Wednesday, December 7, 2022
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Newest Recipe Testing – Sally’s Baking Habit


I like sharing my recipe testing course of, and even have a whole part on my web site devoted to Newest Recipe Testing. My staff and I’ve been busy within the kitchen, ensuring there are many reliable, trusted recipes so that you can do this fall and vacation season!

overhead photo of 30+ pumpkin muffins.

As we speak I’m exhibiting you a number of the current recipe exams in my kitchen, together with some winners… and a few fails. With the beginning of fall, I’ve had pumpkin and apple a-plenty, however that’s undoubtedly not all!

Have you ever had a recipe that failed lately?

The Excellent Pumpkin Muffin

Whereas there’s no scarcity of pumpkin muffin and cupcake recipes on my website, I’ve been on a quest to excellent the important pumpkin muffin recipe. As a result of generally you don’t need all of the further-ness of pumpkin cheesecake muffins and pumpkin crumb cake muffins. Generally you simply need to rapidly whip up a batch of merely pumpkin muffins.

Fundamental does NOT need to equal boring, and these deliciously mushy, moist, and flavorful pumpkin muffins are proof of that! (Although including some chocolate chips is completely acceptable.) That is the pumpkin muffin recipe you’ll need to make repeatedly, as a result of it’s dependable, simple, and satisfying.

To search out the right pumpkin muffin recipe, we examined variations of recipes already on my website:

  1. Pumpkin Cupcakes: Too mushy, mild, & cakey to be a muffin. (Although it definitely could be!)
  2. Pumpkin Crumb Cake Muffins: So tasty. However a tad too candy to be an “on a regular basis” form of muffin.
  3. Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes: Yummy, however not sufficient pumpkin taste.
  4. Pumpkin Bread: A favourite! However just like the pumpkin crumb cake muffins, a tad too candy for an “on a regular basis” breakfast.

The pumpkin crumb cake muffins (#2) and pumpkin bread (#4) recipes are so comparable and that’s what I ended up utilizing—I simply decreased the sugar. Like most muffin recipes, the batter wants a liquid. You need to use complete milk, buttermilk, or any dairy or nondairy milk you get pleasure from. I really use orange juice in my pumpkin bread recipe, and you might definitely use it in these muffins too.

ALL THE MUFFINS! One of the best pumpkin muffins are on the high:

3 baking pans of pumpkin muffins.

Creamier Salted Caramel Frosting

I’ve been engaged on this frosting for a very long time and it’s higher than ever now: see the brand new & improved salted caramel frosting, after which let me stroll you thru the recipe testing.

The recipe has really lived on my website for a number of years and a few readers had been reporting problem and recipe fails. Again to testing…

Staff member Beth and I made so many batches in at some point that we questioned if we’d begin seeing pop-up adverts for dentists in our social media accounts, LOL. Frustratingly, the frosting batches stored yielding completely different outcomes. One was too exhausting, one other too grainy, and many others.

  1. First, we examined utilizing chilly butter vs. room temperature butter.
  2. After which we examined utilizing complete milk as a substitute of cream.
  3. Then we modified the pan.
  4. After which it was darkish or mild brown sugar.

You already know dueling pianos? Effectively, we had dueling salted caramel saucepans going at one level, making an attempt to get this recipe to end up nicely constantly.

Nevertheless it wasn’t the butter, milk vs. cream, pan, mild vs. darkish brown sugar, and many others. The issue was merely overcooking it! The recipe used to name for boiling the caramel sauce for 3 minutes, which is simply too lengthy for my new range. For precise recipe success, you want a sweet thermometer right here. The caramel ought to boil solely till it reaches a temperature of 230°F (110°C), after which ought to be faraway from the warmth. The time that takes varies from range to range and pan to pan.

Additionally, just remember to absolutely mix the melted butter and brown sugar BEFORE including the heavy cream and salt. If there’s a layer of oily butter on high of the cooking combination, your batch of brown sugar caramel will end up grainy:

over-cooked and grainy brown sugar caramel mixture in pot.

And right here’s the caramel in case you cook dinner it too lengthy. That is precise actual caramel that I over-cooked, cooled within the pan too lengthy, then tried to switch to a bowl. Are you able to think about this as frosting? What a multitude:

over-cooked caramel mixture in glass bowl.

The brand new directions within the salted caramel frosting recipe imply success. It’s easy, creamy, and fudge-like and tastes unbelievable piped on apple spice cupcakes or unfold on banana cake.

Confetti Cake!

I received’t go into an excessive amount of element right here, however have you ever seen this up to date confetti cake? Solely a pair slight modifications to the previous recipe—the cake is a bit lighter, extra moist, and even simpler to prep.

confetti birthday cake cut open to reveal sprinkle-loaded center.

Coming Quickly: Crammed Chocolate Cupcakes

Spoiler alert: Later this week I’m publishing a brand new chocolate cupcake taste/variation. It’s in all probability my new favourite cupcake recipe, and I’m so excited to share it with you!

I used to be hesitant to make use of this chocolate cupcakes recipe as the bottom for this upcoming variation. The chocolate taste isn’t as robust because it could possibly be, and a few readers have reported having hassle with the cupcakes sinking within the center. So I opted to check a pair new chocolate cupcake recipes:

  1. Check #1: We used this small chocolate cake recipe and doubled the batter substances. The flavour was a bit meh, particularly compared to the subsequent batch we examined.
  2. Check #2: We used fan-favorite chocolate cake and halved the substances. The flavour of those was WOW. However they had been a bit sticky, which made them difficult to carve into for a filling. (Sure, the cupcakes will likely be crammed!)
  3. Check #3: We changed the buttermilk with bitter cream, to see if that made the cupcakes a bit sturdier. It did, however the taste was inferior to the buttermilk batch, and so they weren’t as moist.
  4. Check #4+ (we misplaced depend!): We continued to mess around with buttermilk vs. bitter cream, and the quantity of oil and egg, however nothing may examine to Check Batch #2 when it got here to pure chocolatey taste. However we did uncover that refrigerating the cupcakes for a short time earlier than chopping into them helped rather a lot with the sticky-soft texture concern. Keep tuned later this week for the recipe!

I do know these look burnt, nevertheless it was bizarre lighting and this was taken with a telephone. A lot of batches and many style testers having fun with frosting-less cupcakes:

chocolate cupcakes in various containers.

Not Coming Quickly: Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

I assumed pumpkin sage dinner rolls could be an enormous hit, however they turned out to be an enormous miss. Pumpkin by itself doesn’t have a robust taste, which is why we’re all the time including pumpkin pie spice to it in our baking. Utilizing pumpkin in a yeast dough works for pumpkin cinnamon rolls, however in all probability due to the candy pumpkin spice filling.

However when pairing it with herby sage, style testers and I couldn’t style the pumpkin in any respect. All of the pumpkin did was flip the dough yellow. (Although the sage taste was glorious!) My husband questioned why the dinner rolls had been so… mustardy yellow. “Are you able to style the pumpkin?” I requested. And he replied, “Tastes like… yellow.”

8 pumpkin rolls on marble counter.

Again to the drafting board! The staff and I’ll preserve testing, and hopefully provide you with a greater model. Keep tuned!

P.S. I hope to proceed to publish an increasing number of Recipe Testing posts, particularly after I get deep into my cookbook manuscript subsequent 12 months. Sure, my 4th cookbook is underway! 😉

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