I have this wonderful book called Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman. Though it does have some simple recipes, it’s more of a reference book than a cookbook. In it, Ruhlman talks about the basic ratios that make up the recipes we make all the time. Knowing and applying these ratios can free you from recipes and encourage creativity. I’m still pretty reliant on recipes when I cook, at least as a basis. As time goes on I deviate more and more from these recipes (and now, having a blog, I have to takes notes of what I do!). This time around, I decided to skip looking up recipes to fit my ideas and go straight to the ratio and do the rest on my own!
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark rum (or 2/3 teaspoon rum extract)
- 2 egg whites
- 4 tablespoons (half a stick) of butter, melted (and browned, if you like)
- 1 cup crushed pineapple (with the juice)
- Extra shredded coconut for topping (optional)
2. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add brown sugar and coconut and stir until blended.
3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together rum, egg whites, and melted butter. Stir in crushed pineapple with juice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just blended.
4. Prepare a mini muffin pan (grease it lightly if it’s not non-stick, or add mini muffin cups if you wish). Evenly distribute the batter into the pan.
5. Bake the muffins for 20 minutes or until they’re a nice golden color and you can stick a toothpick in the center of a muffin without crumbs sticking to it. If you wish, you can quickly pull the muffins out after about 10 minutes and sprinkle each with a little extra shredded coconut for a nice topping, and then return pan to the oven for the rest of the baking time.
*This same recipe will make 12 regular-sized muffins, but you may have to adjust the baking time so keep an eye on ’em.
The muffins came out beautifully, and had a great light n’ fluffy texture. They aren’t super sweet, which is what I was going for (I hate it when muffins are as sweet as cupcakes) but if you want a bit more (which frankly, would be closer to a piña colada) just add some sugar. I would suggest adding a 1/4 cup of regular sugar in addition to the dark brown sugar (I used the brown sugar to enhance the rum flavor). You could also use sweetened shredded coconut instead of unsweetened.
These little guys are perfect for a quick snack or breakfast when you’re running out the door. They’d also be perfect for bentos, although in my case they disappeared so quickly I didn’t even get to put them in a lunch!
I’m definitely going to explore the book more and try using ratios over detailed recipes more often. What do you prefer? How do you use recipes, if at all, and when do you let your creativity run wild?