If you asked me to choose between muffins or cupcakes, I would definitely go for the former.
While cupcakes may be pretty with their icing and cute designs, it is what is on the inside that truly matters to me. That’s why I’d go for a albeit less photogenic muffin, with delectable fillings well mixed in, finished off with a crisp yet moist muffin top!
I’m sure many of you have heard of the famed Chocolat N Spice Muffin bakery at Shun Fu Market. Well, I felt that it was about time I reviewed their majestic muffins, or so I thought.
I have fond memories of the chocolate chip muffins from Chocolat N Spice.. I remember enormous muffins filled with an abundance of chocolate chips, and topped with even more chocolate sprinkles! I remember the moistness of the muffins, and the beautiful dome shaped muffin top that was crisped to perfection. They were perfect even at room temperature.
With this fond memory in mind, I eagerly joined the snaking queue of hungry people on an early Saturday morning.
Kudos to them for the efficient, slightly brusque, service which kept the crazy crowds under control. What’s more? The free smells from the baked goods which were being constantly churned out made waiting time all the more bearable.
A small suggestion, they should paste a “sold out” sticker on the muffins which are already sold out so that customers can have time to plan out their alternative orders, and so that they would not have to repeat themselves to every customer (which resulted in some annoyance on their part).
Anyway, it was not long before I got my hands on a box of their prized muffins! The muffins range from $1.20 to $1.50, and I chose 4 basic muffin flavours. Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, Banana Walnut and Blueberry.
If you order less than 5 muffins, you have to pay extra for the box. (Minus brownie points for being stingy) This policy does not really make much sense to me, as squishing 5 muffins into a small cardboard box just makes them even less palatable.
Unfortunately, I received a rather nasty surprise when I opened the box, hoping to see my favorite childhood muffin.
Although the muffins looked the same from the top view, I was horrified to see that the part I loved the most was pretty much non-existent! Yes, I love muffin tops (No..not the flabby bits around our waist of course, who likes those?!) They complete a muffin. Without a good muffin top, muffins are just like an ugly cupcake. (Looks like a cupcake base without the beauty, and sad excuse of a muffin)
Muffin tops are to muffins what peanut butter is to bananas, what milk is to cereal, what kaya is to butter.. you get my point.
Now look at the picture above. Isn’t that simply disappointing? It looks like the muffin deflated. Oh, let us have a minute of silence for the poor muffin.
Guess what, disappointment #2: The muffins have become smaller. Maybe its the rising cost of food, or perhaps the need to cut corners to earn more profit, whatever the reason is, they reduced the size of the muffins. Not a good move I must say, their once renown muffins now look no better than a muffin from any old bakery. Why, even my homebaked muffins look better!
But of course, food is not just about looks. After all, char kway teow, oyster omelette and most of our favorite hawker foods look far from appetizing (to foreigners at least, for they have never tasted what looks like a brown sludge mixed with bits of goodness knows what)
So, I did what any rational foodie would do.. and whipped out my favorite flavour (Chocolate Chip) to do a taste test!
Luckily for them, what was left of the muffin top was still crisp to the bite, with the sweet taste of sugar bringing back fond memories of nostalgia… but then disappointment #3 just had to ruin the moment.
WHERE ARE MY CHOCOLATE CHIPS??? Sure, don’t give me my muffin top, but don’t take away the chocolate chips! Its a chocolate chip muffin for crying out loud. Now its just a muff-ailure.
Also, while the muffins weren’t cloyingly sweet, they also were not as moist as before. I was definitely not expecting such a large fall in standard, especially with the long queue. Just another case of blind following the blind, I suppose.
Likewise, when I tasted the other muffins, the fillings were sparse. The muffin tops were still crispy when heated up, but that was about it. Looks like I have to find another muffin stall to patronize!
Well, piece of cake, my decision is made. Chocolat N Spice has fallen of my mmmm..muffin list, and the time has come to find a new replacement. Save yourself a trip, and just bake your own muffins instead. Why, just bake some Betty Crocker instant mix blueberry muffins if you can’t be bothered, don’t worry, you won’t be missing out.
Blk 320, #02-12 & #02-13 Shunfu Mart (Shunfu Market)
Business Hours :
8.30am – 2.30pm (Tues. – Sat.)
Closed on Sun. & Mon.
Phone Orders (No delivery):