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Muffins Fast and Fantastic - Susan Reimer
Member Name: mogdred
Muffins Fast and Fantastic - Susan Reimer
Advantages: Produces good muffins, lots of nice recipes
Disadvantages: Nothing for me
"Muffins Fast and Fantastic" by Susan Reimer was recommended to me as I have had problems making muffins that rise properly. This book has helped to remedy that and I think it's deservedly popular due to this.
The book begins with a short introduction which explains why this is the third edition of "Muffins.." Susan Reimer also notes that she has added recipes and tips for gluten-free and wheat-free muffins. There is a short look at muffins in the UK and America and Canada to explain the background. She also looks at the difference in American and British measurement i.e. cups.
The next section is titled Notes on Muffin Making and looks at how to create the perfect muffin. Reimer looks at all the different ingredients and how they should be used (and what variations can be used) to make a good muffin. She looks at different types of flour; baking powder and bicarbonate of soda; sugar; honey; Molasses and black treacle; eggs; milk; oil; butter; wheatgerm and fruit. There are good explanations of each ingredient and why they are or are not suitable for muffins.
She explains the importance of not over-stirring the mix in order for it to rise properly - something that I had not realised. Previously I had been beating my mixture as I would for a cake but in a muffin mix this breaks down the gluten and makes the muffin dense. I found this section very helpful and would definitely recommend that this was read before attempting any of the recipes.
Reimer also looks at how to bake your muffins i.e. proper muffin tins and baking times. She also gives tips on storing and freezing them.
The recipes themselves are well laid out in simple step by step fashion. The ingredients are clearly indicated and there are usually notes on varients of ingredients that can be used instead.
There is always an option of how much sugar to add which is good as you can make the muffins a bit healthier. Most of the recipes also give a choice betwen using oil or butter in your muffins. Susan Reimer also looks at the advantages/disadvantages of using oil or butter in your muffins in the Notes section at the start. Muffins can also be made without milk, it can be replaced with milk substitutes, fruit juice or water.
The gluten-free recipes and notes on making them are found in Appendix 1 and are fairly interesting to read. Appendix 2 contains more notes on measurements - mainly the more specific differences between American and British systems.
When making muffins from this book I have always had good results and the muffins have always tasted good. There are a variety of flavours from Apple Spice muffins to Mincemeat Sultana muffins to Savoury Cheese muffins.
If you like muffins I would definitely give this a go, the recipes are easy to follow and the advice given in the opening of the book is sound. It is also a fairly cheap book which can be found on Amazon for £5.39.
This review is also found on ciao.co.uk under the name mogdred1.
Summary: Lots of tasty recipes and good explanations of how to make them.
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