Serious Eats: Talk

That elusive crumb...

There are two foods right now that I've fallen in love with but can't figure out:
1) Some type of corn muffin. On a whim, I picked up a "muffin" from a local cafe and fell deeply in love with it. It had this wonderful tender, moist, chewy crumb and it smelled deeply of corn. It didn't fall apart like cornbread. It was a deep molasses color and borrowed much of its sweetness from the cornmeal. I tried looking for recipes. Nothing seemed to match the description. I also went back to the cafe and tried, I swear, all the muffins and I don't think they carry it anymore. I still buy a muffin every now and then hoping I've stumbled onto that elusive one...
2) GOOD red velvet cupcakes. Until now, I've never understood the popularity of red velvet because the ones I tried were always light on flavor, too airy, crumbly, etc. But the texture on this one particular red velvet cupcake was sublime - rich, fudgey without that gross "wet" texture, yet MUCH more airy than traditional butter cakes. It was just a beautiful balance of rich and moist but not cloyingly dense.

I do have the book "Bakewise", and I'm sure I could piece together an answer. But I think tapping into the collective SE wisdom would be a much more efficient route. So hit me with your best thoughts!

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