Well I finally made muffin's suggestion of baking Ruth Levy Beranbaum's (Cake Bible) Golden Grand Marnier cake as muffins.
It was a good idea, muffin, it really was.
But it didn't work, I'm sorry to say.
They just do not work as muffins. The cake is so tender (a ground almonds/cakeflour/sour cream cake with so little structure) that they baked up into squat little cake-bombs.
Also, surprisingly, the orange flavor was very muted. My friend after eating said it was a "subtle" orange flavor. Subtle! This after the zest of three oranges, 1/2 cup of orange juice, 2 teaspoons of orange flower water, and a 1/3 cup of Grand Marnier liquer. Subtle indeed!
Well muted orange flavor was not what I was after. Neither was the fussiness of the additions of ground toasted almonds (too much work with little flavor payoff), the orange flower water, and Grand Marnier-coated mini chocolate chips. None of these things added a flavor punch.
This recipe is probably darn good as the Bundt cake that it's intended to be, especially with the Chocolate Cream glaze that's listed as an "optional" adornment.
But this recipe delivered none of the orange-muffin qualities I was looking for, namely:
Good moist interior/crisp exterior muffin texture
Brilliant orange flavor
Ease of mixing, baking, freezing and defrosting.
It was a good idea, muffin, especially in light of the smashing success (17 points!) of Funwithfood's conversion of another cake recipe for Moist and Chocolatey Zucchini Muffins. I was skeptical for that particular recipe, but it paid off handsomely.
Ok, on to the scoring and the standings.
Golden Grand Marnier Cake baked as muffins:
Taste: 4 out of 10
Texture (out of the oven) 2 out of 5 (mushy, easily becoming greasy under the glaze, way too soft and cakelike) Good moisture, but couldn't save the lackluster crust. Incidentally, I baked the rest of the batter left over from 12 muffin cups in an 8-inch round pan, and the texture was much better as a cake.
Mixing: 0 out of 1 -- endlessly fussy
Ingredients: 0 out of 1 -- long list with no flavor payoff
Baking: 0 out of 1 -- hard to guage doneness -- no discernible rise
Freezing: 0 out of 1 -- terrible horrid little frozen rocks, which took forever to freeze solid due to high fat content
Defrosting: 0 out of 1 -- Greasy-coated and lifeless texture on defrosting.
I'm really sorry --- RLB has great recipes for cakes, but this one doesn't convert to muffins/cupcakes.
Total: 6 (out of possible 20)
1 Oatmeal Apple Nut Muffins -- LisaN - scored a 16
2 Cranberry Muffins -- Smokey -- scored a 16.5
3 Pumpkin Muffins -- Caitlin McGrath -- scored a 15
4 Auntie Bee's Cardamom Apricot Muffins --Muffy-- scored a 13
5 Moist and Chocolatey Zucchini Muffins -- FunwithFood -- scored a 17
6 Golden Grand Marnier Cake -- muffin -- scored a 6
Next up -- Buttercup's Apple Bran Muffins. By the way Buttercup, how/where do I find pumpkin butter?
Also, incidentally, can anyone tell me how to use the Image URL field to actually insert the picture into the post? I can't figure out how to do it. Thanks!