Baking muffins (or... insert-suggestion-here) without an oven.
December 19, 2010 10:30 PM   Subscribe

Oh no, my oven is broken! I planned on baking 2 batches of Lemon Poppy-seed and 2 batches of Berry muffins! These are for breakfast. What can I do now? (read more inside)

I have a 5 qt Crockpot and an electric coil stove-top. But I read online that you shouldn't bake muffins in a crockpot, because it will break.

Perhaps I should try to adapt the recipes into something else, such as a breakfast bread. Great, but I don't know how I'd go about that etiher.

How about a chinese steamed cake? Is that suitable for breakfast? Is it sweet? (I don't like sweet food at all)
Would that work with lemon poppy-seed and frozen berries?

Anything else I could try?
Catch: the ideas you give me must be for breakfast/brunch. You can give me eccentric ideas, I'm adventurous.

Thanks in advance!
posted by midnightmoonlight to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you've got all the ingredients for your lemon poppyseed muffins and berry muffins it wshouldn't be too hard to adapt a pancake recipe to utilize those ingredients. How many griddle-like pans do you have? Does your entertaining plan allow you to make flapjacks all morning?

I've not tried a Chinese steamed cake, but I have made Indian dhokla (savory chickpea flour steamed cake). It is difficult for me to get it to rise / be light enough.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 10:39 PM on December 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you google "crock pot quick bread" you get a ton of recipes. Here's one for lemon poppyseed bread. If you have parchment paper and can line the crock pot, I think you could use the batter for your poppyseed muffins or berry muffins. Also you can bake crock pot bread in a clean empty coffee can. I wish you luck!
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 10:41 PM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh my! Way to think out of the box :)
Yes, I've got enough griddles and griddle pans, and the pancakes sound delicious.

Now that you bring that up, I should add that I can't buy new kitchen equipment this month (you know, with Christmas gifts and all *gulp!*)
posted by midnightmoonlight at 10:44 PM on December 19, 2010

It seems to be possible to make bread in a microwave, too, if you have one of those.
posted by XMLicious at 10:45 PM on December 19, 2010

Wouldn't the simplest answer be to ... just not make the muffins until your oven is fixed? If the batter is already made, it can probably be stored in the fridge for a day or two, or in the freezer for longer.

Have toast for breakfast.
posted by Kololo at 10:46 PM on December 19, 2010

I doubt the oven would be fixed any time soon. Toast is tasty but I've already had it for the past week.
posted by midnightmoonlight at 10:56 PM on December 19, 2010

My mom used to make cake in a pot on top of the stove all the time. Put a layer of sand at the bottom of your biggest pot. Fix it so that you have a really tight seal (foil, to begin with. When you actually put the batter in, you could seal it with dough for a really good seal), and preheat on the highest setting. Then bake as you would normally. Works well for all sorts of cakes, I would guess it would work for muffins, too.
posted by bardophile at 11:42 PM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, and obviously, you should put the cake/muffin tin on top of the sand. I didn't mean that you should pour the batter on it. My mom also used to put a cutout lid from a large can under the cake pan. Not sure why.
posted by bardophile at 11:43 PM on December 19, 2010

Sorry for the multiple posts. I think it would be simpler to use the same recipe for batter, and put it in a cake tin than to try to fit a muffin tray in the pot. I believe most muffin batters work fine as quick breads.
posted by bardophile at 11:46 PM on December 19, 2010

Hmmm. I was about to write all sorts of speculative responses. But instead I'll check with my mom when I talk to her today.
posted by bardophile at 12:27 AM on December 20, 2010

She says it helps spread the heat out more evenly. The pot is generally bigger than the heating plate underneath, so having a bunch of sand absorbing the heat and then passing it in to the pot means that the area of the heating surface becomes that of the sand layer, rather than that of the plate.
posted by bardophile at 12:40 AM on December 20, 2010

As to the type of sand, she says that if you can use really small gravel, that's better, because there's less chance of getting sand in whatever you're baking. Sand heats up quicker and was more readily available for her, so she used that. I never noticed any sand in our cakes. :)
posted by bardophile at 2:29 AM on December 20, 2010

Oh yeah, definitely know sand would work, my family would cook meat and veggies that way once a year. Didn't know it would work on top of the stove too, though!

Since the suggestion to make pancakes is so easy, I'll go with that. Easier to serve to guests too. I'll let you know how it turns out in a day or two, if this thread isn't closed :-)
posted by midnightmoonlight at 8:21 AM on December 22, 2010

So I made pancakes.
Both the lemon poppy-seed and berry pancakes came out tasty.
For the berry pancakes, I just let them thaw and made a sauce for the pancakes, instead of having them in the batter.

They were enjoyed at the brunch :) Thanks again for the ideas!
posted by midnightmoonlight at 9:16 PM on December 30, 2010

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