Mountain High Muffins

Song: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye
 
Rocky Mountain Muffins
 
I might not be a master in creating gourmet dessert or haute cuture cuisine, but I may humbly say that I rarely fail in baking mountain high muffins, no matter what recipe I used. I guess it’s a gift? Noooo, no, no, no, no. You can tackle any muffin recipe as long as you grasp the basic principles of muffin baking, ones I would like to share with you on this cloudy monday.
 

  1. Do not be confused by different methods.
    There are two kind of methods I know: the classic method, one that tells you to pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir them just until moistened, creating lumpy batter; and the one you whip with electric mixer while hot, creating a batter similar to pancake’s, I call this Ruri’s method (‘coz Ruri introduced this method to me).
    Both methods work fine. They’re just slightly different in texture. The first method creates crumbly texture, while the other one creates spongy texture. You just have to try both to decide which ones you like the best.
  2.  
    In Their Dark Nests
     

  3. The dynamic duo: leavener and temperature
    These two things are the essentials in rising the muffin in the oven and create those high mounds we love. So make sure the leavener is fresh and works well (baking powder and or baking soda), and your oven is very hot to work sparingly with the leavener. Preheat your oven at high temperature (200-220 Celcius degree) for at least 15 minutes before the actual baking. After you put your muffin in the oven, you can adjust the temperature as needed.
    If you’re using electric oven, use BOTH UPPER AND LOWER HEAT. This is important, because one of the reasons why muffins refuse to rise high is because the upper area of the oven is not as hot as the lower area. Therefore, make sure your oven heats evenly.
  4.  

  5. No tapping, please
    Do not tap the pan. While sponge cake batter needs to be tapped once in a pan to eliminate any excess bubles and spread the needed buble evenly in the cake, it is NOT the same case with muffin. It needs no tapping, it even hates tapping! On the other hand,….it needs the batter to be mounded up in the middle.
  6. Dark Giant
     

  7. Mound up your batter
    Filling the tinThe fastest and easiest way to do this is using the pastry bag/piping bag, otherwise you can use ice cream scoop or two spoons (thanks, Liz). Drop the batter right in the middle of each muffin hole and let it spread itself from there. Classic method muffin will create the mound alright, but Ruri’s method will create flat batter. That’s alright, do not panic. As long as you drop the batter right in the middle of each hole, we’re gonna be okay.
  8.  

  9. Fill it up
    Fill your muffin tins full to the upper rim. It’s not cupcake, remember? We need our muffin to be high, so it needs all the batter available in one tiny cup to rise and rise more. Don’t worry about the batter would spill. The batter on the rim would have been baked already and become a firm guard when the middle starts to rise, forcing the batter to break through the middle, creating the mound you want. In fact, if you have like 1 cup batter left, do not use it to fill another cup. Instead, use it to add a little bit extra batter to each hole. Once again mind you, drop it right in the middle.
  10.  
    Muffin batter before adding the eggs in Ruri's method Muffin batter after adding the eggs in Ruri's method
    Muffin batter in Ruri’s method. Left: Before adding the eggs. Right: After adding the eggs.
     

  11. With a little help from the steam
    Try not fill all the cups with batter. Leave one empty, and instead, fill it halfway with water. The steam will help the batter rise even better. Do not fill it too full, unless you’re ready for water splashing tragedy.
    If you already filled them all, well, don’t be discouraged. Your muffins will be okay still. You can always experiment anytime you want.
  12.  
    Mounds
     

  13. Oh, so hot!
    By the time you reach this stage, your oven should be very hot, both upper and lower area. That’s good. Now, put the pan on the middle rack of the oven and set the actual temperature. Mind the rule of thumb: the smaller the food, the faster it should be baked, therefore the hotter the temperature should be. The bigger the food, the longer it should be baked, therefore the cooler the temperature should be. My magic numbers are 200 Celcius degree for 15 minutes for mini muffins, and 180 Celcius degree for 20 minutes for large muffins. You know your oven better, so you know what to do.
  14.  
    Mountain High
     

  15. Watch it rise
    Check your muffins about 2-3 minutes before it’s done and watch them rise high. High, high up in the sky! Test with skewer, and take it out from the oven. DO NOT OVERBAKE or they will turn out dry. Let it cool on the rack. Wrap individually to ensure their freshness.

