Wednesday, May 6, 2009


As mentioned, I had a mess of overripe bananas in my house. Along with that, I had some grated orange and lemon zest left over from the Pizza Dolce. I've kind of gotten to the point that, on the rare occasion when something citrusy crosses my doorstep, I won't let it pass without grating the zest off for culinary uses. This means that I'll have to find new places to use it culinarily, though.

So today I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone and throw both into some sort of tropical muffin. I used this banana muffin recipe, adding spices (cardamom, cinnamon, a pinch each of allspice and ginger, a sprinkling of nutmeg) and the orange and lemon zest. I used whole wheat flour and aluminum-free baking powder.

I learned about that last one from reading the notes to a Southern cookbook. The author was adamant that for good baking, you needed to purge the other kind from your kitchen - that baking-powdery taste you get sometimes when you make biscuits or pancakes from scratch comes from the sodium aluminum phosphate they use in the cheaper formulas. Argo makes an aluminum-free variety, or I've found it in the bulk section of the natural food store, or you can make your own by blending two parts cream of tartar to one part each baking soda and cornstarch.

The mainstream baking powder works fine for most recipes, but if you cook from scratch a lot you'll start to notice the flavor in subtler baked goods that don't have a lot of sugar or flavoring.

The muffins are baking at the moment; I'll know soon enough whether these flavors go well together, or whether they'll taste like buttocks.

Not local today: Bloody everything.

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