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Why Are My Chai Muffins Crumbly?

Asked by KostasCooks. Answered on 9th September 2016

Full question

I made the Chai Muffins and believe I've carried out the recipe as per the book with the same ingredients - no substitutes. They are delicious but crumble to the touch. The same thing happened when I used plain flour. Perhaps too dry?

Our answer

Nigella's Chai Muffins (from SIMPLY NIGELLA) are spiced with cinnamon and chai-infused almond milk. The muffins are best on the day they are made, though they can be stored for 1-2 days in an airtight container. However they should not be excessively dry, even after a couple of days. Usually if a muffin is very dry it is due to over-baking. Ovens can vary and it is worth checking if your oven is running too hot, which can cause items to become dry. Also Nigella gives temperatures for conventional ovens so if you have a fan or convection oven then you will need to adjust the temperature according to the manufacturer's handbook (usually a reduction of 20°C/50°F in the oven temperature), as these ovens cook more quickly.

It is also worth noting that the spelt flour should be white spelt flour. Whole grain spelt flour absorbs larger amounts of liquid and would lead to the muffin being dry. Whole wheat regular flour would also absorb more liquid so we would suggest not changing the ratio of plain to whole wheat flour mentioned in the recipe introduction. Spelt also has weak gluten strands which means that the muffin is slightly more crumbly and tender than a muffin made with wheat flour.

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