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Okay, last time I made strawberry chocolate muffins, I used 3/4 cup milk for 10 muffins– it was good, but a little too moist and too soft to hold its shape. The batter was kinda runny because I used milk, which contains more water. This time I fine tuned the recipe around– changed the ingredient proportion for 12 muffins, used whipping cream (which is thicker than milk), and switched to egg separation method. I believe the egg separation method is the main key to fluffy muffins. It’s the same principle as making a chiffon cake, and the outcome is really fluffy baked goods. Yes, it requires more work, but not too bad in this case. Give it a try!

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Strawberry & Chocolate Muffins #2

Strawberry & Chocolate Muffin #2 Recipe (makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
4 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter– melted and keep warm

Egg yolk mixture:
2 egg yolks– room temperature– see note below
3/4 cup whipping cream– see note below
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Egg White mixture:
2 egg whites– room temperature
2 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line muffin pans with muffin cup liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift flour, 4 tbsp sugar, baking power and salt. Make a well in the center.
  3. Whisk all ingredients in egg yolk mixture to blend well. Add in melted butter and mix well again. Pour into flour mixture. Use a spatula to fold in just enough to moist. The batter will be very lumpy and thick like  wet dough. Do not over mix the batter.
  4. In a separate clean bowl, whip egg whites on high speed until it looks white and bubbles are very tiny. Gradually add in sugar. Continue whipping on high speed until soft peak (curve tip) forms.
  5. Fold in whipped egg whites into the batter in 2 batches, until all whipped egg whites just blend well. The batter at this point will still be lumpy but a little loose. Add in strawberries and chocolate chips, fold in a few more times.
  6. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for 20-22 minutes and the muffin top springs back when lightly pressed. Remove to cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving.

Regina’s Note:

  • Eggs: be sure to use room temperature eggs. A quick way is to soak eggs in luke warm water for 10-15 minutes to bring to room temperature.
  • Whipping cream: I used whipping cream instead of milk because whipping cream is thicker, and thus the batter was not as runny compared to using same amount of milk. If you use milk (preferably whole milk), start with 2/3 cup first to get the batter moist enough (batter should be dense like scone batter). You can always add a little more if needed. You can also use whipping cream/milk combination or substitute milk for cream, but if milk is used then cut down amount of liquid (starts with 1/2 cup then gradually adding a little more as you fold in batter) because milk contains more water and better absorbed by flour mixture, and thus you don’t need as much amount as cream.
  • If you have hot cocoa mix sitting in your pantry too long, you can use it too instead of unsweetened cocoa powder, but cut down sugar to 2 tbsp as there is sugar in hot cocoa mix. The chocolate flavor won’t be as strong but the muffins still taste good.
  • Other tangy berries like raspberry and blackberry are also good choices for making these muffins.

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Geez… I think I’m in a muffin land lately can you tell?! It all started with a day with zero breakfast food for the family, so I decided to make rum and raisin muffins AND blueberry muffins on the same day– and this just happened few days ago. And now I’m making rum raisin muffins again (perfecting recipe) and strawberry muffins!

There are several ways to make muffins, but I like this method that I’m using– which uses melted butter and the folding technique (vs. other method that calls for creaming butter and beating eggs and mix in flour). I find this method works pretty fast, and makes fluffier muffins.

Strawberry Muffins

Strawberry Muffins

Strawberry Muffins (makes 12 pieces)

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
10 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter– melted
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 eggs– room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shopped fresh strawberries

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line muffin molds with muffin cup liners.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a big bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine whipping, eggs, vanilla extract. Whisk to blend well.
  4. Add cream mixture and melted butter to flour mixture. Gently FOLD the batter with a spatula. FOLD in strawberries.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin molds. Bake at preheated 400F oven for 20-22 minutes, until muffin tops springs back when gently pressed.
  6. Remove muffins from molds immediately. Transfer to cooling rack. Let muffins cool slightly before serving. Best if served warm.

Regina’s Note:

  • Other berries (raspberry, blueberry) can also be used for this recipe.