 
Ain’t no mountain high enough,
ain’t no river wild enough,
ain’t no valley low enough,
to keep me from getting to you, babe..
— Marvin Gaye

 
Somebody's Watching Me
 

Disclaimer: even though these principles are tested through time, most of them are my personal preferences and might only work for me though. So don’t come crying if your muffins still turn out flat or merely mounded. Maybe you just have to learn harder.

 
About the muffins:

 
Flickr’s tag: muffin

43 thoughts on “Mountain High Muffins”

  1. Fantastic five star post! I really loved this one, I may even use it as my excuse to do even MORE baking before I leave for Israel. Maybe I can take some muffins on the plane, mmmm….

    Bookmarked!

    Thanks, Ari. Muffin is perfect for plane trip. Have a marvelous trip! I would love to visit Israel someday. Masjidil Aqsha! ———Riana

  2. muah muah muah….
    tengkyu banget udah bikin detail kayak begini
    banyak yang nanya ama gw kok muffin gw gak ngembang lah, keras lah, de el el es be deh
    ntar gw suruh pada ngintip postingan loe ini ya…
    tengkyu haneeehhh….
    miss you neh

    Haiya, justru karena baca banyak keluhan di blog elo makanya gue bikin ginian, kekeke..
    Miss you too! See you Saturday ya.. Girls hanging out neeeeh…. ———-Riana

  3. kyaaaa…. posting ini top banget!!!

    salam kenal Mbak Riana🙂. aku sering mampir ke sini tapi ga pernah komen, cuma nyerap ilmunya doang😀. makasih banget ya..

    Yantiiiii, I really enjoy your stories loh.. Aku udah tinggalin komen di postingan ‘perjodohan’ ya… Salam kenal juga! —Riana

  4. gue liatin kalo ngisi muffin-nya sampe 3/4 penuh, hasilnya munjung ya? gemes liat foto2nya abis pada endut2 & merekah gitu🙂

    Gue sih sampe penuh full, Liz. Makanya bener2 kayak gunung🙂 ——–Riana

  5. SAlam kenal mbak duh….. itu muffin make me hungry mbak. Ajarin donk mbak hehehehe

    Udah diajarin tuh di atas. Selamat bikin muffin! ———Riana

  6. aduh, ngiler banget liat muffinnya mba….
    disaat-saat aku sedang terdampar in the middle of nowhere kayak gini, rasanya nggak nolak banget-banget kalo dikasih yang kayak ginian…. salam kenal mba riana….

    In the middle of nowhere where? Bikin ajaaaaaa, gampang dan enak. Salam kenal juga🙂 ——–Riana

  7. slurrpp lapeer niech mbak, kliatannya enyak yo, bagiin resepnya yo

    Mmm… paling enak dikudap sore-sore.. Resepnya udah di-link di atas ya, Des. Ada resepnya Ruri, ada resepnya Eliza. Tinggal dipili-pili… ———–Riana

  8. Oooh, jd begitu yah?? Hm… aku jd tau beberapa kesalahanku. Hehehee:) termasuk panas oven ituh. Yg ditambahi telur kok bisa gitu ya Ri?? Aku kenapa kalo bikin suka pada ke atas semua adonannya?😦 Pernah enggak sih, tp seringnya pada ke atas semua. Jd dimikser syusah. kenapa?

    Nah, itu dia, Ret. Aku diskusi sama Ruri, kenapa ya orang2 bikin adonannya pada ‘manjat’ semua? Kok aku gak ngalamin, bingung juga. Jadi waktu aku bikin pake resep Ruri, aku foto deh. Fotonya ada di atas tuh, sebelum dan sesudah telur masuk. Kok gak manjat ya tuh adonan? Malah lembut kayak adonan kue sus.
    Menurut Ruri, kemungkinan masukin air+butternya sekaligus semua, jadi langsung terbentuk adonan yang liat. Harusnya masuknya sedikit-sedikit aja sambil terus dikocok.
    But anyway, sesudah telurnya masuk, adonan jadi encer lagi kan? ———–Riana

