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Muffins al la Clelland, and the Mega-Muffin Threashhold. Need suggestions/help
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Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Muffins al la Clelland, and the Mega-Muffin Threashhold. Need suggestions/help on 01/02/2014 23:52:38 MST Print View

Been wanting to for a long time, and I'm finally planning on trying to make muffins (okay, single muffin) like this:

http://ultralightbackpackintips.blogspot.com/2011/02/muffins-with-ul-stove-set-up.html

on my next trip. I will use my Jetbiol SolTi, and I don't have an extra lid or any other likely piece of multi-use gear to use in the bottom of my pot for steaming. Looking for lightweight suggestions that might work. One idea I had was to use the bottom of a fosters can, which fits nicely, with lots of holes punched in it. On the other hand it seems somewhat bulky

FYI, since I only have room for one, I may look for an extra large muffin cup. I'm worried that if I go for "the Mega-muffin solution" (possible episode title for "Big Bang Theory"?) whether at some size the recipe/method is not going to actually work well. Anyone have experience/advice they can share on the mega-muffin threshold?

Edited by millonas on 01/02/2014 23:54:07 MST.

Will Webster
(WillWeb) - M
Muffin cups on 01/03/2014 05:49:41 MST Print View

Not UL but they work:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000NBQFKU

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Muffins al la Clelland, and the Mega-Muffin Threashhold. Need suggestions/help on 01/03/2014 13:36:30 MST Print View

I'm having a tough time envisioning the bottom half inch of a Fosters can as bulky but not my call.

regarding muffin size ... try a test at home but I believe I've seem video of steam baking small (single serving sized) cake.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Muffins al la Clelland, and the Mega-Muffin Threashhold. Need suggestions/help on 01/03/2014 13:54:27 MST Print View

I've steam-baked breads, and I have dry-baked muffins and other breads. They all seem to work. However, I did this for a small group of people, generally four to eight eaters, and I did it with a 2L or 4L pot. I always found it to be too much trouble to make just for myself in a small pot. I also have an Outback Oven for when I had to get serious about it, and the weight can be spread over and carried by all eaters.

If you are trying to do the Mega-muffin, you can work with the simple recipe suggested by Professor Clelland. I also found good results for steam-baking by using any snack break mix or muffin mix from the store, except that I would reduce the recipe liquid by a third.

--B.G.--

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
My Mega-Muffin setup on 01/03/2014 17:08:51 MST Print View

I kind of think the Jetboil Sol cup is too small in diameter to do a proper Mega- Muffin. I think that Bob has it right--use a larger pot. Here's my full setup, for when I want to eat really well, which of course would include a muffin or two. Upper left is a 450 cc single wall cup/4Dog lid. This is for simmering a soup mix, or maybe doing mac/cheese. To the right of that is a Titan Kettle for boiling water, or maybe simmering a double batch of whatever I brought. There's a SP bowl with handles/4Dog lid, which is the primary pot for my usual simmer meals. To the right of that is a Vargo Sierra cup with ti foil lid. This is great for doing sauces or rehydrating veggies. This is what I use for my mega muffins. Front left is the pan/lid for a SP 1400 pot. Without a non-stick surface, it isn't great for scrambled Ova Easy, but it'll do bacon fine. It's the lid I use for the muffins, as it sits higher on the pot to give the muffin room to rise. In the front-middle is one of those pot supports I make, but this one is ~1/2" tall, just high enough to keep the muffin above the water. To the right of that is a trimmed down Backpacker's Pantry heat disperser. It's sized to exactly match up with the bottom of the SP bowl--it minimizes scorching when I need to do a 10 minute low simmer of my favorite Indian concoction, or my beef stroganoff or chicken alfredo.

Full gourmet setup

I like to do two different muffins--a sweet one with fruit, usually blueberries, using Krusteaz mix, and then an Ova Easy muffin with FD cheese and sausage crumbles. I pre-package these about this time of the year, and stockpile a summer's worth. Also note the ZipLoc with the squares of parchment paper. This will line the Sierra cup to keep it clean.

Muffin mixes, parchment paper

So here's the setup. The little pot support is placed in the pot, the water added, and then the Sierra cup/parchment paper/muffin mix is set on the support. You'll see that the lid will allow the muffin to rise as it wants to.

Sierra cup in pot, with lid ajar

Here we have the lid in place, and things are ready to place on the canister stove (at a minimal simmer setting) for 10-15 minutes.

Muffin assembly complete

I also have an idea as to how you might be able to do a big muffin in your Sol. But now it's time to pop a beer and watch the Bowl game. I'll get to that tomorrow.

Disclaimer: No muffin mixes were harmed during this lengthy post...

Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 01/03/2014 17:16:10 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Muffins al la Clelland, and the Mega-Muffin Threashhold. Need suggestions/help on 01/03/2014 20:11:59 MST Print View

Mark,
There may be a limit on steambaking "thickness"....

