“Cooking is an art, baking is a science.” That phrase has been a round in print since at least 1967, according to one source I found. The corollary to that for me is — stick to cooking, avoid baking. I am not now, nor ever will be a scientist.
Baking is a science because baking recipes really are formulas. Change one amount or one ingredient and it all goes haywire, much like all the test tubes I blew up in science class while trying to distill wood my freshman year in high school.
I like to use recipes as a starting point, not as dictates, so I always mess something up while baking.
That was even true when I tried what sounded like a relatively simply recipe a friend posted on Facebook recently — three-ingredient berry egg muffins. How hard could that be, three ingredients?
Pretty hard if you don’t like following recipes to the letter, I discovered. I tried the recipe because I liked the promise of something sweet without flour or sugar added.
This recipe is just egg whites, smashed up banana and berries, all mixed together and poured into mini-muffin tins to bake for only 12 minutes! A snap right? Not exactly.
First, I couldn’t find our mini-muffin tin so used a regular one. Well that of course meant my muffins were a lot bigger and would never cook in 12 minutes. I had them in more than 30 minutes and they still were not done.
Second, I wanted to use strawberries instead of the blackberries we had in the house, so I cut up wedges of strawberries and dropped them into the tins. Well, strawberries are apparently a lot wetter than berries, because the bottom of each muffin was like a river from them.
Third, I wanted more sweetness, so I drizzled chocolate syrup on the top of each before baking thinking it would melt into the cake. Since there was no actual cake, that didn’t do anything but make the top of the muffins soggy as well.
So I ended up with under-cooked, wet, soggy lumps which I then tried to dry out in the microwave. I ate one and threw the rest away.
I miss my snack cakes (I’m talking to you HoHos, Ring Dings, Yodels and Ding Dongs) so much on my low-fat diet. But this recipe is not going to replace them.