  9. Mbak… itu muffin atasnya ditaburin apaan yak?
    kacang ya? kok bisa nempel? dilapisi apaan dulu sih?

    Yang rame itu ya? Itu kacang cincang, kelapa kering dan chocolate chips. Gak dilapisin apa-apa, memang bisa nempel kok. Kan adonannya kental, jadi ketika ditaburin dia langsung mendarat dengan empuk, setengah melesak, ke atas adonan. You should try it, girl! ———-Riana

  10. mbak sebenarnya saya sendiri kurang bisa membedakan cupcake ama muffin………..dan saya kurang suka juga ama muffin,tapiiii mbak riana begitu liat foto muffin mbak yg no.7 merekah dgn manisnya ,saya udah nggak bisa menahan diri untuk mencoba bikin ……sangatttt menarik dan mengiurkan………..bawaannya pingin gigit tuh muffin……..

    Cupcake adalah cake. Muffin adalah quick bread (roti tanpa ragi). Beda roti dengan cake? Ya beda lah yaaa… hehehe…
    Coba perhatiin tekstur muffin deh. Berserta-serat kayak roti. Bolong-bolongnya gede-gede kayak roti. Beda sama cupcake kan? Kalo masih belom liat bedanya, ya udah, anggep sama kali ya, huahaha…. ——Riana

  11. Mbak…salam kenal ya…
    sejujurnya aq blom pernah bikin muffin, padahal dirumah udah bli loyang muffin udah lama banget..cuma blom pe-de , minta izin untuk nyobain resepnya boleh ya mbak..

    trims
    tita

    Tita, resepnya dari Eliza dan Ruri tuh say. Monggo dibikin… ———–Riana

  12. Mbak Riii,
    Seperti biasa, ulasan dan foto-mu prof abiss… Aku juga sering bikin muffin, dan oven-ku yang high temper itu emang cocok dengan resep2 muffin, jadinya semua menjulang as mountain high, haduuh bahasanya… BTW, itu muffin coklat, slurrppp bangets ga seeh… Kepengen!

  13. **garuk-garuk kepala** Masalahnya begini. Itu adonan, waktu butter masuk sih oke2 ajah Ri. Yang jadi masalah itu setelah telur masuk. Nah, mulai manjat deh. Makin tambah telur, adonan makin manjat. Ihikz… ihikz…😦 Gini deh. Dikau waktu nambahin telur, itu adonan bener2 dah dingin, suam2 kuku, atau masih anget agak panas. Hihihihi. Suhu ngaruh kagak? Thx yah… :p

    *garuk-garuk kepala juga*
    Lucunya, justru setelah telur masuk tuh adonan jadi lebih encer kayak adonan pancake.
    Oh, suhu ngaruh. Aku masukin telurnya pas adonan udah anget cenderung dingin (suam-suam kuku).
    Ret, cobain pake resepnya Eliza aja, mungkin jodoh sama yang ini. Yang ini sih pasti jadi dan tinggiiiiiii deh.. ——Riana

  14. Hi, this is my first time here. Super helpful tips that you have here. Thanks for sharing. I’ll keep them in mind the next time I bake muffins. BTW, I read your About Me, and having lived in Indonesia (Jakarta) for 7 years, I sure don’t think that it’s a retarded country. And yes, you guys have AWESOME food!

  15. hi thx for the interesting pics and techniques !
    i really love them, hey can anyone here recommend me some good ovens for baking muffins?
    e.g. the brand name, some function specifications etc.
    thank you !
    hope to hear from you all soon !

    Well, it depends on where you live and how you get familiar with the oven. But I use Gainsborough and it seems very agree with muffins🙂 Hope this helps ——Riana

  16. Mbak riana, makasih atas tips-nya. Akhirnya aku tau kenapa adonan muffin resep mbak ruri yang ku bikin selalu manjat kocokan mikser. Ternyata karena aku masukin butter+air nya gak sediki2, 3 kali masuk selesai. Mau coba nikin yang bener-nya. Sekali lagi makasih ya mbak ^_^

  17. Loved your explanation to cook ‘high’ muffins, very entertaining and amusing. Thanks, looking forward to giving your methods a try.