My 1.3L vargo "breads" are around 2" thick. I'm wondering if the 3" diameter of a Foster exceeds a "maximum" thickness for heat penetration...

Looking at my Sol I would suggest a well oiled pop can, or something in that range.

And, this is definitely something you want to try a home. It took a couple of iterations to get it right.


Edit: Velimir Kemec had success with a "pasta pot". (towards the bottom of the page.)

Edited by greg23 on 01/03/2014 20:20:36 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Muffins al la Clelland, and the Mega-Muffin Threashhold. Need suggestions/help on 01/03/2014 20:24:26 MST Print View

Honestly, you'd be surprised at what you can "Fauxbake"....and the methods to get there.

PS: as for mega muffins see the "Texas Muffin" for size. Yes, it is a real thing...lol.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Muffins al la Clelland, and the Mega-Muffin Threashhold. Need suggestions/help on 01/03/2014 20:25:20 MST Print View

Also, these are my musings over the years on the subject.....

http://www.trailcooking.com/fauxbaker/

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
bottom on 01/03/2014 21:16:20 MST Print View

Sorry if I wasn't clear, the fosters can is just to hold the muffin out of the water. It is not a pan for the muffin per se. I will be using a silicone muffin cup just like in the vid. The Fosters bottom is plenty bulky in that it takes up a lot of space for something that has no other use at all, and delicate enough that is is going to have to be packed inside the pot, probably. So bulky.

Not sure If I get the idea the the Sol Ti is too small. Seems be plenty big enough for a single muffin, even a mega one, with room all around. I'll have to check it out this weekend. I think there is far more than 1/4 of the space there is in the pot shown in the video used to cook 4 of them.

@bob Yeah, I think the extra work for just one could indeed be an issue. Only way to find out if it is worth it is to eat muffins on the trail - loads of them - and then decide. I volunteer to undertake this arduous research, and to publish my findinga, metrics, and graphs here at a later date. ;-)

@gary Wow that cook kit is beyond yar! Don't think I'm gonna carry anything like it soon, but your steamer setup looks great. I should clarify that I was going to use foster bottom *bottom up" for a stand, but obviously the other way around would work just as well. Does the inner pot get bounced around by the boiling water with fewer places to escape?

@greg Was that 2" after or before. (oops, TWSS :-) I'm assuming after. In the vid there is a quick warning not to use too much, so probably you can't go too far. Maybe if I used a very wide muffin cup with a more shallow layer of batter I could do a semi-mega-hockey-puck muffin.

I guess I should also clarify that on my stove setup I have tossed the jetboil useless heavy, holey pasta-straining lid, and replaced it with the much lighter top for and 8 oz ziplock bowl with Al foil super-glued to the bottom. The fit is such that very little steam or heat will escape if you have a rock on top - good for rehyradating, and hopefully good for muffin. It is a semi-cozy type setup an I will be using the pot as cozy and eating pot.

My main worry is if the temperature can even be controlled well enough to do 10 minutes in a jetboil. 10 minutes in jetboil minutes is like a whole week in the life of an alcohol stove. I will try to see if I can't just blast the fire once every minute or so, and depend somewhat on the cozy effect of my sealed-up, somewhat insulated pot. Then again maybe I can keep the heat low enough without it just blowing out.

All of which reminds me to also test if I have enough insulation to do pasta al la cozy by putting regular (not dehydrated) pasta in a cozy with boiling water and leaving it for long enough. I guess with the jetboil you could (again) just blast it for a few seconds every 5 minute, but it would be better to be able to forget it for a while.

@sarah I actually may know about texas muffins! Or at least one version. I got my mind blown the first time in Austin when I have my first (or many, many) jalapeno cornbread muffins. The, when I lived in Santa Fe I had jalapeno and fresh raspberry cornbread muffins and I knew there was a god!.

I wonder if the technique for a larger one would just be longer times - one texas muffin recipe I saw was for 25 minutes at 350. On the other hand the steam might have deleterious effects on the outside if used for too long I suppose.

Edited by millonas on 01/03/2014 22:08:11 MST.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
@sarah (again) on 01/03/2014 21:54:29 MST Print View

Looked at your site. I like your solution for a "steamer stand", especially as it would be more packable that the fosters end idea. Th pot you show is also about the same radius/size as the jetboil. I will be eagerly checking out the other entries on you page on baking.

BTW, bought your book last week.

Edited by millonas on 01/03/2014 21:55:11 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: bottom on 01/03/2014 22:19:12 MST Print View

"Only way to find out if it is worth it is to eat muffins on the trail"

One backpacker friend of mine knew that it was too much work for one person to try to bake muffins, so he developed an alternative.

We would be in some car camp right up until about an hour before we had our backpacks on and were heading up the trail. In the car camp, he would use an entire griddle to make pancakes, lots and lots of pancakes for a small group. Once everybody had their share and could not eat anymore, he would quietly shovel the remaining pancakes off the griddle, and then he would place each one into a ziploc bag. He would put one in his left rear pocket, and another one in his right rear pocket. Then sometimes others went in other pockets. He always had a pancake to eat whenever he felt like it. Unlike a muffin, he never worried about squishing a pancake.

