Last week, I received my first ever cake order from OCT's colleague who wanted to surprise his wife with a birthday cake. I was excited and feeling really stressed at the same time. He didn't specify on the kind of cake he wanted, except for something fruity and in season. And preferably not something covered in chocolate. (unfortunately, that is the kind of cake I like). So off to the market I went, stocking on all the fruits that looked good to me, without the slightest idea of what cake I would be making.
After pacing up and down the various fruit aisles for no less than 6 times, I bought some strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwis and rhubarbs (yay, they are still there!). I would have bought some mango too, if I didn't already have about half a dozen in the fridge. At one point, I was contemplating of making a mixed berries pavlova in place of the birthday cake. Seriously, I wouldn't mind having pavlova for my birthday, but this cake is not about me, isn't it?
I digress. This post is not about the birthday cake either! I will tell you more about it when OCT reports back on the recipient's feedback. I am going to tell you about these simple but awesome muffins I made on Friday night for our weekend breakfast. The inspiration comes from Cook and Eat and the many raspberries that I bought but didn't use in the birthday cake.
I adapted Lara's recipe, and threw in some chocolate chips and meyer lemon zest into the batter. You could use all berries in the recipe, but I craved for chocolate. I couldn't believe that I haven't made any chocolatey dessert ever since we moved to Atlanta! I miss my chocoholic friends S and A in St Louis. And the RK lab that enjoy chocolatey baked goods as much as I do...
Making these Raspberry Chocolate Chip muffins is a breeze. No mixer is required. All you need, is a big mixing bowl and a spatula/wooden spoon to do the mixing. Fresh berries can be replaced by frozen ones. No thawing required. Which I think is an advantage over the fresh ones, and they don't sink as much. (not to mention, the frozen raspberries are cheaper and available year round too!)
The simple and straight forward instructions that gives you the most moist and flavorful muffins which you will make over and over again, until you run out of berries. I was going to savor one of the raspberry muffins for breakfast this morning, but found that none was left! Learn from my mistake: if you ever make this raspberry chocolate chips muffins, hide some in a safe place before presenting them to friends/families. They don't last long.
Raspberry Chocolate Chips Muffins
adapted from Cook and Eat
1 (6 oz container) fat free yogurt
1.5 tablespoons soy milk (or 2% milk or skim milk)
3.5 fl oz (100 ml) canola oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups (280g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
zest from 1 meyer lemon (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (or a mixture of different berries)
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners, or grease it and set aside.
Whisk the yogurt, milk, oil and eggs until smooth, then mix in the vanilla.
In a separate, large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Stir in the lemon zest, if using; brown sugar and granulated sugar. Then, get your berries. First, pick out 12 of the larger berries to stick on the top of each muffin, and set those aside. Now, stir the berries and chocolate chips into the flour sugar mixture until they are well coated.
Fold in the yogurt mixture, and stir until there are no significant bits of dry flour. The batter will be quite dry, more like scone mixture.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, dividing evenly between each hole. You can fill these all the way to the top… they will rise some, but not excessively. Top each with one of the berries you picked out, and press a few more chocolate chips to the side, if you like.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the tops are nicely golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.