Muffin tops browning too fast.

Discussion in 'Cakes' started by Eyecantbake, May 25, 2017.

  1. Eyecantbake

    Eyecantbake Member

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    Hi all.

    I'm a decent cook but a lousy baker. I have a thing for Dunkin Donuts chocolate chip muffins, when they arent dried out.
    Anyway, I decided to try and make my own. I have found that most of the recipes online are all pretty much the same. And, the muffins turn out fine when following them. But, something is missing. So, I have been trying to modify the recipe a little bit on my own. What I have tried is substituting light brown sugar for the white sugar that the recipe calls for. Also, substituting a little bit of vanilla pudding mix (cooking type) for some of the flour. The sugar substitution is straight up, oz for oz. The same with the flour-pudding mix substitution. I have been subbing in just about 20% of the pudding mix in replacement for that much flour.

    Here is the problem. The muffins seem to cook faster. For example, strictly following the recipe the muffins are baked at 425 for 5 minutes then temp. reduced to 375 for 13 minutes. When I follow that with the original reciped it works out perfectly. But with the brown sugar and pudding mix substitutions, the muffins are done in 10 minutes rather than 13. The tops are very brown. Ok, but a bit too dark. I have tried reducing the temp to 375 for the entire cooking time and that doesnt work at all. The tops burn before the insides are done. Forget about baking giant muffins, that doesnt work at either temperature with the substitutions. But it does work fine if I follow the original recipes.

    The muffins are much better (to me) with the brown sugar and pudding mix, but I cant get it to work.

    So, I guess my question is this ... is it the brown sugar or is it the pudding mix that is throwing it off? Or, is it probably both? I fully admit that I am a lousy baker but I am now obsessed with figuring out these chocolate chip muffins. So, any help is appreciated.

    Thanks kindly.
     
    Eyecantbake, May 25, 2017
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  2. Eyecantbake

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure why you are using pudding mix, but thats what the problem is.

    Sugar is sugar, and even with different substitutions, you should pretty much get the same result with any sugar.

    Pudding mix is a different beast.

    Pudding mix in a flour mixture will hold in the moisture more than just the way flour does. As a result, it takes longer to bake something with a large amount of pudding mix in it.

    If you are putting that much pudding mix in the batter, then you will have to bake them for quite a while before the moisture evaporates from them enough to firm up.....and as you state, the outside will burn before the inside gets done.

    You can either use less liquid or cut back on the pudding mix.
     
    ChesterV, May 26, 2017
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  3. Eyecantbake

    Eyecantbake Member

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    Well, like my moniker infers, I can't bake. I tried the pudding mix for the added flavor and different texture, not so much to make them more moist as they are pretty moist and fluffy without it. But, as mentioned, something was missing. I do realize that I made a mistake that breaks the rules of scientific experimentation, let alone baking. I changed more than one variable at a time. Good thing I'm not a nuclear scientist I suppose.

    I'll drop the pudding and just try the brown sugar. On the plus side, our oven thermostat Is right on the money and it bakes evenly. Not bad for a 10 year old, relatively inexpensive GE.

    Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it. I'll report back.

    Thanks.
     
    Eyecantbake, May 26, 2017
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  4. Eyecantbake

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    Good advice from @ChesterV. I'd be interested to know your whole recipe. If you want a really moist muffin then you might do better finding a recipe that involves buttermilk or yogurt, they're always good :)
     
    Becky, May 26, 2017
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  5. Eyecantbake

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    You can use pudding mix, but you have to adjust the other ingredients that would be affected by so much pudding mix. If you want to experiment, then try using just two tablespoons per batch of batter.

    If you want flavor, then theres other things you can use to get that.........flavorings, candy bits, fruit, veggies, nuts, jams, jellies, peanut butters, etc....
     
    ChesterV, May 27, 2017
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  6. Eyecantbake

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    Just had a thought.............if you want to use the pudding mix method, you might try baking them with a "tent" or top over them so they ....maybe.... won't bake so fast and burn on top.

    [​IMG]

    OR....

    You might try clipping a large aluminum pan over the top of your baking pan........


    [​IMG]
     
    ChesterV, May 27, 2017
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  7. Eyecantbake

    Eyecantbake Member

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    All the recipes I've found are pretty much the same but I've been using this one ...

    http://www.somethingswanky.com/bakery-style-chocolate-chip-muffins/

    And I have been using buttermilk. They're better with buttermilk compared to the milk and vinegar trick.

    It was definitely the pudding mix that was the problem.

    It works fine with sticking to the recipe except using the brown sugar instead of granulated. The muffins come out very moist and crumbly and they are good, but they don't taste like Dunkin Donuts. The texture is different which isn't necessarily a bad thing because the DD are sometimes too dry. But it's missing some flavors. It's not cinnamon, or not only cinnamom, because I've tried that.
    I imagine that DD probably uses premixed dry ingredients so getting the exact recipe probably isn't going to happen seeing how the employees who bake them probably don't even know whats in them.

    Thanks for the help.
     
    Eyecantbake, May 27, 2017
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  8. Eyecantbake

    Eyecantbake Member

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    My wife suggested that too but she wasn't sure how it would turn out. If I go back to the pudding, I'll try it. The pudding adds some flavor but it's different, not so sure now that it's "better". Still not Dunkin Donuts tasty so I'm gonna keep working on it.

    Thanks
     
    Eyecantbake, May 27, 2017
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  9. Eyecantbake

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    Companies like that make their own mixes. Who knows what flavorings or chemical additives they use to get those flavors. The dry ingredients they use have also been sifted and refined several times over, thats how they can get the even consistency.

    If you want to try this, sift all of your dry ingredients together at least three times over.
    Mix all of your wet ingredients together and then slowly whisk in the dry mixture into the wet, until you get a nice smooth batter.

    Buttermilk makes everything better in my opinion.
     
    ChesterV, May 29, 2017
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    Becky likes this.
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