Saturday, July 2, 2011

Making Chocolate Chip Muffins: Another Failure

I have been so determined to successfully bake muffins especially after two muffin-baking disasters which resulted in flat muffins. Those were indeed demoralizing experiences but I got to persevere, correct? Thus, I browsed tons of muffin recipes and baking tips, watched YouTube videos on baking muffins and asked advice from some friends who have success stories in baking muffins. I was really eager in baking really good muffins so much that I even dreamt of baking muffins during my afternoon nap today. Knowing this, my husband asked me to just do it. Try baking muffins once again.

This afternoon, I decided to go ahead with Laura Vitale's Chocolate Chips Muffins recipe which was so appealing. In her video, she made the steps-by-steps of making the muffins look really as easy as 1-2-3, owing to her solid PR skills too I guess. I was so tempted to try her recipe and was well assured that if I exactly followed her methods carefully, I would not have flat muffins again this time around.

Ingredients wise, I didn't dare to modify anything from her original recipe so I tried to do everything really according to the 'text book'. I bought one pack of cinnamon powder as advised although I knew that I would only be using 1/8 teaspoon of it for her one muffin recipe. (I told myself "Nevermind about the cinnamon thingy, it's for the sake of creating batches of muffins which would make people sigh with delights"). Moreover, I even hunted the 'scarce' sour cream in several local supermarkets in Seremban and finally brought one pack from Tesco this morning. Now I know what sour cream is and how sour it smells.

 Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Okay, so I finally had mushroom-shaped Chocolate Chips muffins from my second batch of baking today. For this matter, I was quite relieved as my muffins finally were not that flat anymore. Still, they didn't rise so high and crack in the middle. Sadly, they didn't taste as delightful as Laura advertised in her video. Rather, my husband remarked that my muffins tasted quite floury and confusing.

I wonder why.

Something was wrong and I still haven't gotten the trick of baking muffins. Maybe I need to attend a baking class or something to crack the muffins code. *Sigh*


  1. Hi, I'm sorry your muffins didn't turn out well. I'm offering some guesses to why they didn't. (1) Sour cream doesn't smell very sour. It just tastes tangy. Quite similar to yogurt but much creamier and thicker. Do you think you had a bad tub? (2) How old is your baking powder? I've had cakes that didn't rise tall and I discovered it was because my baking powder was too old. (3) Don't over or under mix the batter. Mix about 10 to 15 strokes until all ingredients are moist. Then stop. Make sure there aren't lumps of unmixed flour in the batter. (4) Check your oven's temperature. It could be inefficient (most ovens are, that's why I invested in a oven thermometer) and not as hot as you think it is. That could be why the muffins didn't rise and didn't brown on top.

    Try again! A good muffin can make everyone's day. I have two recipes which I use regularly and they are foolproof. Look under Breakfast. My family loves these muffins, especially the banana one. If you're making chocolate chip muffins, just use the blueberry muffin recipe and replace blueberries with chocolate chips and use 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup castor sugar and add a generous pinch of cinnamon.

    Good luck!

  2. Hello Bing!!

    Thanks a lot for the tips. You are so kind. I have a feeling, I made mistakes again in mixing the wet ingredients for the muffins. I just didn't know where to quit mixing the wet ingredients. Should I whisk it lightly or use mixer to cream it (like making cake batter)? Any difference on the wet ingredients' mixing methods? Sure, I have been intending to use your muffin recipes - I've read them before, studied them for a while last time and seriously, your muffins look unbelievably nice. I am so trying to bake muffins again with your recipes in the near future!

    Oh, I'm so tempted to try your latest cheese cake with strawberry jelly. They look so cute and sweet!!

    Thanks again for the tips. Much appreciated.


  3. Hi Christine, you're so welcome! I am a self confessed horrible baker. I'm better with cooking where I can tweak as I cook along but baking stresses me out. But I bake for my family so I tend to do alot of research to minimise errors. Hahaa..

    I know that for muffins, regular cheesecake and brownies, just stir and fold till the ingredients are all mixed through will do. Don't overbeat because we don't want too much air in them and overbeating causes muffins to be tough because the batter becomes gluten-like. I don't use a whisk with muffins and brownies, just a small wooden spoon.

    For cakes and cupcakes, I've always whisked them up as nicely as I can. It's my only chance to use my cake mixer. Haha..

    From your muffin picture, I have a feeling that your oven may not be hot enough. It overflowed and has a flat wide top instead of a tall round one and it's not brown enough. I highly recommend investing in a oven thermometer. It dramatically changed my baking results.

    Try again! =)


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