trick is to not precook the fruit, pile the crumble on pretty roughly and cook for aaaages, usually around 45min (gas5) but can be more. when it's bubbling juices all round the edge it's done.

tvaerialmagpiebin Thu 10-Sep-09 18:08:37

Hmm...... oh I never precook fruit. Don't like almonds or hazelnuts though. Always use proper butter at room temp.

Mixing muffins - I remember reading about not mixing too much. But sirely you need to get all the dry stuff mixed in with thwet stuff, so there is not flour at the bottom IYSWIM?

Now flapjacks I can do, blindfold. Funny eh.

millenniumfalcon Thu 10-Sep-09 18:11:17

can't say you really taste the almonds but they improve the texture immensely imho.

ComeOVeneer Thu 10-Sep-09 18:13:12

Don't mix too much and add a couple of teaspoons of sparkling water. That is the real secret to good muffins!

ComeOVeneer Thu 10-Sep-09 18:13:26


FaintlyMacabre Thu 10-Sep-09 18:22:03

I read somewhere that you should sieve the dry ingredients together twice before adding them to the wet. This does make sense because it ensures that the raising agent is properly distributed before the final cursory stirring of wet and dry.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Thu 10-Sep-09 18:30:14

Muffins: keep the wet ingrediants and dry ingrediants apart until right at the last minute. Have the tins all ready, then add the ingrediants (the rising agent will only work for so long) together and don't over mix. Don't worry about lumps, just ensure there is no flour visible in the mix.

Crumble: rub the butter and flour together, then add the sugar. If you add the sugar in at the start you can over-mix and create a dough instead of a crumble. Also don't compact the crumble ontop of the fruit, just scatter it on top.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Thu 10-Sep-09 18:32:10

Oh, and get an oven thermometer to check the oven temperature.

Our oven is 2nd hand and is 30 degrees hotter than the display shows. I had LOTS of burnt dinners before I realised what was happening.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 10-Sep-09 18:39:30

I can confirm that the Mince pie magic muffins are delicious.

tvaerialmagpiebin Thu 10-Sep-09 18:40:14

Thanks everyone.

Yes I will check oven temp. I don't think it gets hot enough, actually, that is why I was drivelling on about the seal. Oven is approaching 20 years old and has been cruelly treated by 2 lots of tenants so might be approaching replacement.

I can't make victoria sponge in any oven I have ever had though... even in my mother's house.

tvaerialmagpiebin Thu 10-Sep-09 18:40:40

FBGIB - can we have the recipe please?

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 10-Sep-09 18:41:09

My muffins never fail.

I don't have a quiet house or keep quiet.

I never add mineral water.

I mix until the flour is all in.

Success every time.

tvaerialmagpiebin Thu 10-Sep-09 18:44:12

I want to live in your house envy

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 10-Sep-09 18:45:55

Hang on, will get the book.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 10-Sep-09 19:03:50

Makes 12

Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas mark 6.

Grease or line a 12 hole muffin tin.

300g/10oz/2 cups of plain flour.
1 tbsp baking powder.
115g/4oz/1/2 cup caster sugar.
1/2 tsp ground ginger.
1/4tsp freshly grated nutmeg. (I used jarred).
2 tbsp Grand Marnier (Didn't use, Didn't miss)
1 egg, beaten.
115g/4oz butter, melted
finely grated zest of 1 lemon.
about 6 tbsp of luxury mincemeat (I used Robertsons)
icing sugar and silver edible glitter for dusting (I didn't bother with this).

Combine the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, ginger and nutmeg and sift into a large bowl. (I never sift).

In another bowl combine the m ilk, egg, Grand Marnier, egg, butter and lemon zest.

Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Half fill each muffin cup with the mixture, then top with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat, nestling it down into the mixture, then top with another dollop of muffin mixture to cover.

Bake for about 20 minutes until risen and golden. (Mine took 20 exactly.) Leave to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To serve, dust with icing sugar.


tvaerialmagpiebin Thu 10-Sep-09 19:09:51

I like "To serve" sugestions. Mine would be "to serve, remove from oven and stick in gob, swearing loudly as they are too hot and I am too greedy to wait"

Will try those.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 10-Sep-09 19:18:14


They are soooo nice.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Thu 10-Sep-09 19:20:55

I have this book and I've never made a duff batch of muffins, and I'm pretty shocking at baking.

extremelychocolateymilkroll Fri 11-Sep-09 17:42:19

I use this recipe for muffins and it works every time and is very easy.

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