Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My new favorite cookbook

Whole-Wheat Strawberry Muffins
Cakes: 1,001 Classic Recipes from Around the World Copyright 2003

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar I used light brown sugar
1 cup milk I used Super Skim
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped I would definitely use 1 1/2 - 2 cups next time

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12-cup muffin pan, or line with foil or paper baking cups. Sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the brown sugar and make a well in the center. Beat in the milk, eggs, and butter with an electric mixer at low speed. Stir in the strawberries. Spoon the batter into prepared cups, filling each ¾ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (I think 15-20 minutes is probably more accurate.) Cool the muffins on racks.

Makes 12 muffins.

I'm in love. Not with these muffins, which were excellent, but with this cookbook, this wonderful cookbook. Recipe after recipe after recipe. And about half the recipes have glorious photographs. Chocolate cakes, pound cakes, fruit cakes, sponge cakes, nut cakes, cheesecakes, ice cream cakes. Anything that can remotely be called a cake is in this book. They even threw in some recipes for tarts, icings, fillings and ice creams. From the simplest plain loaf cake to complicated fancy pastries. This was a 2004 IACP award nominee in the Compilations Category. I haven't seen the other nominees but I'm sure this book was robbed. This is the kind of cookbook that you don't need to use - just looking at it and dreaming about all these cakes makes owning it worth it.

These muffins were just a chance to put my toe in the water of this book, since I'm still recovering from Labor Day weekend and I have to resist making anything too extravagant right now. So I had to skip past the fancy cakes for the time being. This wasn't too much of a sacrifice - I really liked these muffins. They were only slightly sweet. The aroma from the strawberries was wonderful. I would say these definitely needed more strawberries. Don't try to pass off too-tart berries in this recipe. You probably could substitute with another berry or fruit but I don't think you could top strawberries. These were best straight out of the oven with some butter but the strawberries kept the muffins moist for a few days.

I replaced my baking powder and I can see a difference. I don't know why I waited so long - baking powder isn't that expensive. I didn't even realize I wasn't using an aluminum-free baking powder. I had the Rumford but I'm not sure what happened to it. Not everyone carries that brand here so maybe that's why I ended up Clabber Girl. I bought Bob's Red Mill brand this time.

This is my contribution to Sweetnick's ARF/5-A-Day Tuesdays, as strawberries are high in antioxidants and they're one of the world's healthiest foods.

Blast From The Past: Seared Salmon with Balsamic Glaze from September of 2005. I love salmon and I loved this recipe but I hate the way my house smells after I cook salmon. I keep forgetting I could cook this outside. My grill has a side burner.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite cake? (Have I asked this question before?)


Randi said...

My favorite cake is Coconut. Next I love German Chocolate( do you see a theme?). I'm going to make peninsula grill's coconut cake for my 40th( gasp) birthday in December.

MommyProf said...

Spice cake with caramel frosting. We also had a quite awesome carrot cake for our wedding cake.

Annie said...

Hmmm. This is a tough one.
I guess I'll go with dark chocolate, preferably with chocolate chips or even butterscotch chips with Chocolate Frosting.
I really should join chocoholics anonymous ;)

Unknown said...

These muffins look delicious. I'm in a muffin making mood and am trying to decide what kind to make. These would be delicous, but strawberries are starting to get pricy around here. My favorite cake...I guess a cake I have named Harvest pecan cake. It's make with Butter pecan cake mix (!) and coconut pecan froting (in the batter). It is so moist and yummy. Makes the sticky part on the pan that is my FAVORITE!

Anonymous said...

Delicious looking muffins. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

My favorite cake has to be Cassis (blackcurrant) Mousse cake from Poupon in DC.

But... for ones I make at home, nothing beats a crumb cake with more crumb than cake!!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. Mmm.

Anonymous said...

OMG! These look sooooo good. I'm definitely gonna have to make these. Now to find some good strawberries.

My favorite cake? Hmmmmmm, I really like a lemon cake I make and you pour a lemon glaze on it while it's hot from the oven. So good.
Also angel food cake with strawberries and real whip cream.....Yummmmm.
Pineapple upside down cake is another yummmmm.
I tend to like cakes that don't have much frosting and not real crazy about chocolate cake (I know, I'm weird).

Heather said...

I really like all cake, I don't think that there is a favorite kind.

Anonymous said...

Rich, moist chocolate cake with thick chocolate ganache icing and I love something "crunchy" in it, be it tiny chocolate chips, toffee pieces, whatever.

Anonymous said...

This has to be my favorite question ever!!!!! I love baking and especially sweets! I love to try a bunch of recipes side by side and pick our favorite cake, too. Besides our family carrot cake, my favorite cake recipes, all of which I recommend wholeheartedly as being absolutely fabulous, are:

*America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook's New York Cheesecake

*Cook's Country's Bananas Foster Cake, Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Italian Cream Cake, Spice Cake, Texas Sheet Cake, and Wellesley Fudge Cake

*Cook's Illustrated's Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown Sugar and Bourbon Cream, Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake, Lemon Cheesecake, Moist and Tender Devil's Food Cake, and Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

*Blogger Sally's Baking Addiction's Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cheesecake

Just writing these cakes names down makes me happy :)