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This past summer when strawberries were in season, I made this roll after seeing the beautiful photos from 静心莲的BLOG, but my roll did not look pretty  like 静心莲的BLOG‘s~~ i don’t know why, but my cake roll never has the nice smooth golden top crust like many others. And this time I sprinkled too much chopped strawberries– which makes it worse to having a nice crust as the liquid from strawberries makes the crust more moist, more easily to peel off upon contact with fingers/ parchment paper/ cling wrap, and the strawberry color “smears” the cake the longer it sits. Frustrating!! I just don’t know what I did wrong as I followed the recipe to the T… On the good side, I love the flavor and colorful presentation– very different from a typical cake roll.

Strawberry Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling 草莓蛋糕卷 (軟起士餡)

Strawberry Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling 草莓蛋糕卷 (軟起士餡)

Strawberry Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling 草莓蛋糕卷 (軟起士餡)– recipe adapted from 静心莲的BLOG

Ingredients:

Egg yolk mixture:
6 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar

Egg white mixture:
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
4 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp cake flour
1 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp milk

2 tbsp chopped fresh strawberries– about pea size– see note below

Fillings (see note below):
8 oz (block/tub) cream cheese
4 tbsp powder sugar
4 tbsp sour cream
10-12 whole fresh strawberries– remove stems and pat dry (see note below)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Position a oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line the bottom and 4 sides of a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly roll pan (no need to grease pan before lining)
  2. Combine butter and milk in a small bowl, microwave until butter melts. Mix to blend well. Keep warm.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar with a balloon whisk until pale yellow and fluffy.
  4. Whip egg white in a separate dry clean mixing bowl on high speed (I used KitchenAid, speed 8). When egg whites becomes small bubbles and no visible clear egg whites, add cream of tartar. Continue whipping on high speed (speed 8). Scrape down the bowl once.
  5. When egg white becomes white and very fine bubbles, slowly add in sugar, one tbsp at a time. Continue whipping on high speed (speed 8) until the meringue looks sheen like a pearl. Turn down to low speed (speed 4) and whip for 1-2 minutes. This is to whip out any bib air bubbles in the meringue and creating a cake with a more delicate, fine texture. Whip until soft peak stage (when lift whisk the meringue will have a 1 inch long, slightly curl soft tip).
  6. With a spatula, gently fold in 1/3 of whipped egg whites into egg yolk mixture until blended. Sift in cake flour in 2 batches, gently fold in flour until blended before each addition.
  7. Whip egg whites again on low speed (speed 2) for a few seconds, this is because whipped egg whites will start to deflate if not used immediately. Pour yolk mixture to whipped egg whites, carefully gently fold in until all mixed well.
  8. Gradually pour warm butter/milk mixture onto spatula and drizzle onto batter in circular motion. Gently fold in again to blend well.
  9. Pour batter to the prepared lined jelly roll pan. Spread to smooth the top. Tap a couple times to remove air bubbles. Sprinkle chopped strawberries on the top.
  10. Bake in preheated oven at the middle rack for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven. Tap cake pan on a surface to release air trapped underneath. Transfer cake and parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Flatten out 4 sides of parchment paper to cool completely.
  11. While the cake is cooling, preparing the filling: microwave cream cheese briefly until it softens. Add powder sugar and sour cream, mix until smooth. Chill in the fridge.
  12. When cake cools completely, place another parchment paper (large than cake) on top of the cake and flip it over. Peel off the pan liner. Spread cream cheese filling onto the cake, with a very thin layer at the long side (farthest from you) of the cake. Line whole strawberries on the other long side (closest to you). Roll up the cake, then wrap up with parchment paper or cling wrap. Chill in the fridge before serving. Before slicing each piece, run knife in hot water and wipe dry with a paper towel to ensure a nice clean cut.

Regina’s Note:

  • Chopped strawberries: I was greedy, and I put too much! The result is strawberries draw out liquid, creating a sticky cake crust, and the strawberry color smears the cake the longer it sits… should cut down to just 1 tbsp, and more finely chopped.
  • Cream cheese filling: Too much cream cheese filling (greedy, and don’t want to deal with cream cheese leftover), making the cake a bit rich to the taste even with the whole strawberries as part of the fillings… should cut down to 5-6 oz and possibly skip sour cream.
Strawberry Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling 草莓蛋糕卷 (軟起士餡)

Strawberry Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling 草莓蛋糕卷 (軟起士餡)

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When I shop at local farmer’s markets, I always temp to buy all kinds of delicious summer fruits, and the result is buying too much– in this case it was 1/2 flat of fresh strawberries (after I already bought 3-4 pounds of stone fruits)! So, adding the last 2 over ripe banana on the kitchen counter, here comes the strawberry banana cake. It’s actually a fluffy banana cake, but with strawberries on the top. It is pretty much a flat chiffon cake with all that fluffy and light texture. Oh, and the strawberries taste so delicious too!

