By DENISE HERSCHEL
For Asbury Park resident Rae Ann Porter, baking began as a way to celebrate success and milestones in life. Whether she was making a cake for a birthday or an anniversary or bringing muffins or doughnuts into work, baking was a way of expressing happiness. Today, Porter has incorporated baking into more of her everyday life and has been doing so for the past 15 years with a lot of help from her kids who seem to be following in their mother’s footsteps.
“My kids are still young but they love to help. Anytime I am in the kitchen baking they are right there with me. Sometimes I do bake at night when they go to bed because I do like the alone time. I do balance it. Some things I do with them and then the more complicated recipes I do by myself,” she said.
Porter added that she was first inspired to bake by watching her grandmother Sophia in the kitchen “doing her thing.”
“My grandma loves to bake! She is the best and any birthday or special occasion she is right there taking requests for what that person wanted,” she said. “I have some of her recipes for chocolate cake, carrot raisin muffins and Lemon Pound Cake. She still bakes for all of us. She insists and we all love anything that she makes.”
Porter believes that there are several components to good baking as she has learned from the past decade and a half that she has been doing it.
“They say there are seven basic components of baking which are flour, leaveners, salt, sugar, dairy, fats and extracts (spices and add-in’s). These are the essential ingredients. I keep these in my pantry at all times so I don’t have to run to the food store every time I want to bake,” she added.
Porter is excited for the new year and trying out new recipes. She said that at the beginning of every year she sits down and writes a list of what she wants to accomplish for baking recipes.
“I have a pretty good size list right now. Some of them are Spiced Applesauce cake, Angel Food cake, Neopolitan cupcakes, Cookie Dough Stuffed cupcakes and Amish Sugar cookies. I found these recipes online so I am looking forward to doing them in the next few months,” she said.
Here is a delicious recipe for Healthy Breakfast Muffins which Porter said has a lot of ingredients but is “worth the time for the efforT.”
Healthy Breakfast Muffins
One half cup of almond meal
One half cup of flaxseed meal
One half cup of oat bran
One half cup of spelt flour
One half cup of whole wheat flour
One third cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 egg white
Three fourths cup of buttermilk
One half cup of applesauce
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup of walnuts, chopped
One half cup of raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thoroughly grease a 12-count muffin pan with the butter.
2. In a large bowl, mix the almond meal, the flaxseed meal, the oat bran, the spelt flour, the whole wheat flour, the brown sugar, the baking soda, and the baking powder together.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and the egg white together.
4. Add the egg mixture, the buttermilk, the applesauce and the bananas to the fry ingredient mixture and stir together. Be sure not to overmix.
5. Stir the walnuts and the raisins into the batter.
6. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the muffins are set, about 18 to 20 minutes.
7. Serve warm.
Yield – 12 servings.