  18. hi riana, i love love love your blog. could you please translate ruri’s method for moi?

    Gosh, I owe that too to some people! Please bear with me, I’ll try to find time around the end of this year, ok? ——–Riana

  19. Hi, I like to learn more about Ruri’s method. However, I don’t understand her blog? Can u help to translate? Or do u have any link to the “translated” method? Thanks.

  20. Hi Riana,

    Know u must be very busy. Hope u can find time to do a translation for us on Ruri’s method. Thanks.

    Omg, I haven’t done that, have I? Ok, ok, I’ll try my best.. ———Riana

  21. mba, muffinnya bikin laperrr…
    mo tanya dong (sorry kl pertanyaannya bodoh :D) butternya boleh di ganti mentega ga?? thanks

    Butter = Mentega, say….
    ——–Riana

  22. Hai riana..
    Foto muffin nya ok banget yah!
    Aku pernah coba buat sekali dgn resep dr situs lain tp bantet gak mau naik. Aku rencana mau coba lg dgn resep ruri. Moga2 aja kali ini sukses.
    Tapi kalo mau yg bener2 merekah (seperti jamur) kayak blueberry muffin yg di starbucks bisa gak yah?
    But thanks a lot for sharing those tips..

    Bisa. Pake cetakan muffin yang sedang atau agak besar, penuhi lubangnya dengan adonan sampai penuh (kalo kurang penuh, kurang mekar karena adonannya kurang), panggang dengan api besar (200 derajat) yang sudah dipanaskan lebih dahulu 10-15 menit. ———Riana

  23. hai gw ivonne salam kenal y,seneng bgt bisa nemuin blog ini,and gw ngucapin thank berat ama co gw yg ud ngajari karna gw agak gaptek ni,gw dapet banyak ilmu dari sini,thanxs bgt ya mbak soalnya aku jg kemaren ud coba bikin mufin ruri tp gak ngembang.entar aku pengen coba bikin resp mbak….mmm mufinnya bener bener menggoda.

    Muffinnya Ruri ngembang kok say, perhatiin aja jurus-jurus sukses muffin, pasti ngembang deh..
    ——–Riana

  24. Thank you for posting these great tips! The last few times that I have baked, I incorporated all of this advice…heat, water, extra filling…and my muffins have been wonderfully tall.

    Hey, good for you! Glad to be of any help. ———–Riana

  25. Mbak… sebenernya bisa gak sih bikin muffin pake oven tangkring? Aku bikin ngembang sih (kalo lg beruntung, selebihnya bleber tumpah ke luar pas dipanggang), tp kok dalemnya gak moist ya, kering gitu. Aku bikin pake cetakan muffin satuan. Cetakan muffin jumboku ga muat di oven😦 Jadinya adonan muffin lebih sering kubikin di loaf. Jadinya quick bread deh… Padahal kan lebih cantik kalo jd muffin ya?

    Bisa donk, apa sih yang gak bisa sama si O-Tang🙂 Kalo gak moist, biasanya karena kelamaan manggang, berarti oven kurang panas. Kalo pake cetakan muffin satuan memang gak bisa berbentuk jamur, dan gak bisa terlalu penuh ngisi adonanannya. ————Riana

  26. Hi Riana,
    i m so happy after read this blog, because my muffin always cannot raise high enough like mountain. But i still have few question need to ask u, hope that u can help me.

    1. i always turn on the fan in the oven to make my muffin bake more evenly on top, but it always burn very fast on top in few mins. So i always have to turn the heat to bottom when the top of muffin turns to brown. Is this the right way to do? or just because of this my muffin won’t be rising?

    Try to use bottom heat only. You can use the upper heat at the end of the baking time when you feel the top is not brown enough. Oven with fan usually doesn’t need upper heat.

    2. Why my muffin tops always have “flying saucer” problem?

    That is because the middle part doesn’t rise high enough. Try to add more batter for every muffin hole, let it mound in the middle.

    3. What is the exact amount for baking powder and baking soda? i only put 2 tsp baking powder for 170g flour and didn’t put baking soda, is it ok and correct amount for baking powder?

    Just follow the recipe you use. If it doesn’t call for baking soda, it’s ok. Just follow the recipe.

