June 17, 2012
My quest for the perfect muffin began in 2006 when I was a college student. I lived above a Panini shop in New York City that sold fat-free and sugar-free muffins, which I frequently devoured for breakfast. The best two flavors were strawberry and pineapple, oddly enough. These muffins were soft and moist but not too heavy, and not overly sweet. They were made with applesauce, which replaced the fat and sugar, or so I was told. Sometimes I wondered if they were just regular muffins—those 600 calorie muffins that might as well be a giant piece of cake—passed off as healthful. They were that good.
After I moved, I decided I would do some experimenting to figure out their recipe. I’d done this before with at least some success. This one, however, was impossible to replicate. Everything I made came out dry, dense, or bland—sometimes all three. Finally, I gave up.