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Archive for February 26, 2010

PRODUCT: Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Muffin Mix

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Muffin or cake? You be the judge. Photo
courtesy Duncan Hines.

New! 100% Whole Grain Triple Chocolate Chunk Premium Muffin Mix.

That message, on a box of Duncan Hines mix, caught our eye.

Sure, we all should add more whole grain to our diets (in this case whole wheat flour replaces the white flour). But are Triple Chocolate Chunk muffins the way to do it?

We used this question as an excuse to bake up a batch. We substituted butter for the oil in the recipe (butter always tastes better, except in a good Mediterranean olive oil cake).

Here’s what we found:

  • This muffin is an excellent substitute for chocolate cake. It’s a bit less sweet, but the batter could have been put in a loaf pan. We enjoyed our chocolate muffins with a side of Breyer’s No Sugar Added vanilla ice cream (hey, you have to save those calories somewhere).
  • The whole wheat flour blends in with the cocoa and chocolate chips. People who eschew whole wheat won’t know it’s there.
  • You could frost these muffins, serve them as “chocolate cupcakes,” and no one would know the difference. In actuality, cupcakes have a less dense crumb and more sugar. If you choose the “cupcake path,” feel free to toss in extra chocolate chips (or nuts for more protein).
  • In terms of psychology, we feel a lot better polishing off four muffins than four cupcakes. “Muffin” sounds healthier—with all that antioxidant chocolate and added nuts for protein and heart-healthy fats. (It isn’t healthier, of course. Caveat edax!*)
  • If you’re going to have chocolate muffins or cake anyway, this is a fine example of how to switch out the white flour and add more whole grain to your diet.
  • Find more of our favorite cakes in our Gourmet Cakes Section.
  • For bread, crackers and muffins, see Gourmet Breads.

Learn more about whole grains and how to add them to your diet.

 

*Let the eater beware.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Garnish Glamour

Add a little color to every dish you serve.

It can be green from fresh basil or other herbs. Or brighten up the plate with red and yellow accents from halved cherry or grape tomatoes or rings of bell peppers.

In the doldrums of winter, or when you have nothing fresh in the house, take roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes from the jar. If you like things hot, keep some cans of chile peppers.

For sweet dishes, a couple of red berries make a world of difference. Buy them fresh in season, or keep a bag of whole frozen berries in the freezer.

A plain plate of food is instantly more appealing with the color—and the color tastes great and adds few calories, to boot!

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Some raspberries and a sprig of mint turn a
plain brownie into something glamorous.
Photograph by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

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