Friday, 13 February 2015

Strawberry & White Chocolate Muffins

Baking posts have been rather lacking recently. Since I became stuck in a routine of Technical Thursdays each week and then went a little mad in December and did an insane amount of Christmas baking, I've taken a little break from my favourite hobby. January was a relatively baking-free zone for me.

However, aside from the fact that I just enjoy it, I find baking to be a huge stress-reliever. When everything starts to get a bit much and life verges on becoming totally overwhelming, plugging in my fuchsia KitchenAid, switching on the oven and mixing in a selection of ingredients together to magically create something delicious (or not so: disasters do happen after all…) calms me down like nothing else. Yesterday was one of those drowning-in-my-head sort of days.

The logical step to combat this? Grabbing the first recipe book to hand - the Be-Ro book, obviously - and making a batch of Strawberry & White Chocolate Muffins. I might not be able to eat them, but making them has made the day before feel like a storm in a teacup. And, as they're vaguely Galentine's/Valentine's in theme, it made sense to include the recipe here, today.

Whether you're looking for last-minute Galentine's Day treats for your very best pals or a super easy recipe using the most traditional of Valentine's Day flavours then these muffins are exactly what you're looking for.

The original recipe for Strawberry Muffins can be found in the Be-Ro book - it's small and includes no end of wonderfully simple recipes so I can't recommend it enough! It covers all the basics, and while it might not be endorsed by a celebrity or fancy bakery, the photography might not be the best and the recipes aren't exactly overly imaginative, I still love it. I started baking originally using my mum's copy of this book when I was little (supplemented with a Delia Smith bible of course), and I take great pride in that.

My version of the muffins is below - I've mildly played around with the quantities and method - but at the heart they're still fundamentally classic Be-Ro muffins.


350g self-raising flour
100g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
8 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
300g strawberry conserve
100g white chocolate chunks
3 tsp granulated sugar (for sprinkling)


Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6, and line a muffin tray with paper cases.

Either mash the butter with a fork or mix in a free-standing electric mixer to soften. Add the caster sugar and cream together.

Add one egg and 2 tbsp of milk and mix. Repeat until all of the eggs and milk is incorporated. The mixture is extremely sloppy at this stage, but don't worry - it's supposed to be! Stir in the vanilla essence.

Carefully mix in the flour and beat to a smooth consistency. It'll be thicker than normal cake batter but not doughy.

Stir in the white chocolate chunks.

Using a wooden spoon, gently stir in the strawberry conserve. Don't over mix at this stage: you want it to have a marbled effect.

Evenly spoon the mixture into your paper cases. I used paper tulip cases (I found them in the John Lewis Christmas sales) and each one took 2 scoops of muffin batter using my trusty Lakeland Ice-Cream Scoop.

Sprinkle the top of each one with 1/4 tsp of granulated sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until well-rsien and golden brown. Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes in the tray then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

There you have it: Strawberry & White Chocolate Muffins!

Allow to cool slightly and then serve. Nom.

They should be crunchy on top due to the granulated sugar but soft and moist inside. The ribbons of strawberry conserve throughout stop them from drying out, but they don't have a long shelf-life and ideally should be eaten on the day they're made.

Feel free to mix up the recipe and use your preferred flavour combinations: if raspberry is more up your street then swap the conserve, and likewise with the chocolate - don't be held back by white chocolate! For me, I know that strawberry and white chocolate always go down well with my friends and family, hence why I pick that particular pairing more often than not.

Muffins are always a lovely addition to brunch or the perfect mid-afternoon naughty treat with a cup of tea, so hopefully they'll be a hit over the weekend!

Also, if you're in the gift-giving mood this weekend then a batch of these surely wouldn't be a bad idea instead of the boring - albeit traditional - route of chocolate and flowers… Plus, everyone loves baked goods!

Do let me know if you give these a go - I'd love to hear what you think of them!

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