As you may have noticed from recent posts, I am having a full blown love affair with strawberries this Summer. Whether it’s eating them warmed by the sun, just as they are, or, creating new recipes such as Strawberry Rose Ice Cream, I cannot seem to get enough of them. While looking for inspiring ingredients on Amazon U.K., I found some baked strawberries for sale. Imagine a more intense strawberry flavour with a chewy texture. Sourcing fresh strawberries locally, finally resulted in the creation of my Double Strawberry Almond Muffins.
Since the name ‘baked’ strawberries seems, a little misleading, they will be referred to as dried strawberries. Not freeze dried strawberries, which are an entirely different product altogether. Similar to dried apricots in texture, dried strawberries are chewy, rather like gummy bears, with a more intense, strawberry flavour. While also free from other added ingredients. Resulting in a perfect snack size strawberry, untainted by additives.
While the muffins bake the fresh strawberries become absorbed into the batter. Yet dried strawberries absorb moisture from the cake batter. During the baking process they lose their chewy texture. Resulting in gooey, jam like, pools of delicious strawberry within each muffin.
A light open texture of each muffin is visible in the photo above. Having checked a few muffins, the strawberries are dispersed evenly throughout. Since previously having difficulty including fresh strawberries into a bake, I didn’t want to weigh the batter down with their water content. That said, extra chopped, dried strawberries could be added to the top, with the flaked almonds, prior to baking.
Recipe: Makes 12 Double Strawberry Almond Muffins
200g/7oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature
200g/7oz Caster Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract – for all extracts I use Nielsen-Massey
1/2tsp Almond Extract
4 Large Free Range Eggs
1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon
100g/4oz Ground Almonds
150g/5oz Plain White Flour
1.5tsp Baking Powder
100g/4oz Fresh Strawberries hulled and diced
50g/2oz Dried or Baked Strawberries roughly chopped – I use Urban Fruit
50g/2oz Flaked Almonds
Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3, 325F.
Note: Tulip wrappers must be used in a deep muffin, or cupcake tin. When using regular cupcake cases, fill two thirds full and expect to make 18 muffins from this recipe. Also, the length of time baking will also need to be adjusted, please see guidelines in the method.
Making The Strawberry Muffin Batter
- First of all, line a deep muffin tin with 12 tulip wrappers.
- Whisk together the butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl, until pale and creamy.
- Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract and the chopped fresh strawberries to the bowl. Whisk together.
- Next add the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and chopped dried strawberries. Tossing the strawberries in the flour will help stop them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin.
- Mix all of the ingredients together so that they are fully combined. Over mixing will cause the muffins to become tough.
Filling The Tulip Muffin Cases
- Using a large, 5cm/2″ ice cream scoop, add one scoop of batter to each tulip case. Divide any remaining batte evenly between the 12 cases.
- Sprinkle some flaked almonds on top of each unbaked muffin. Again dividing the almond flakes, so each muffin has an equal amount.
Baking The Muffins
- Place the muffin tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
- The muffins are baked when they turn golden brown and are firm to a light touch. Over cooked muffins will be dry so start checking at 35 minutes.
- Note: if baking using smaller cases, the baking time will need to be reduced.
- When using tulip cases leave the muffins to cool completely in the tin. For muffin/cupcake cases, leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Double Strawberry Almond Muffins are best served slightly warm, or cold. Also serve with a cup of tea, or fresh fruit juice.
Muffins are great for breakfast, packed lunches and beating late afternoon hunger pangs.
Muffins containing fresh fruit are best eaten within 3 days of making. Store in an airtight container, placed in the fridge during hot weather.
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Because these muffins take less than ten minutes to make, they really are a quick, delicious, breakfast treat. Knowing that, whilst at school, college or work, my family has good, wholesome food is important to me.
Dried strawberries are widely available from supermarkets, including Ocado, Waitrose and Amazon U.K.
So, whatever r you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens have fun preparing your feast.
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