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#foodbeast Cravings FOODBEAST Hacks Sweets

Food Fight: Cupcakes vs. Muffins

muffins

“Isn’t a cupcake just a muffin with frosting?” It’s a question pondered all too often, and if you’re reading this right now, you’ve probably asked it as well. Or, you just want to watch your faves go head to head in the ultimate smackdown: cupcakes vs. muffins! Okay, maybe it’s not the ultimate smackdown, but it’s definitely a delicious one. Let the games begin.

 

TASTE

Cupcakes:

No matter what that stubborn friend of yours says (“I like cupcakes but I don’t like cake!”), cupcakes are ultimately miniature versions of whole cakes. Hence the name, cupcake.

They’re made with the same ingredients as your everyday cake, bread-based, and are topped with a layer of sweet frosting. And if you’re lucky, there’s filling inside!

Muffins:

Also bread-based, they’re made with the same ingredients as your typical sweet loaf. Often filled with fruits, seeds, nuts, and other goodies, you’ll definitely know you’re eating a muffin rather than a cupcake, as they’re considered the more “healthful” alternative.

 

CONSISTENCY

Cupcakes:

Cupcakes are a lot lighter than muffins when it comes to the bread, but when it comes to the bread only. The lightness is a result of the baking difference between muffins and cupcakes: in cupcakes, the butter is creamed with sugar, and the batter is beaten for a longer time than that of a muffin to achieve a fluffier texture.

Muffins:

Even though both cupcakes and muffins use the same ingredients (butter, milk eggs, sugar flour), the texture and consistency of muffins are a bit denser since the batter isn’t beaten as extensively as a cupcakes’.

 

WHAT’S WORKING FOR YOU

Cupcakes:

Cupcakes are a beloved food and pop culture icon, having a strong presence across several media platforms. It’s probable you can name at least three different cupcake-centric reality TV shows off the top of your head. You’re also more likely to double-tap a crazy colorful cupcake on your favorite food porn Instagram handle than a muffin. 

Muffins:

The “healthy” thing. It’s true, a lot of muffins aren’t as healthful as we naively assume, but they’re still a lot better for us than any cupcake would be. Muffins are more likely to be made with more wholesome ingredients such as a whole wheat, oat, or nut flour. There are also a lot more gluten, soy, dairy, and egg free options readily available when it comes to muffin recipes.

 

WHAT’S WORKING AGAINST YOU

Cupcakes:

The “not healthy” thing. Cupcakes can be very taxing when it comes to the effect they have on the glycemic index. If you’re a baker, it’s insanely easy to overdo the top portion of a cupcake with frosting, candy, sprinkles, drizzle – you name it – in the name of creating a fantastically memorable treat. If you’re a consumer, it’s insanely easy to choose the most decadent cupcake at a bakery in the name of making your tastebuds happy (although, you and/or your tum might feel guilty afterward).

Muffins:

Aah, how to put this…muffins aren’t very…“hip.” Honestly, when’s the last time you laid eyes on a jaw-dropping muffin? You can only go so far when it comes to the toppings and glazes that grace the peak of a muffin, because you’d essentially be crossing over into cupcake territory.

 

WINNER: Cupcakes

mocha-coconut-frapp-cupcakes

This was a no-brainer. Cupcakes and muffins are both delicious in their own right, and they can surely coexist peacefully and amicably, but if someone tries to tell you a muffin is just a cupcake without frosting, please remove them from your life immediately. Or, simply hand them one of each and demand they eat those words (literally), right then and there. You don’t need that kind of nonsense in your life.

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Cravings Hacks Hit-Or-Miss Recipes Video

How To Make A Picture-Perfect Grilled Cheese

Sometime in the last couple years, the “cheese pull” became one of the most crucial elements to factor when posting food photos on social media. There’s something about a string of hot, melted dairy that really gets Instagrammers to doubletap their screens.

Tym Bussanich, the fast food Da Vinci that made a cheeseburger-stuffed pizza, decided to share his secret to making the perfect cheese stretch.

Bussanich starts off with the fundamental components of a grilled cheese: bread, butter, and cheese. The mad genius then takes two slices of bread, cuts them diagonally, and butters them up.

The first bit of sliced cheese goes on top of the bread, followed by a layer of shredded mozzarella for stretch. Another layer of sliced cheese is placed on top of the mozzarella and the sandwich is cooked evenly on both sides.

