I recently made the Cook's Illustrated cupcake recipe. This is by far the best cupcake recipe (yellow cupcakes) I've ever made, with a moist flavorful interior, and a crispy golden exterior. None of the mealiness that so often accompanies cupcakes is present in these. They are moist and rich enough to satisfy anyone (cupcakes, I think, should not be light or genoise-y), and the outer surface gets a wonderful golden crust with a superior butter flavor to it. One of the reasons I like cupcakes is because there is more surface area for cake "crust" -- which is my favorite part of the little cake.
I've made these cupcakes serveral times -- my problem is not with the recipe, but one of those occasionally-inane comments that Cook's Illustrated Magazine comes up with sometimes (I think they are spot-on about 90% of the time -- but that 10% of the time they are just wacko. Did anyone try their ground beef taco recipe? Inanity! I digress).
It went something like this:
"We don't like buttering and flouring the muffin tin, so we use paper or foil liners. Whenever we made cupcakes without them one or two the the cakes bit the dust coming out of the muffin tin, so we use the liners".
Hello! The liners (and I'm not so sure we should bake in foil, anyway, for health reasons, but the paper ones are bad enough) eliminate MORE THAN HALF of the yummy golden crust. Plus you lose a lot of cupcake when you peel the liner off. Also, you can't make nearly as pretty a cupcake with a liner as you can a naked cupcake.
Don't these people know about Baker's Joy? I'm considering writing to CI to set them straight on this. I've used Baker's Joy for years, almost exclusively for cupcakes and muffins (most other things I use parchment for, but not for little muffin tins). This oil-plus-flour spray is very quick and convenient, and the cupcakes willingly come out of the tin perfectly every time.
It even works in stoneware muffin pans.
Does anyone else use this product? If not, how do you get your mufffins out of the tin, unless you use the liner?
(Also, other CI crazy ideas are always welcome :) I love their magazine, and use their recipes often as the "Gold Standard", but sometimes they just go off the rails into weird-dom. Anyone else seen this?)