By Quentin H. / April 29th, 2022
The most unexpected part about writing Cooking Eorzea (with Love, Eorzean Style) and being more open just in general about my relationship failing is that unexpected people in my life have been opening up to me in return about their own relationships and when they are struggling with road bumps or major difficulties.
I am not necessarily the best person to help with romantic advice (I have issues making my own love life work, after all), but I try to help as I can. It is still difficult, even for me who is constantly putting out a weekly column, to be open about my emotions and my feelings when I am so used to keeping everything bottled up inside and that is all I have done for years. It was so hard to go to my friends who are in successful relationships and admit that my relationship is failing and that I don’t know how to fix it.
It was also the best possible thing for me to do- to take that ‘leap’ and open up to those around me about things, just so that I could unload my emotions and help verbally talk things out as best as I can. And, at least, know that there are still people around me who do love me and want the best for me.
If you’ve missed an installment of Cooking Eorzea, you can check out all the prior recipes here.
Recipe of the Week
This week’s Cooking Eorzea Honey Muffin recipe is the 23rd recipe in The Official FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Cookbook, and has an ‘Easy’ difficulty rating. This recipe comes from the Thanalan region of Eorzea and it is almost entirely honey and oat-based. Normally, I have seen similar recipes using apples in them, and I was excited to see how this particular dish would not only turn out (because this was my first time making muffins) but how it would taste!
Here is what the final dish is supposed to look like for this week’s Cooking Eorzea:
Featured Ingredient of the Week
This week’s Cooking Eorzea featured ingredient is Vanilla Extract!
Previously, I had worked with actual vanilla caviar from real vanilla beans. Vanilla extract is a combination of the vanilla caviar, alcohol, and distilled water. It definitely doesn’t smell as strong as when I slit open a real vanilla bean, but it was unmistakably real. I don’t quite understand why you would use one over the other, other than you’re going to see the vanilla bean flakes when you use scrape the actual beans themselves.
Either way, it is fascinating to see all the ways that you can buy and use vanilla in recipes!
My Cooking Attempt
As you can tell from this picture, this week’s Cooking Eorzea column uses a fairly simple ingredient list:
First, I took the butter and I cubed-up part of the stick before placing it into the refrigerator.
I then preheated the oven.
I added the rolled oats, the all-purpose flour, the brown sugar, the cardamom, the honey, and the cubed unsalted butter into a bowl in order to make the crumble topping!
I first tried to mash it all together with a whisk, but that wasn’t working as the butter kept getting gummed up in the tines. I ended up getting out a spoon and mashing the butter down into the various ingredients and blending it all together as best as I possibly could until the crumble was finished.
I then covered the crumble with plastic wrap and placed it back into the refrigerator to chill.
I got out another bowl and dumped more all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into it.
I blended it all together with a whisk and then set that bowl aside.
At this point, I realized that I hadn’t melted yet more butter for the wet ingredients. I popped more of the stick into the microwave to let it melt. As it melted, I smelled the oat milk and realized that it had gone bad. After the butter was finished, I ended up popping over to the store to get a fresh container of oat milk for this week’s recipe.
I then added the cooled melted butter, the oat milk, the egg, the honey, and the vanilla extract to a third bowl. Honestly, I was surprised at how much honey I used- I ended up emptying out almost the entire bottle into the wet ingredients. I got out my whisk and I blended all of those ingredients together as well.
I then added the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blended it all together yet again with my whisk until it was a smooth batter mixture.
I then got out my brand-new muffin tin and I sprayed it down with non-stick spray.
After that, I then carefully ladled portions of the batter into each muffin tin cup until they were around three-fourths full each. This was surprisingly easier than I expected, as the batter was fairly thick and so it was not just dumping out everywhere on the muffin pan from my ladle.
I then got the crumble topping out of the refrigerator, and I sprinkled it over all of the muffin tin cup tops until the batter was completely covered. After I made sure that each tin cup had some crumble on it, I went back over with the remaining amount to make sure that no visible batter gaps existed.
I then placed the entire dish into the oven to bake for 20 minutes. As the honey muffins baked, my entire apartment started to smell of a delicious mixture of honey and oats! Which isn’t surprising considering how those were two of the primary ingredients in the recipe.
And of course, here is the final dish for this week’s Cooking Eorzea!
Naturally, I dove into them as they were still fresh and hot from the oven! The biggest thing for me was that the batter not only cooked through completely but that I didn’t burn the muffins in the process. They were light and fluffy and delicious, and I loved how the crumble really made the honey and oats flavor stand out. These were, in a simple word, AMAZING and tasted really good.
I ended up eating two of them and then taking the rest to some of my local friends so that they could enjoy these delicious things too! Well, that, and because I would have probably eaten all 12 of them in one sitting, and no one (especially me!) needs to eat a dozen muffins all at once.
This is one Cooking Eorzea recipe that I would definitely make it again, and I did not miss the apple flavoring. Some of these recipes, like the Crab Croquette recipe attempt, are a lot more time consuming and labor intensive than other recipes. The muffin pan was slightly harder than I expected to get out of the oven, and I found myself wishing that I had a pair of oven tongs to assist me with that. I was also shocked at the sheer amount of honey I had to use to both get the honey flavor into the dish while also not being completely overpowering. It was definitely fun to make though!
So onto the ‘thank yous’! I want to thank Victoria Rosenthal for writing The Ultimate FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Cookbook. I also want to thank the staff over at Insight Editions for giving me permission to use the photos from their book to show how these recipes should look like (especially as my attempts don’t always work out). Furthermore, I owe Brandon Rose a special thanks for creating the logo for this series on short notice. You should check him and his works out over on Twitter.
Finally, I want to thank both Hiromichi Tanaka and Naoki Yoshida for producing FINAL FANTASY XIV Online in both iterations of the game. This column wouldn’t exist without both of their efforts to create Eorzea.
Next week’s Cooking Eorzea column is the Ishgardian Muffin! It will also kickoff a mini-series of recipes that involve the Ishgardian Muffin from earlier parts of the cookbook that I had skipped, and you will get to see how my Ishgardian Muffin recipe attempts improve from week to week for almost the entire month of May.
Please look forward to it!
Have you ever made muffins before? What kinds of things do you like to include in your muffin recipes?
Let us know in the comments below!
CookbookCookingCooking EorzeaFinal FantasyFinal Fantasy 14Final Fantasy XIVFINAL FANTASY XIV OnlineHiromichi TanakaaHoney MuffinInsight EditionsMMORPGNaoki YoshidaPCPlaystationPlayStation 4SESquare EnixVictoria RosenthalVideo Games