Because he sliced the bread before cooking the sandwich, the cheese stretch is much more balanced than if he were to cut it after cooking. The result is a beautiful display of that we can only compare to a snowflake.

If you’re a fan of cheese pulls, there’s also a festival coming up that features plenty of explicitly melty items to get our hands on.

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Hacks Hit-Or-Miss Humor

Here Are Some Of The Weird Things Starving College Kids Eat And Rarely Enjoy

About 70% of undergraduate college students have jobs, but when you’re in school full-time you only have so much time to dedicate to work and not much cash is leftover after paying for tuition and books.

Enter every college kid’s food struggle.

We all remember our god-awful starving college student diets, but being inventive in terms of creating cheap and somewhat tasty meals is a crucial skill to master when ballin’ on a student budget. Personally, I enjoy the occasional bowl of Top Ramen, but I can also see how it can become a form of torture if it’s ALL you can afford to eat, day-in and day-out for eight semesters.

Thanks to reddit and the general public’s repulsive college meal disclosures, here are some of the weirdest things college kids have eaten, and some even weirder ways they’ve cooked them. And because most of them were posted from memory, not all culinary works of art have corresponding photos. Enjoy, and don’t try these recipes at home.

 

BROKE ASS TACOS

student-taco

I present to you broke college student taco. Crusty end toast, chips, a slice of turkey, bacon, and cheese. via Imgur

A fine gentleman’s sandwich as it looks from first glance. But that’s the full-crust end of the loaf of bread… that’s worse than no bread. Tortilla chips are a nice addition to this student taco, and some might say he’s not a starving college student after all, because what broke 20-something can afford to keep all of a sandwich’s ingredients fully stocked… not to mention cheese? Cheese on a sandwich in college only happens if you hit the lottery. This guy must be loaded!

 

BOOTLEGGIN’ A FINE PASTA DISH

spam-parm

College student “spam Parmesan.” Egg noodles and thin spaghetti topped with fried spam, a slice of cheese, and then covered in tomato soup. via Imgur

What a 5-star dish description! I’m pretty sure this student means “angel hair” when they say “thin noodles,” but they still get an ‘A’ for effort. This sounds awful when reading it, but I would totally try it.

And again we have some seriously privileged college kids here. Toblerones are one of the most expensive chocolate bars that you can buy at a grocery store! What’s this kid doing eating spam on mix n’ match pasta with tomato soup?!

 

CHEESE TACO?

cheese-taco

The “Cheese Taco” with only two ingredients: mayonnaise and cheese. This photo is equivalent to barf. That is all.

 

POOR MAN’S TUNA CASSEROLE

Tuna salad in bowl

Make 2-3 cups rice. Mix in one can of tuna and about 1/4 jar of spaghetti sauce. Goop that all up and throw it into a bowl. It was actually pretty awesome and not that unhealthy all around. Tried subbing salsa for the spaghetti sauce once – that was great too.

Tuna fish is a staple in a dorm pantry, it’s versatile and it’s protein. But this is the by far the last food that you should be getting “creative” with. We can call this one the “poor man’s tuna pasta,” sans noodles.

 

CONDIMENT HAPPY FRAPPE

coffee cream

Used to use half and half and chocolate syrup to make a lazy lady’s chocolate frappe. So tasty, so awful for you. mmmmm

Using leftover condiments has proven to be a common theme among college students and their food strategies, and it’s genius. Condiment packets are free, just take them and make bootleg frappuccinos and meals with them. As far as cost efficiency goes, this wins.

 

THE WORST EXCUSE FOR TOMATO SOUP EVER

ketchup

You can make a pretty awesome tomato soup out of ketchup and hot water. Used to eat it back in University before payday when I had exhausted my resources. If you get extra cheap you can go into McDonald’s, ask for a cup of hot water and take some free ketchup. No one will stop you, they’ll just pity you.

Another prime example of why condiment packets are important in life. Ketchup packets are free, and McDonald’s gave this kid free hot water, which yields a meal cost of $0. There are likely zero nutrients in this meal, but college is more about eating something, or rather anything, than eating something good.

 

COKE ‘N RAMEN WTF

vodka

Our campus lounge had vending machines with items like burritos and top ramen, but no faucet. So when we ran out of burritos, I poured Coke into the Top Ramen and microwaved it. It was… not ideal.

