Sunday, September 12, 2010
Sweet Melissa Sundays: Bosc Pear and Blue Cheese Savory Muffins
Today I tried new lighting for photographing my food. It wasn't actually intentional, but the light in the kitchen happened to be streaming in right when I wanted to photograph my results. I use a Nikon D5000 camera and 99.9% of the time I use the "Food" scene setting and usually get pretty good results. It's way easier than actually tyring to figure out apertures and F stops. I think the camera thinks if you are photographing food you are probably in a place with questionable lighting. So when I photographed these muffins with full sun using the food setting it came out with a completely different look then using the indirect natural light. The photo above is bathed in sunlight. The 2 photos below are indirect natural light.
The sunlight photo has a nice warm glow. I will have to play around with this and see if I can capture other treats in this nice light.
On to the muffins! Several months back I tried my first Sweet Melissa muffin recipe. The Sweet Melissa Baking book has a base recipe for both sweet and savory muffins and offers a number of variations on each. This was a sweet muffin--Strawberry. Unfortunately the muffins didn't turn out so hot. They were very dense and doughy. Inedible might be too strong a description but I certainly had no desire to eat them so they ended up in the muffin graveyard...my kitchen trash can. I took some comfort in later learning that other Sweet Melissa Sundays bakers had trouble with base muffin recipe too. I was curious how the savory muffin recipe rated. What better way to find out then first hand?
I made half the recipe and subbed sour cream in place of the heavy cream called for (as suggested by Andrea). I used skim milk in place of whole milk and I added several extra tablespoons of milk to get the batter to the right consistency. The savory muffin recipe has a little kick to it with black pepper (I used white) and cayenne pepper. I love the flavor of pear and blue cheese together so I was excited to try this out. I omitted the walnuts because I just don't care for them. I thought about subbing in pecans but I didn't have any on hand. So my muffins were nut-less.
These muffins are very reminiscent of a tender biscuit. They didn't turn out as golden brown as I would have liked. I did enjoy the cheese flavor, but the pear really got lost. The two peppers make this a spicy muffin. Overall, I wasn't lovin it. Another SMS baker commented that these would go nicely with a bowl of creamy tomato soup....and I agree. Eating them straight up didn't do much for me. However I have 19 more mini muffins sitting in my kitchen with only me to eat them. Hubby won't touch these with a 10 foot pole. I may swing by Fresh and Easy tomorrow and pick up a container of creamy tomato soup and give these muffins a second chance.
Thanks Andrea at Nummy Kitchen for selecting this week's recipe. See other SMS bakers muffins here.