The other day, while eating a delicious tomato sandwich, I wondered if anyone ever baked with watermelon. Tomatoes are watery, and they're used in a variety of ways (okay, usually not baking, but still), so why not watermelon? I did what I always do when I have a cooking question. I googled, and was rewarded with a bunch of recipes for watermelon-flavored cupcakes with lots of food coloring and sugary icing. Cute, but not what I wanted. I did find one recipe for (actual) watermelon muffins and I had to try it. Was it worth it? Well...
First of all, I had to buy a whole watermelon, even though I only needed one cup of pureed fruit. Also, I failed to read the recipe before I started — a mistake I make a lot, which has taught me how to make do in the kitchen, so it has its advantages. The recipe from About.com had some issues. One of those issues was me. Before I even started cooking, I decided to mix a watermelon cocktail, with vodka, pureed watermelon, lime, club soda and a salted rim. Pretty darn good, actually.
Anyhow, I failed to notice that instead of "salt," the writer had typed "sugar" in the dry ingredients. I know that most baked goods involve the creaming of butter and sugar, so I should have noticed this mistake before I mixed everything together. Oh, well. I made another cocktail.
I was too lazy to individually butter my mini muffin tins, so I decided to use a spray. That second cocktail left me inspired and I learned a new trick. I have never understood how to use oil spray without either misting everything around the tin or getting so close the tin gets soaked. I stepped onto my back porch and sprayed with abandon. Hooray!
Back in the kitchen — and after a bathroom break, because watermelon is a major diuretic and I had been eating and drinking a lot of it — I decided not to worry about the mishap with the sugar. I creamed the butter on its own, adding just a little of the dry mix, then carried on with the rest of the process.
Funny, the recipe never explicitly states that the dry ingredients should be added to the butter, sour cream, watermelon and egg. I did have the presence of mind to figure that one out, though. (There was no third cocktail, but the first two were rather healthy pours.)
At last the muffins were finished. And they're pretty good. Even after a night on the counter, they're super moist. Do they taste like watermelon? No. If they do, the chocolate overpowers the taste. But they are pretty good muffins. With the amount of sugar they contain, they could definitely be passed off as cupcakes with a little icing.
I would make them again if I happened to have extra sour cream and watermelon sitting around. Or I might just make a few cocktails — like Maureen's cocktail from earlier today! — add onion soup mix to the sour cream, grab a bag of chips, and call it dinner.
Have you ever baked with watermelon? Seriously, I want to know. We have a lot of extra watermelon this time of year and I would love to get creative!
(Images: Anne Postic)