With long Summer trips approaching I thought it would be good to do some test runs on a few ideas I have to liven up the food bag this year. This baking experiment uses mostly items I will have with me already, so there is very little added weight for what I’m hoping will be a great morale booster on trail.I used our backyard fire pan for this test, but on trail I can easily make a small bed of coals or take advantage of a social fire at a shelter. Over the fire I set my Purcell Trench Voyageurs Grill which I carry for emergency trout cooking. Then I set down the metal top of a #10 can to keep the fire from scorching the bottom of my kettle.
Inside I had two very light aluminum baking molds, one on the bottom inverted to act as a spacer and the second on top and filled with my muffin batter. To make the test authentic I used a random amount of water added to a random amount of muffin mix in a zip bag and made certain the grill wasn’t balanced so the cup slid around.
You can see here in the middle of the baking process that the edges are starting to firm up but the center is still very wet. That is partially because I added too much water, but also because it had only baked for about 10 minutes at this point.Another 15 minutes or so and you can see some browning around parts of the edge. The top was springy and dry to the touch so duplicating the field environment where I’d have no patience I pulled the kettle off of the fire and moved indoors to see what I had made.The muffin held its shape pretty well when pulled out of the mold. The top could use more browning and the interior was overly moist so I’m thinking another 10 minutes or so would be good or a bigger fire as the one I was using was quite small.Turning the muffin over revealed something that actually looked like a baked good despite being a tad underdone. From this angle it looks even more like a real baked item in terms of texture. Clearly there is a lot of potential here for good eats out on trail, but more testing is definitely in order. Next up I’d like to try a silicone baking mold because cleaning these aluminum molds in the field would be a major pain. I used some olive oil which helped, but still more than I want to mess with out there.
Just as the quest for new and exciting places to visit is never ending, so too is the quest for delicious things to eat on the trail there. Every new thing I come up with makes the trips that much more enjoyable. Don’t be afraid to dream big, just make certain to test things out at home first where mistakes won’t leave you hungry.