Deep inside the cupboard somewhere were a few un-touched, un-opened packets of God knows what – cake flour, pizza flour, cornflakes…. hmmm… I’m feeling really embarrassed now *blushing*
Oh-oh… and more “skeletons” kept appearing…tortilla wraps, spring roll wraps and there… tucked in the corner, was a brand new, virgin packet of Betty Crocker’s Cinnamon Streusel – Muffin & Quick Bread Mix! I hadn’t the slightest inkling when I bought it. Definitely, not this year! The first thing I did was searching for the expiry date, labelled somewhere on Ms Crocker’s Muffin pre-mix. Okay, got it! 12th July 2015.
BUT, who or what is Betty Crocker?
By the way, not many people know that Betty Crocker is an iconic, fictitious character, like Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot created by Agatha Christie or James Bond, created by Ian Fleming.
Betty Crocker is actually a trademark and brand name of the American multinational manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods, General Mills, Inc. According to sources, the name “Betty” was selected because it was viewed as a cheery, friendly-sounding, all-American name. Betty’s surname, Crocker, was chosen in honour of the popular director, William Crocker of Washburn Crosby Company, the largest predecessor of General Mills.
And what the heck is “Streusel“?
The word, “streusel” is German meaning, “something scattered or sprinkled”. It is similar to the English verb “strew”, however, in the world of baking and pastry, streusel is just another glamourous word for the crumbly topping on breads, muffins, pies and cakes. The ingredients used in making the crumble topping or “streusel” are flour, butter and sugar, identical to the crumbly toppings of a basic Apple crumble pie!
The Science of Baking
With a net weight of 394g, Betty Crocker’s Cinnamon Streusel – Muffin & Quick Bread Mix comes with one packet of pre-mix flour base and another smaller packet of the crumbly topping mix or streusel. Baking is science. It’s all in the chemistry. Baking, unlike cooking, requires carefully balanced formulas. Tweakings are out of the question! The 2 dry ingredients I got out from the box of BC’s pre-mix will never ever make muffins or a quick bread on their own in a million, zillion or trillion years! Why? Because the extra leavening (eggs), moistening (water) and tenderizing (fats) ingredients were NOT included! And finally, with the missing chemistry of heat and water, the physical reactions would never take place.
What were needed were the following
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 Cup Water
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil (I used corn oil)
I added a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon powder and I didn’t regret that a bit (NOTE: This was not on the instruction box)
Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C for 10 minutes without the muffins and then lower to 180 deg C when the baking starts (NOTE: This was not on Betty Crocker’s instruction box. This was my own because from experience, my ancient oven would have burnt the muffins if I left the oven on at 200 deg C throughout the baking process)
Add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine until all the ingredients are blended together into a smooth batter. Scoop one tablespoonful of the batter into each of the 12-hole muffin pan, then sprinkle the streusel or sweet crumbly topping on each muffin.
Alas! I sprinkled too much on the first few muffins and ended up with 3 ‘naked’ muffins. What I did was sprinkle some cinnamon powder on the last 3 muffins!
I’m also linking this post to #CookBlogShare17 hosted by Lucy of Supergolden Bakes
Without fresh eggs and the other extra wet ingredients, these BC’s muffins would never have transformed into what they were supposed to be… Yes, muffins and feather-light, too! And without much ado, I’m linking this post up to Belleau Kitchen’s Simply Eggcellent #4 with the June’s theme, “Anything Goes“.
I’m also linking up to Tasty Tuesdays hosted by HonestMum