Strawberry Banana Chiffon Cake

Strawberry Banana Chiffon Cake

Strawberry Banana Chiffon Cake Recipe (makes one 9 x 13 inch pan)

Ingredients:

for yolk mixture:
4 egg yolks
4 tbsp sugar
2 ripe bananas– mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp unsalted butter– melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

for egg white mixture:
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3 tbsp sugar

for sprinkles:
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
finely shredded sweetened coconut
chopped walnuts

Method:

  1. Line a 9 x 13 x 2 baking pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Prepare yolk mixture: In a large mixing bowl whisk yolks and sugar with a balloon whisk, until it is pale yellow and fluffy. Mix in mashed bananas, vanilla extract, butter and salt to combine. Sift in cake flour, baking powder and ground cinnamon combined, in 2 batches. Mix until no dry ingredients appear.
  3. Prepare egg white mixture: In a separate bowl, whip egg white and cream of tartar until frothy. Gradually add in sugar, one tbsp at a time, and whip on high speed until soft peak (whipped egg white should have a little curl at the end tip when lifted up).
  4. Gently FOLD IN whipped egg whites to yolk mixture, in 3 batches. Pour cake batter into cake pan. Sprinkle strawberries, grated coconut and walnuts on the top. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake with parchment paper lining to a rack to cool.

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Never did I think about adding ground almond to muffins, but it’s a good alternative. I can really taste the almond in these muffins, and of course, the strawberries smell and taste heavenly too!

Strawberry Almond Muffins

Strawberry Almond Muffins

Strawberry Almond Muffins (makes 12 pieces)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 salt
1/2 cup ground almond or almond meal– lightly toasted in a dry pan, cooled
2/3 cup milk
2 eggs
6 tbsp unsalted butter– melted and cooled
1 cups fresh strawberries– chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a big bowl. Stir in ground almond.
  3. Add eggs to the milk, beat to blend well.
  4. Pour egg mixture and melted butter to the flour mixture. Use as spatula, gently fold the mixture until the batter is just moist. Fold in strawberries.
  5. Scoop batter into muffin pans. Bake at preheated oven for 25 minutes. Transfer to cool on a rack.

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These muffins are delicious, and they are moist and light too! I think I used just a little too much (3/4 cup here) milk, the batter was quite runny. When the muffins came out of the oven they were quite soft, and thus the bottom of the muffins don’t hold the nice perfect shape. Finally I had to flipped the muffins up side down to cool on the rack, or else the muffins would “sink” in on the rack bar. Anyhow, they came out delicious, and that’s the only one matters :-)… As I’m typing down the recipe, I thought of the mangoes sitting on the counter. Guess what comes to my mind? Mango muffins with toasted coconut flakes, mmm… Okay, now’s it’s on my baking list.;-)

Strawberry Chocolate Muffins

Strawberry Chocolate Muffins

Strawberry Chocolate Muffins (makes 10 pieces)

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup hazelnut chocolate cocoa mix or cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 salt
3 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter– melted and cooled
3/4 cup milk– see note below
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 egg white
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a muffin pan with 10 paper muffin cups or grease with cooking spray. Fill the 2 empty cups halfway with water.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Stir in 2 tbsp of sugar. In another bowl, hand whisk egg yolk, milk and melted butter until blended well. Pour the yolk mixture over the flour mixture and whisk until just combined (do not over mix– the batter will be slightly lumpy).
  3. Use a electric hand mixer, beat egg white until fluffy. Add in 1 tbsp sugar gradually and continue beating until soft peak appears as for meringue. Gently fold in whipped egg white into the batter until just blended.
  4. Add in chopped strawberries, stir just enough to combine.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffins cups. Bake the muffins until golden, for about 20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on the rack. Flip muffins up side down to cool if the bottom part is too soft.

Regina’s Note:

  • Milk— I used 3/4 cup of milk this time and the batter was quite runny. Maybe cut down to 2/3 cup milk, or even to 1/2 cup milk next trial?

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