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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Balsamic Strawberry Muffins

Just as I was speaking with the voices in my head about my sunday baking tradition being broken today, I jumped up with the sudden urge to make these strawberry muffins.
This recipe has been lingering around me since my neighbor brought back 1 kg strawberries from his parents' farm last month.  The thing is, you can't just down 1 kg of strawberries in one sitting, so I froze half and have been waiting for the right time.  The problem with freezing strawberries is that they will never have their fresh strawberry texture ever again, and tend to release water (although they keep their wonderful flavor).  The way around this problem is to cook them, or blend them into a sauce, and pair them with some special balsamic vinegar in a muffin.
Makes 10
2oz (56g) melted butter
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground almonds (220g total flour + almonds)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses (100g total sugar + molasses)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 egg
1/2 cup strawberry balsamic sauce (see below)
10 tsp cream cheese
Strawberry sauce:
1 1/2 cups (200g) chopped frozen strawberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Microwave uncovered in a large pyrex dish for 6-8 minutes, then refridgerate while making the batter.
1.  In a mixing bowl, mix the wet ingredients (butter, sugar, molasses, egg, yogurt)
2.  In a different mixing boxl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, almonds, baking soda, baking powder, salt)
3.  Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold in without over mixing.  Then fold in the strawberry balsamic sauce.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
4.  Grease some muffin tins.  Fill them halfway with batter.  Make a little indentation into each portion and drop in 1 tsp of cream cheese and 1 tsp leftover strawberry sauce.  Cover with the rest of the batter.  The tins or moulds should not be more than 3/4 the way full before cooking.
5.  Cook for 20 minutes, then remove and let cool at least 20 more minutes before unmoulding.  The strawberry sauce in the middle might ooze out, but that's good ooze.

These have a nice tang to them.  When cooled, the strawberry sauce thickens and behaves like preserves which is a nice mix of textures.  The cream cheese counters the tang without overpowering the original intent, which is farm fresh organic strawberries.  They're very moist and flavorful.  Just perfect for a warm, slightly rainy sunday afternoon...
Je oualide!
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