Of all my various food fears, there’s one that I thought I’d never conquer: baking.
In my entire life, I have baked one cake — and it was from a mix. All I’ve ever heard from baking friends is that it’s easy. Easy, that is, unless you mess up one tiny measurement. Then a cupcake explodes in your oven and you cry.
Another reason I stayed away was that I’m not a sweets person. Give me a handful of potato chips over a piece of cake any day.
But when I do find a dessert I like, I tend to love it passionately. Tiramisu. The custard at Shake Shack. And recently, it was the banana chocolate chip muffins at a cafe near my apartment.
So when I decided to attempt to confront my fear, I browsed through page after page of recipes, not enticed by a single one until I found one for those very muffins.
The recipe seemed deceptively easy… Mix a bunch of stuff in one bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt), then mix a bunch of stuff in another bowl (milk, melted butter, mashed bananas, and an egg), then mix the two bowls together and add chocolate chips.
But there were several near-disasters. First, I added a tablespoon of baking powder instead of a teaspoon, and ended up fishing as much of it out of the flour/sugar mixture as I could. This was not easy because, as you may have realized already, all those ingredients are white. But I did my best.
Then, I added just under the right amount of butter, since that was all I had! Newsflash to me: baking requires a lot of butter.
I pulled the muffins from the oven just before my boyfriend walked in the door. It was nearly dinnertime, so we decided to split one. I was terrified that they’d be completely disgusting… but they were delicious!
He even proclaimed that I had replicated the cafe muffins almost exactly. It was a triumph, but the real question is: did I enjoy it?
Let’s just say I’ll be glad to have simple baking in my repertoire — but I’m just as happy to have FreshDirect muffins at my fingertips!