Balsamic Strawberry Muffins
Strawberries are hands down one of my all time favourite foods. In fact I love anything strawberry flavoured, if I’m getting a milkshake it has to be strawberry, if I have a bag of lollies I will always fish around in the bag for the strawberry ones first, and if I’m making muffins then it has to be these Balsamic Strawberry Muffins.
I’ve been told that at a very young age my Nana would feed me strawberries dipped in sugar, I guess that might explain my strawberry obsession to this day. I love when summer comes around and there is an abundance of beautiful red strawberries filling the stores, and I love how the smell of sweet strawberries fills the car as you drive home with your sweet stash. Sadly however, we are in the midst of winter right now and strawberries are not in abundance. But I have a solution to get my strawberry fix throughout winter – frozen strawberries.
If you didn’t know already, strawberries freeze really well. Near the end of strawberry season I often buy an extra couple of punnets and pop them in an airtight container in the freezer. Frozen strawberries work best for things like cooking and of course smoothies. You don’t even need to defrost them to whip up a quick smoothie, just chuck them in a blender with some milk and you have an awesome icy cold strawberry smoothie. Oh and a handy tip is to cut off the green top before you freeze them.
These Balsamic Strawberry Muffins work equally well with fresh or frozen strawberries. Balsamic vinegar and strawberries are one of those marriages made in heaven, it just works so well. The balsamic seems to amplify the sweetness of the strawberries to dizzying new heights. And if you’ve got some frozen strawberries in the freezer, there’s really no excuse not to make these muffins all year round.
Balsamic Strawberry Muffins
– 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
– 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tsp extra
– 2 punnets of strawberries, fresh or frozen (about 2 cups chopped strawberries)
– 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
– 1 egg, beaten
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil
– 3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius. Set aside 3 even sized strawberries, then cut all the remaining strawberries into quarters. Place half of the strawberries into a small saucepan over a medium heat, add 2 tsp sugar and cook for 5mins or until it cooks down into a sauce. Stir in 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and set aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl combine the flour and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, oil, and milk, and stir until just combined. Mix through the chopped fresh strawberries. Next add the balsamic strawberry sauce and ever so gently ripple it through the mixture. You don’t want to mix it in, you just want it rippled through so there are pockets of the balsamic sauce through the muffins.
Spoon the mixture into a 12 cup patty tin, you can either use patty cases or a well greased tin. Slice the 3 strawberries that you set aside into 4 even slices each, and top each muffin with a strawberry slice. Bake for 20-25 mins or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Leave to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.