Not that strawberry season is over but the ginormous-to-me basket of berries I bought at the market last week is no more. It will be a few weeks until I get out there again, so I'm afraid the berries will be gone by my next visit. Yes, I suppose I could get some at the bigscarymegamart, but they only seem to have imported berries...
I wasn't terribly inventive with my prized July possessions--you saw the cake and the sauce. Mostly they were eaten fresh, plain or dipped in yoghurt. or mixed with yoghurt and granola.
But the last few hundred grams are a different story.
One of my favourite flavour combinations has always been strawberry-banana. Love it in ice cream and frozen yoghurt; when teamed up with orange, it's a preferred juice blend.
Well, apart from not having any oranges, I wasn't in the mood to make my own juice and my freezer still doesn't have enough room for my ice cream maker's freezer insert, so those concoctions were well out of the question.
So, what's a girl to do with a few hundred grams of hastenlingly overripe strawberries and a banana that needs to go to a better place?
Let's just say it was time to hope, pray, light a candle, spread a little incense and hop on one foot for luck. Yup...Beelzebub would be called into service: I decided to bake muffins...and I didn't feel like making them in my parents' unairconditioned kitchen.
Well...something must have worked because Beelzebub behaved himself. You read correctly. He didn't ruin my muffins.
None of his usual games. No "No, I don't feel like turning on" nor any hint of "I'm teasing you, making you believe that I'm actually 350F when in fact I'll start at 200F and end at 450F." He didn't even try the old "Oh, you are sooooooo fetching in that apron, I'd love to get together with you and give the central air a reason to turn on" as a ruse to turn my offerings to charcoal.
Did I tame the beast? Have I won him over with my womanly wiles? Did I beat Lucifer at his own game? Have I been lulled into a false sense of security believing I actually have a stove that I can trust? Will Charlie Daniels immortalise my feat in a fiddle-sawin', fruit-chawin', baked-goods jawin' tune?
All I know is that I didn't have to toss any of them out. They all had a muffinny texture and a crunchy-sweet-sticky top. I'm not questionning it.
Strawberry Banana Muffins
For the muffins
110g butter, melted
150g brown sugar
2 beaten eggs
mashed bananas with enough vanilla yoghurt to fill a 250ml measure
250g chopped strawberries
300g plain flour
25g whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp vanilla salt
For the streuselly topping
10g butter, melted
75g brown sugar
40g roalled oats
15g pinhead oats
nine large strawberries, hulled and halved (optional)
Preheat oven to a moderate heat (180C/350F) and line 18 buns of two 12-bun muffin tins with papers.
Sift together the flours, baking powder, bicarb and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the streuselly topping and set that aside as well.
Mix together the egg, melted butter and vanilla and banana-yoghurt mixture. Stir into the flour mixture. Do not overmix: what you want is the batter to barely hang together (lumpy is good). Lightly fold in the chopped berries.
Portion into the muffin papers and spoon about a teaspoon's worth of the topping over the wet batter. Top with the half-berry.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes away cleanish.