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Mau Mau

  27. hi Riana,

    i will be trying out your method later this evening,was just wondering if i am using a silicon muffin tin, will it effect the “tallness” of my muffin?

    Hi, Ivy
    no, it should be just the same. ————-Riana

  28. Riana, terima kasih muffin nya enak sekali. Tapi 1 resep bisa jadi lbh dr 1 loyang muffin. Apakah sisanya bisa menunggu sampai 1 batch selesai di oven? Kemaren saya panggang di 2 rak tapi jadinya yg bawah hangus. Trims berat Riana.

    Bisa, Ming. Bisa ngantri. Bisa masuk kulkas malah, buat dipanggang besok paginya. ———Riana

  29. mbak mao dunk minta resep muffin yg menjulang tingi kayak gunung itu yg eliza tapi yag versi indonesia kal inggri aku takut salah takaran,kirim ke emalku jg boleh bgt mbak
    thx ya mbak

  30. Mbak Riana, thank you buat tips nya. Aku beberapa kali bikin muffin gepeng2 aja atas nya.. ternyata mesti dibikin panas dulu ya ovennya..🙂. Jadi kepengen coba bikin lagi hehehhee…😀

  31. To translate Ruri’s muffin page just go to http://google.com and incert the url link http://kuehruri.blogspot.com/2006/01/fun-with-muffin.html and when it finds it you will also notice a “Translate this page” click on the “Translate this page” and it will bring up the page in english but also will then allow you to choose from several other languages which you can have it translated into.🙂

    Gille, thank you! How I never thought about it before, google translates! ——–Riana

  32. salam kenal mbak riana, ngiler deh liat foto2 muffinnya ;p
    pengen bikin jadinya, makasih jg buat tips2nya, saya link ya mbak, thanks

  33. Hay mbak.. Aku baru beres nih bikin muffin yang mbak Ruri’s method.. Step by step nya udah aku ikutin.. Gak ada masalah adonan manjat2 ke mixer, tekstur adonan juga bagus, ovennya udah aku panasin 15 menit sebelumnya,tapiiiii kok tetep bantat ya ? Hahahaha.. I’m not gonna cry to you, mau nanya aja kira2 apa yang salah ya ? Sebenarnya waktu yang pas buat ngocok adonan dari mulai masuk telur sampai masuk gula tuh berapa lama ya ? Aku kira-kira 5 menit, soalnya setau aku muffin itu kan adonannya asal nyampur aja, jangan kelamaan ngocoknya.. Bener apa gak tuh mbak ? Hehe.. Muffinnya aku panggang kira-kira 25 menit.. Pas di oven sih sempet ngembang, tapi pas dingin kempes lagi dan teksturnya jadi bantat dan keras.. Mohon pencerahannya master baking.. Hehe..

    gak ada patokan waktu, sampai rata dan adonan halus. yang asal nyampur itu metode klasik, say. ovennya tangkring? api besar? cobain bikin lagi, ngocoknya lamaan dikit, terus suhu oven naikin dikit. sukses ya… —————-Riana

  34. waktu itu pernah bikin juga bantet n keras. harus coba lagi nih. gak boleh desperado n kecil ati. chef gordon ramsay aja harus nyoba 500 kali buat bikin steik wellington-ny sempurna, hehe..

    yak betul! it’s the thing that separates good with excellent🙂 ———Riana

  35. mbak rianaa, mau bikin muffin ni buat ngabisin stock dcc di dapur.
    mnurut mbak lbi recommended muffin resepnya mb ruri ato eliza?
    yg eliza’s lbi spt cake kah?
    oiaa, sm minta another ideas dunk mba bwt ngabisin dcc batangann. huhu. *stressngabisindcc*
    thx a bunch mbak!😀

    beda tekstur. ruri’s is spongy, eliza’s is crumbly. aku lebih suka yang crumbly, hanya urusan selera aja.
    ngabisin coklat batangan: dimakan. dilelehin sama susu jadi susu coklat. dicincang kasar, masukin ke adonan apapun. lelehin, dicocol biskuit, topping pancake or es krim or kopi. butuh berapa km lagi listnya, aku bisa bikin nih🙂 ————Riana

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