As smooth as silicone — Cooking Down Under Blog

As smooth as silicone

by Pat Churchill on February 19, 2013

I’m not usually given to endorsing products but one of my best kitchen finds in recent times is the Wiltshire Bend’n’Bake silicone bakeware pack containing six cupcake moulds.

While I am not into cupcakes, I often whip up a batch of muffins and freeze half of them for later use.  However, my “non-stick” muffin pans frequently stick, even when liberally greased and the paper muffin pan liners, even when sprayed with oil, also stick to the muffins and are very difficult to peel off. No point in baking then having to throw out liners with a fair slab of muffin still attached. Besides, the finished muffins look a mess.

I once owned a silicone muffin pan but I thought it was too floppy to put in and out of the oven without risking spillage or burns. However, in more recent times, these have been made with a rigid frame and I was on a mission to buy one when I came across the individual silicone cupcake moulds and bought a six-pack to give them a try.

They worked like a charm. I now have two dozen and can continue using my muffin pans without fear of the dough sticking to anything.

They cook evenly and the muffins spill out easily onto the cake rack. A real test were the little crustless mini quiches I make for The Spouse’s breakfasts. These are made from spinach, cheese, onion, eggs, capsicum and random other ingredients, like mushrooms or asparagus – depending on what’s in the vegetable bin

I freeze them and he can heat up a couple in the microwave for a quick start to the day. However, I was getting a little bit irritated with his constant whining about them sticking to the paper liners. No more. The new moulds work a treat and there’s no wastage – or moaning.

They sell at around $6.95 per pack of six. I’ve used them as stand-alone moulds and they work OK, although I prefer to put them in the old muffin pans.

Being silicone, they don’t need much washing. In fact, they can be put in the top shelf of the dishwasher. There are also mini-muffin versions, perfect for little cocktail bites. They’re available from kitchenware stores and supermarkets.

Here’s the recipe for the muffins pictured. A couple of these make a nourishing little breakfast.

The recipe contains buttermilk. If you don’t have any on hand just add a 1 1/2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to low fat milk and let it stand for a few minutes to curdle. The baking soda reacts with the acid in the buttermilk or soured milk and causes the muffins to rise. Because it starts working as soon as the two are mixed, the batter should be baked immediately.

Oat muffins

1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons fried shallots (available from Asian food stores)
1 cup grated reduced fat cheese
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten4 tablespoons rice bran oil or grapeseed oil

Preheat the oven to 180C. Spray a 12-compartment muffin pan with oil or line them with silicone patty pans and spray these.

Put the rolled oats in a small bowl and pour on half the buttermilk and set aside for 10 minutes to soften.

Place the wholemeal flour in a large bowl with the baking soda, salt, herbs and cayenne, fried shallots and cheese.

Add the egg and oil to the remaining buttermilk, whisk together then stir into the flour mix along with the soaked oat mixture. Do not overmix.

Spoon evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick emerges clean. Turn onto a cake rack to cool.

If you’re planning to use these for quick breakfasts or snacks, pack into freezer bags when cool and freeze. Zap on high in the microwave for about 50 seconds to defrost and reheat two muffins.



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