HappyRainz’s Recipes

recipes, baking, muffins, cakes, pizza

Frequently Asked Questions in making cheese cakes November 27, 2007

I guessed alot of people like myself would like to know the answers to all these frequently asked questions.  These are the answers i found.  I have compiled it so that all of you will know the answers too.

Q: Why are there cracks appear during baking?

A: Overbeating or high speed mixing can cause cracks to appear.  Ingredients should be also at room temperature.

Q: How to stop the cracking on top of the cheese cake?

A: Put a shallow pan of water at the lower deck of your oven when you are baking.  This will stop the cracks on the top from appearing

Q: I have followed all the process including putting the water in but why did tiny little specks of dots/droppings/cracks still appear?

A: While you are baking, avoid opening the oven door.

Q: Why did my cheesecake shrink so much when it cool?

A: If your cheesecake shrink too much, that means you have baked your cheesecake at a overly high temperature setting.

Q: When is the cheesecake ready?

A: Cheesecake is ready when the edge starts to turn brown and it is completed when the centre is almost set and move slightly when shaken.

Q: When is the cheesecake best served?

A: Cheesecake are best served when it is chilled for at least 12 to 24 hours.  Before you serve the cheesecake to your guest, bring it out the fridge and let it cool outside for 15mins before serving. 

Q: How to revive overbake cheese cake / cakes?

A: If you overbake your cake, make a simple syrup of 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes, then brush the cake layers on both sides until they are revived.


How to make soft moist muffins? November 14, 2007

I saw this article on a website and I find it quite useful for people who wants to make soft and moist muffins.


Article is by Shiloah Baker

There is nothing like a tender, soft, moist muffin straight from the oven. The perfect muffin’s outside is never hard, and when pulled from its muffin paper or popped out straight from the muffin pan it comes out completely and easily. How in the world is this done?

There are some tricks to muffins that many recipes (or box instructions even) do not include.

The first trick is to NEVER use a hand mixer. Think of muffin batter as a tiny soft baby that can easily crush.

The best utensil for mixing muffins is a wooden spoon.

Make a well into the dry ingredients of the muffins and add the wet ingredients into

the “hole”. Gently fold the dry ingredients over and stir softly. NEVER stir the batter more than 20 times; count each turn of the spoon around the bowl as one, two, and so on.

It is okay to have some lumps in the batter. The object is not to rid the batter of the lumps, but to not over mix.

When putting the batter into the muffin tins, I like two methods. The first, method is to use a ¼ cup measuring cup. My other favorite method is to use an ice cream scoop with the sliding piece inside to easily push the batter out of the spoon and into the cup.


Frequently Asked Questions on Muffins November 9, 2007

Below are some of the frequently asked questions on muffins by Betty Crocker.  Just hope that it could help those people who are ready to make muffins.  Their website www.bettycrocker.com provide very good information on different recipes and ready answers to problem you are facing. 

Q. What causes the muffins to be tough, heavy or rubbery?
A. Two things: too much egg and using a dark, nonstick pan. A large-size egg, about 1/4 cup, will give you the best results.

Q. What causes muffins to be coarse in texture with large holes and peaked on top instead of rounded?
You’ll get these results if you mix the batter too much. Remember, you need to stir the ingredients together just until they’re moist. If the oven temp’s too high, you’ll have the same problem. Double-check the setting, or you may have to experiment a bit with baking time, especially if you think your oven temp isn’t quite accurate. Using a dark, nonstick pan will give you these results, too.

Q. What makes the muffins too moist?
A. Too much milk, especially if you’re using paper-lined baking cups, and not baking them long enough will give you muffins that are too moist. Be sure to measure ingredients carefully. To measure milk, place a liquid measuring cup on your counter, pour in the milk, bend down and check the amount at eye level. Bake the muffins for at least the minimum time given in the directions. If they’re not golden brown, continue baking, checking on them every minute to see if they’re done. You may have to experiment a bit with the baking time, especially if you think your oven temp isn’t quite accurate.

Q. What’s the problem when muffins don’t rise?
A. Three things will keep muffins from rising fully: not having the oven temp hot enough, not mixing the batter enough and using muffin cups that are too large. Start by heating your oven for 10 to 15 minutes before baking to bring it up to the temperature called for in the recipe. You may have to experiment a bit with the baking time, especially if you think your oven temp isn’t quite accurate. Be sure to mix the batter until all the ingredients are moist. And finally, use the size of muffin cup called for in the directions.

Q. Why are the sides and bottoms of my muffins dark when I use a dark or nonstick muffin pan?
Dark pans absorb heat better than shiny ones. To compensate for this, try reducing the oven temp by 25ºF when you use dark pans.

Q. How can I fill muffin cups evenly and be sure to get the number of servings specified on the package?
A. To fill medium-size muffin cups, use an ice-cream scoop or a 1/4-cup measuring cup. Fill them 2/3 to 3/4 full. This will give you muffins that are all a similar size and the number indicated on the package.

Q. Can I make jumbo muffins in medium muffin cups?
You’ll have to use a pan with jumbo muffin cups to make jumbo muffins. But you can make extra-large muffins in a medium muffin cup pan.

Q. Why do some muffin mixes call for vegetable oil?
Vegetable oil helps make muffins tender and moist.

Q. What can I substitute for the vegetable oil?
Instead of vegetable oil, you can use melted margarine, butter or shortening.

Q. In a muffin mix that calls for water, can I substitute milk?
A. We don’t recommend using milk instead of water because the milk can make holes in the paper liners or the sides of the muffins.

Q. Why are the muffins slightly sweet?
A. Muffins need a little bit of sugar to add flavor and tenderness and to keep them moist and fresh, even when they’re reheated. The sugar also makes them more tolerant to overmixing.”

Q. When preparing blueberry muffin mixes, why should I drain and rinse the blueberries?
A. If you don’t drain them, you’ll end up with blue-colored muffins! Also, draining helps keep excess liquid out of the batter.