I ran into a similar situation. Only other liquid I had in the dorm was vodka. I figured it was clear so at least the mac and cheese LOOKED correct. It did not taste good.

Coke-flavored ramen is a new one, and it sounds horrific. Hot carbonated liquid simply cannot taste good on its own, let alone with salty ramen noodles added. Vodka mac ‘n cheese is a on whole ‘nother level. I’m hoping that whoever’s idea this was, had already consumed the vast majority of that bottle of vodka before coming up with this dish and still, it’s not okay.

 

TUNA KINDA LEVELED UP

tuna cans

Tuna and corn warmed in a skillet with mayo and sriracha and put on toast. Actually really good when you’re broke and stoned.

Warm tuna, why would you warm tuna? Room temperature tuna was just fine by itself. Was the sautéing of the tuna possibly a mind game to make yourself think that you were actually cooking food instead of just opening a can of tuna, adding mayo and hot sauce, and warming it up? These are questions that need to be answered!

 

PEANUT YUCKER

peanut-butter

Spaghetti noodles with rotting broccoli someone dumpster dived, with peanut butter and salt mixed into a paste/sauce.

Pity, I feel pity for this fool. If you’re going to dumpster dive for food, at least let it be for something better than broccoli. The poor kid must have been high AND desperate.

 

HOT DOG EXTRA BASIC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I like to make hot dogs in the toaster oven and eat them with a Kraft single on a slice of Wonder bread.

Toaster ovens are everything. You can warm, bake, AND toast a variety of food items including hot dogs. American cheese tastes like plastic and I still don’t know why a glorious burger joint like In-N-Out uses it, but the resourcefulness used here with the combination of random pantry ingredients is impressive. This student would at least win in an episode of Guy’s Grocery Games.

 

STRUGGLE SAMMICH

ketchup-and-mustard

Ketchup and mustard sandwich after picking mold off bread. 

Again, condiment packets save the day! Or ruin it… A ketchup and mustard sandwich on previously moldy bread is a new low. But I’m not judging here, I’m reflecting. When you’re hungry and broke you simply cannot afford to be picky, which is why you’re probably reading this thinking “thank God I graduated.”

 

IRON-PRESSED GRILLED CHEESE

iron-grilled-cheese

 Grilled Cheese (made on a hot iron)

If you put this grilled cheese in front of me, I would never have been able to tell it was made with an actual iron. The foil is most likely the key to disguising that fact, as it would function as a steamer that would melt the cheese and also toast the bread. This photo makes actually me want a grilled cheese now, and since I don’t have any Campbell’s tomato soup I might just have to boil some hot water and throw a couple of ketchup packets in there, just to say I’ve tried it.

 

POT POSSIBILITIES

hot-dogs-coffee-pot

Using a coffee pot as an actual pot — they’re basically the same thing. Another popular item you can cook in said coffee pot is none other than ramen! It does make a great pot substitute, it just looks absolutely ridiculous.

 

I hope this compilation made you at least grateful that you’re not in college anymore, and if you are, I’m sorry.

 

 

Photo Credit:nexdot, therionsayswhatemmzadie, maddilicious,@gillchahda421, joaniesimon.com

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Hacks

This Kitchen Trick Makes Sure Your Cake Doesn’t Dry Out In the Fridge

The speed at which cakes dry out is probably the number one problem in the cake world. You celebrated a birthday, had a delicious strawberry tres leches cake, and don’t want the leftovers to lose that moist essence in the fridge the next day.

Thankfully, there is a way to cut your cake, that while a bit unconventional, will keep it tasting fresh, longer.

Typically, the square, pie-chart cutting method is employed to cut a round cake. It’s tradition. But as soon as you make the cut and leave the inside of the cake exposed, the drying begins.

 

To avoid that drying, Mathematician Alex Bellos of Numberphile found that making two cuts straight across the cake, and pulling out the middle piece was a better option.

 

After serving the middle pieces to your guests, there are two huge pieces of leftover cake, which can then be pushed together,

 

And use a rubber band to keep it together while in the fridge.

With the insides of the bread getting really cozy with each other, like siblings in the south, the moisture stays within the cake, and won’t dry out the next time you try to dig into it.

I was never a big fan of math, but when it’s used for good, and not for causing mental breakdowns in a college classroom, I’m all for it.

People might question what the hell you’re doing cutting your cake like this, but if you want to keep the fresh taste in tact, this method might be worth trying out.