Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Muffin in My Head

We have a number of reasons to suggest that The Maestro should not eat corn. My family has a history of problems with corn, for one. I have been having such good success with 2:1 Jowar/Corn-Starch that I was pretty upset about it, at first. I am fine with corn, thankfully, but I have been looking into the question of starch amounts and sources, to try to get away from corn for The Maestro.

The first question I had was why Amy Perry used 3:1 Jowar/Corn-Starch in her muffin recipe, but 2:1 in everything else. When I was home, my Mom made some muffins and used a 2:1 mix. They tasted mostly the same, but were much lighter, closer to cupcakes than the muffins I was used to making. The experts say that if you use a gluten-free flour straight, the finished product is too heavy. Apparently, the starch lightens it up. Ms. Perry wanted heavier muffins.

Question four was why corn starch? I looked around for cornstarch replacements, and found that most web-sites said that you could substitute potato starch for corn straight across. A few sites, that looked like they took their food chemistry a little more seriously said to use 2/3 equivalents of potato starch for the corn starch.

I tried it out in some muffins, using a mix with 3 cups Jowar, and 2/3 cup Potato starch. I didn’t have any corn-based muffins to do a side-by-side comparison, but the texture seemed pretty much the same. It’s indistinguishable from the muffin in my head, anyway.

As for taste, it isn’t exactly the same. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s a tad more… savory. I think savory might be the right word. It’s not unpleasant, but it’ll take some getting used to, and I won’t be able to pass it off to associates as the authentic product. It’s kind of like when I was a kid and drank goat milk instead of cow milk. Goat milk has a slightly different aftertaste than cow milk. I drank it all the time, so it tasted just like milk to me. My oldest sister couldn’t stand it.

I just ate another potato-based muffin. It turns out than when cooled, the texture isn’t the same. It baked more of a crust than the corn-based muffins did. I think that is keeping them from going soggy when kept in tightly sealed containers.

I need to spend more time thinking about this, though.

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