--B.G.--

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: bottom on 01/03/2014 22:41:28 MST Print View

Multi-purpose as a sit pad - I like! Plus a camp pillow that smells like pancakes - intriguing.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: bottom on 01/03/2014 22:41:46 MST Print View

Lol....smart man! Cold pancakes rule :-D

And guys....a lot of "muffin" mixes can be cooked as griddle cakes. Heck, brownie mix can be done this way as well. And it is soooo good. Keep a low flame, lots of oil and be hungry.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Muffins al la Clelland, and the Mega-Muffin Threashhold. Need suggestions/help on 01/03/2014 22:51:19 MST Print View

No comment on the video, but the easiest way to make a muffin is by sticking one of those squishy bowls (safe to high heat) into a pot of water and boiling it.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Muffins al la Clelland, and the Mega-Muffin Threashhold. Need suggestions/help on 01/03/2014 22:53:47 MST Print View

"the easiest way to make a muffin is by sticking one of those squishy bowls (safe to high heat) into a pot of water and boiling it."

Yep, same thing.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
@sarah on 01/03/2014 23:14:04 MST Print View

Wow, just read your pizza muffins post. Brilliant! Unfortunately now I want one and the stores are all closed :-(

Beginning to see that I could add a good bit of variety using this method, beyond the morning muffin thing.

Edited by millonas on 01/03/2014 23:14:37 MST.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
The Sol muffin idea on 01/04/2014 10:46:39 MST Print View

Mark, here's that idea I alluded to last night. I'm pretty sure that it will work with your JB Sol, provided that you can turn the flame way down (which the new regulated burners allow us to do, pretty much). The silicone egg poacher cups come 2 to a pack, and I've seen them in a lot of kitchen type stores.

Muffin cup with JB supports

I used short titanium scrap rod pieces to make the suspension hooks (you could use a paper clip, unfolded and cut to length, then rebent), and I crimped the ends to the muffin cup to prevent them from escaping. The other end rests on the rim of the JB Sol cup. I can secure the stock JB lid over the titanium hooks, as the lid is pretty rubbery. You can adjust the space between the triangular muffin cup and the JB pot by moving the support hooks slightly. This will allow lots of steam to go through and cook your goodies. The sil cup is pretty big, just right for a manly Mega Muffin. It's a rather snug fit inside the Sol pot, and the silicone touches the Sol pot in a few places. Hopefully, the silicone won't get too hot and melt. I'm thinking that it won't.

muffin cup in JB pot

The weight of the silicone cup and support hooks is .65 oz., not too bad. I might give this a try myself. Being silicone, we might be able to forgo the parchment paper.

Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 01/04/2014 10:53:21 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: The Sol muffin idea on 01/04/2014 15:17:29 MST Print View

As long as it doesn't touch the bottom of the pot, where the flame is, directly, and you have water in the pot, silicone is pretty forgiving :-)

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: The Sol muffin idea on 01/04/2014 15:58:32 MST Print View

I actually tried it out this afternoon with a blueberry/Krusteaz muffin. It worked like a charm. The only issue was with the stock lid, which kept lifting off the pot and letting lots of steam out. The titanium hooks broke the seal after all. The lid itself doesn't really seal things up anyway, with the drinking spout and noodle strainer holes allowing a lot of steam to escape. I switched to a square of regular aluminum foil, which pretty much held most of the steam inside to do its stuff on the muffin batter. The nice thing about using the tall Sol pot, and having the muffin cup supported well above the pot bottom, is that you can have a lot more water in the pot. This allows you to be certain that you don't boil things dry. And you might even be able to boil enough water (8 oz. max, before the muffin cup is touching the water level in my case) to have a cup of Via with your muffin. Bonus!

I should note that I was using a Snow Peak canister that just had maybe 1.5 oz. of remaining fuel. At +20*F and a slight breeze, it was hard to keep the flame lit at the lowest possible setting, so I needed to turn it up a bit. This boiled the water more vigorously, and I was glad to have maybe a full cup of water in the pot. I steamed the muffin for 15 minutes, which used .3 oz. of fuel.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: The Sol muffin idea on 01/04/2014 16:00:26 MST Print View

I would have to defer to sarah on this one, but I think the ideal steamer set up should probably do to things - let the steam through without cause any build up pressure, and prevent the stuff above, as much as is possible, fro getting splashed with actually non-steam water from the process of boiling. So from th weight perspective I thin about 1/2 inch+ of a forsters can with many small drilled holes might be the lightest, but I think sarah's setup wouldn't be much heavier, and gets the nod for packability. I'm pretty convinces either way a reusable silicone muffin cup is a good solution for cooking vessel, thought not as flexible and many of the other excellent suggestions above.

Edited by millonas on 01/05/2014 20:00:28 MST.