August 15, 2004

sometime you should just stick to the recipe

Friday, August 13

It was my first time to bake some cake using tofu. It is, of course, such a staple in Japanese cuisine and I love it like most people I know back there, but sweet stuff using tofu is somehow not as common as here in the States, as far as I know. I have never been particularly into using tofu in baking, but the other day I stumbled across this recipe (in Japanese) - tofu muffin. This one uses no egg, milk, or butter (but does use vegetable oil) and uses kinako, or soy powder, soy milk, and tapioca starch, along with kinugoshi dofu, or silken (soft) tofu. A bit unusual, I thought.

I had bought tapioca starch especially for this recipe (it was in quite a big bag, and I used only a bit of it; I don't know how to use up the rest - maybe make some PortugueseBrazilian cheese rolls?) and silken tofu - or so I thought. When I cut open the package of tofu, it looked pretty firm; most of tofu available in my neighborhood is predominantly extra firm, which is basically not for eating as is. This one, although not so firm, was still pretty firm for kinugoshi, and it actually wasn't as it turned out; I picked up a wrong one. The package read "medium firm (regular)", and that was what it was. I messed up.
But I had already opened the package and was ready to make muffins, I just went on. According to the recipe, if you drain and puree 200g (approx. 7oz) of silken tofu and add 1/2 tablespoonful of lemon juice and about 2 tablespoonful of soy milk, it should make about 180cc (approx. 6 fluid ounces, or 3/4 cup). In my measuring cup, however, the pureed tofu already measured more than 3/4 cup - so I removed a bit of the pureed tofu and added lemon juice and soy milk.
The batter, with the dry ingredients added, was extremely dry and I ended up with adding some extra lemon juice and mixing probably more than I was supposed to. Things weren't looking quite bright.

The muffins that came out of oven looked fine (although the walnut bits as a topping were burnt), but their texture was pretty firm.

I could attribute it to a few factors: first, I used firm tofu instead of soft one; second, I used all-purpose flour instead of pastry flour; and third, I overmixed the batter, which might have been as a result of the former two. I usually use all-purpose flour even when using a Japanese recipe that most often uses pastry flour, which has a lesser content of gluten, and sometime it is fine, while other times it does make the cake a bit too firm, like this time. The muffins were far from good, but maybe I should give it a second try using the right ingredients, before blaming the recipe for the failure.


Santos said...

ooh. portuguese cheese rolls, what are those? these muffins look interesting. let us know how the second try turns out.

chika said...

Hi Santos,
It is called Pao de queijo, or "cheese bread". And it's Brazilian, NOT Portuguese... sorry, I distributed wrong information. Oops!

Cc said...

Dear Chika,

Hello! I have just discovered your blog and am spending my nights reading through them from your first entry.. it is very interesting and is strongly encouraging me to bake again!!

This particular muffin recipe seems like something I would like to try baking.. thus, I would be grateful if you could provide or translate the recipe for me??

I will bake them with silken tofu and let you know how it turns out?

Thank you lots! :) 

Posted by Cc