relieved to find that my roommate had left for the office this morning (check: her boots were gone), i was free to explore my own personal pursuits, one of which was tackling that elusive perfect blueberry muffin recipe. this was my second attempt in less than a week. last time i went with my traditional recipe; even using old ingredients (clumpy baking powder, year-old ice-covered blueberries, expired flour), the muffins came out better than expected. i left a stick of butter and 2 eggs overnight to let them come to room temperature.

cake flour
blueberry muffins
(6 servings)

1 stick salted butter
3/4 cups sugar

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups flour*
4 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp baking powder

1/2 cup half and half
2 cups frozen blueberries
cooking spray

* subtract 4 tbsp of flour. ‡ should be 1/2 tsp salt and 3 tsp of baking powder. cream butter & sugar; add eggs, vanilla, juice; mix dry ingredients into batter 1/3 at a time, adding some half and half in between. bake at 425°F 10 min. 375°F 30 mins. + additional 10 minutes

over the weekend, my parents were recommending that i use cake flour, of which they had a large supply, in order to get fluffier muffins. i found out a few days ago that cake flour is nothing more than regular flour mixed with cornstarch. so i made my own cake flour, in portions of: 1 cup of flour - 2 tbsp of flour + 2 tbsp of cornstarch.

the other thing i did differently was instead of creaming the sugar and butter with a hand mixer, i did it by hand using the back of a spoon. i found a video online that showed a technique where you smeared the softened butter into the sugar instead of simply mixing in order to get a better blend. it was a little more work but at least i wasn't afraid of splashing butter everywhere like when i use the mixer. the creamed sugared butter at the very least became a large singular clump instead of many smaller clumps like when i normally do it with the hand mixer.

when i mixed the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients (diy cake flour, baking powder, salt), i noticed the batter was stiffer and harder to mix together. this could be the result of the additional cornstarch. by the time i added the frozen blueberries, the batter became even stiffer.

after baking for 10 minutes at 425°F, i checked the status of the muffins. they had a very good rise, much better than last time, so i was confident this would turn out to be great muffins.

when i took the muffins out of the oven after they were done baking, i noticed two things: they were much fluffier, with pronounced muffin tops; they were also darker for some reason, like i overbaked them. when i dumped them out onto the cooling rack, they were fluffy to the point of crumbling. a few of the muffins couldn't even stand up, they were so lopsided. when i cut them open, the inside was very bluish purple. tastes fine, but looked a little unnatural.

it was only afterwards did i realize my mistake: instead of adding 3 teaspoon of baking powder, i added 3 tablespoons. this was supposed to give the muffins a bitter or metallic taste but i didn't notice anything. this would also explain why they were so fluffy: it wasn't because of the cake flour, it had more to do with the baking powder. i also added 1 teaspoon of salt instead of 1/2 teaspoon, but that probably had less affect on the muffins compared to the 3x baking powder.

today was a crystal clear blue sky day and there was a very good chance we'd break the single day production record for february, which was 39.12kWh set on february 27th 2018. i was following the numbers all day and by the afternoon i could already tell we'd break last february's number. the final production for today was 40.22kWh. the last time we broke 40kWh+ was on labor day back in september 3rd, 2018, nearly 6 months ago (41.89kWh).

for dinner i turned the leftover rotisserie chicken my parents gave me (meat and bones and all) into a chicken broth (with the addition of ginger slices, white ground pepper, and chinese cooking wine). i made enough broth that i decided to split it in half, saving it for tomorrow. i then added some rice noodles for a nice noodle soup.