By Garrett Dvorkin
Herald Staff Reporter
Those who followed along to Benson Memorial Library’s bake-along needed to have their most important ingredients ready Wednesday night.
The bakers had measuring cups, flour, sugar, chocolate chips and most importantly — a laptop.
The event, which was hosted by Megin Sewak, went live at 6 p.m. on the library’s Facebook page. Sewak walked through the recipe in real time with local would-be bakers as they created Cappuccino muffins with an espresso spread from scratch.
The recipe for these muffins come from Taste of Home cookbooks. These books, which are a compilation of magazine recipes, among others, are available to check out from the library.
While Sewak was going through the steps of baking the muffins, she made sure to gear the dialogue towards those who generally fear their oven.
Sewak gave tips like, make sure to use separate measuring devices for dry and wet measurements, check if the baked goods are fully-cooked and lots of positive encouragement.
“Don’t be afraid of baking,” said Sewak. She told the bakers to start off following the recipes very strictly. Sewak picked muffins as the food to bake as it is one of the harder foods to “mess up.” She said that with something like muffins, exactness is not a requirement as they are “super forgiving.”
While the muffins were delicious, Sewak tried to make it so the night was more than just about eating. Sewak would give bakers tips and information she has learned after years behind the apron.
When talking about pouring in melted butter for the recipe, Sewak said that those who wish for a lower fat option could substitute in applesauce instead. Sewak gave the bakers alternatives at many points in the process. She gave those following along the option to use instant coffee grounds or leftover stale black coffee.
More than just helping with the recipe, Sewak also helped bakers become more familiar with muffins. She told the bakers how “muffins are more like quick bread,” and aren’t as difficult to bake as other goods that rise with yeast.
The virtual muffin bakers were also told how muffins keep well while frozen. Sewak admitted she loves putting a frozen muffin in the microwave for 30 seconds when she doesn’t have time to make something on her way to work.
A goal of the event was to show local residents that baking isn’t nearly as scary as it may appear. “Even if you might not like sweets,” said Sewak. “You know someone who will appreciate being given something homemade.”
Dvorkin can be reached by email at Gdvorkin@titusvilleherald.com.