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What happened to my batter?

c
calpurnia Jan 1, 2013 02:35 PM

This morning I attempted to make corn fritters using a recipe I've successfully used many times before (as recently as Christmas morning) but this time the batter was very runny. I dumped it and started over only to have the same thing happen again.

The recipe is as follows:

Combine and heat just until the butter has melted:
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Black pepper to taste
8 tablespoons butter

Add all at once & whisk:
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal

Stir in 1 cup corn kernels

Using a wooden spoon, add 3 eggs, one at a time. Mixture will be thick.

I used the same flour, eggs, brand of butter, method of measuring as the other times...I am stumped.

  1. j
    jvanderh Jan 1, 2013 09:58 PM

    Having extensively tested flour densities, it is almost impossible to get the same amount twice, even using the same bag of flour, measuring cup, and technique two minutes apart. You aren't going to be able to tell by looking that you have 15% less flour, or whatever- you can't see how tightly packed the particles are with your naked eye. It could be as simple as you opened a new bag, and the flour on top was less dense than the stuff from the bottom of the last bag, which had been compressed. Or you just hit a random air pocket. Unless there was some red herring, like you didn't dry the bowl before you started and inadvertently added extra water, I suspect that measuring rather than weighing caused the difference.

    For future reference, fritters are pretty forgiving. If you have the same thing happen again, you could likely just stir in a little extra flour until it looks right and get a pretty good result.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jvanderh
      m
      magiesmom Jan 2, 2013 04:50 AM

      a good reason to weigh not measure, much more accurate.

      1. re: magiesmom
        geekmom Jan 2, 2013 07:00 AM

        Yes, I totally agree and strongly prefer recipes which offer weights instead of cups.

    2. v
      Violatp Jan 1, 2013 03:11 PM

      Hmm. Now I'm as stumped as to why sometimes my tres leches cake (pre-soak) sometimes rises and sometimes doesn't.

      The only thing ;left I can think of (though have no idea how to compensate for) is something to do with humidity levels. Is your flour a little older? Are you in a humid region?

      I'm just brainstorming now as it's something I've encountered with the aforementioned tres leches cake. So frustrating when you know you've done it all correctly!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Violatp
        c
        calpurnia Jan 1, 2013 03:34 PM

        I'm in Los Angeles. The humidity should have been about the same as it was on Christmas. I just bought the flour before Thanksgiving.

        It's all very frustrating.

        1. re: calpurnia
          v
          Violatp Jan 1, 2013 03:37 PM

          Only thing left is Fritter Gremlins. *shakes fist*

          I sympathize and empathize.

      2. v
        Violatp Jan 1, 2013 02:50 PM

        It's funny to bring up in two different threads, but were your eggs possibly larger than what you've used before? Even despite what it says on the carton?

        7 Replies
        1. re: Violatp
          C. Hamster Jan 1, 2013 03:00 PM

          Did you make the fritters ?

          If so, how did they turn out?

          A bit of extra egg might make for runny batter but might not affect the final product.

          Note: my eggs are getting smaller not larger!

          1. re: C. Hamster
            v
            Violatp Jan 1, 2013 03:01 PM

            How about if eggs are a bit older and the white gets very thin? Maybe that?

            1. re: Violatp
              c
              calpurnia Jan 1, 2013 03:09 PM

              The eggs were just purchased.

              1. re: calpurnia
                j
                jvanderh Jan 1, 2013 09:48 PM

                That's here nor there

            2. re: C. Hamster
              c
              calpurnia Jan 1, 2013 03:08 PM

              I did make them (under protest). They were not as round and dense as usual. The came out flat, yet puffy if that makes sense. They also fried really fast...too fast.

              The crowd here seemed to enjoy them. I was too caught up in wondering what happened.

            3. re: Violatp
              c
              calpurnia Jan 1, 2013 03:04 PM

              The first batch this morning was runny before I even added the eggs. The eggs didn't seem any different in size as before.

              1. re: Violatp
                geekmom Jan 1, 2013 03:05 PM

                This is a possibility for sure. As you added the eggs one at a time, did you notice the runny quality before you added the third egg?

              2. geekmom Jan 1, 2013 02:42 PM

                Was the corn frozen? Did it release a lot of liquid as it defrosted?

                3 Replies
                1. re: geekmom
                  c
                  calpurnia Jan 1, 2013 02:48 PM

                  It was frozen, but I had defrosted it and drained the water. Used the same method as I always have.

                  1. re: calpurnia
                    geekmom Jan 1, 2013 02:52 PM

                    Hmm. Do you suppose that somehow your flour and cornmeal were more sifted this time and you didn't have the usual volume? (I assume you measured in cups, not ounces or grams, since that's how you listed them above.)

                    1. re: geekmom
                      c
                      calpurnia Jan 1, 2013 03:04 PM

                      I didn't sift or weigh the flour & cornmeal, but used the same scoop and measuring cups as all the other times. I don't think there was a significant difference in the amount of either the flour or cornmeal.

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