Hye Thyme Cafe: Peanut Butter and Apple Cake - an Epic Fail with a Silver Lining and a Lesson

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Monday, June 17, 2013

Peanut Butter and Apple Cake - an Epic Fail with a Silver Lining and a Lesson


Finished product

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself eating a lot of fruit with yogurt. When I got to where I couldn't fathom another bowlful but still had yogurt in the fridge and a few apples sitting around, I felt compelled to throw something together and settled on a Peanut Butter and Apple Cake, thinking of apple slices with peanut butter.  

It came together in a jiffy (no PB pun intended), and smelled great while baking. It toothpick tested clean in several places and, as you can see from the pics below, was browned at the edges and pulling away from the sides of the pan - another tell tale sign of doneness...usually! I pulled it out and let it sit for about a half hour, then went to invert it onto a plate and, well, you can see what happened.  Sniffle, sniffle, sob.

All was not lost, however, since the two inches around the outside had baked just fine. I picked on those scraps and decided that I liked the flavor and texture, so the silver lining was the decision to try it again, but as muffins.

While I was at it, I decided to point out something that I inadvertently realized a while back - the difference between baking in nonstick, silicone, and ceramic muffin tins. I am usually only baking enough to fill one type at a time, but on one particular morning, I was baking a double batch and baked some in silicone and some in ceramic. I was surprised by the end result. There is a noticeable difference in both rise and texture, and while the "crumb is in the eye of the baker" so to speak, my preference now is to bake muffins in ceramic muffin cups.  

You will notice how dark and slightly crispy the bottoms are from baking in the nonstick tins - that would be great for a something hearty, like cornbread. The silicone, on the other hand, looks a little mushy and wilted, while the ceramic produced muffins that were "just right."

INGREDIENTS :
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 t cinnamon
2 eggs
1 c light brown sugar
1/4 c canola oil
1/2 c Jif Peanut Butter
1 c vanilla low-fat yogurt*
2 sweet/crisp apples, diced small
PAM Baking

*For the yogurt, I used a regular low-fat version, as is, as opposed to either a Greek yogurt or straining it first.

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and brown sugar until well incorporated, pressing out any sugar lumps with the back of a spoon
  3. To the egg mixture, beat in the canola oil, peanut butter, and yogurt until smooth
  4. In three or four additions, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, until just combined
  5. Scraping down the sides to capture any stray flour, stir in the diced apples
  6. Pour batter into lightly sprayed muffin tins
  7. Bake at 350 for about 30" until golden and toothpick tests done

Batter before stirring in the apples



Pulling away from sides of panBrowned around the edges












Well, that didn't turn out as planned!
OOPS!

Silicon muffin pan
Soggy-bottom silicon version - sad looking

Non-stick muffin pan
Nicely browned non-stick version - I'd prefer for corn muffins, etc.

Ceramic Muffin Pan
Nice evenly-textured, ceramic version.


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