Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mango Coconut Streusel Muffin

The spring's rain was relentless today. Just the right weather to stay indoors and play house! With the continuous warm days and occasional rain, the mini garden outside our house looks ready for cleaning and sowing. However said, I still prefer cooking and baking anytime to digging and planting! The pleasure of having a green thumb is better left to Curry and maybe Missy E.

I wanted to make these muffins early in the morning for breakfast but like they always say, there is no snow date nor rain check for church mass and off I went dutifully to worship my faith and made them for teatime instead.

I have always preferred muffins to cupcakes as the former can be very versatile in both sweet and also savory taste with the addition of different nuts and fruits. The fact that its texture is more denser than cupcakes makes it a substantial food for the mornings and if baked from scratch with healthy choices of ingredients, muffins is a better option than donuts or that big breakfast meal that we so easily get through the convenience of drive through windows!

There were boxes of Alphonso mangoes for sale in the Asian store and this type of mango is by far the best choice for use in baking. The flesh is smooth and feels like butter in the mouth and so juicy sweet than the usual Tommy Atkins type. Most of the neighborhood houses in Malaysia have their own mango trees and when I was a kid, I enjoyed picking mangoes from my parents' trees and I can even eat them tart and unripened, dipped in a sauce made of sugar and soy sauce.

This muffin is very tropical in nature with the combination of mango and dessicated coconut flesh. The mango was blended and pureed before being added to the batter. The presence of its juice made the muffin more moist and tender and the dessicated coconut gave it additional crunch texture. I have always liked crunchy crumbed tops and I made the streusel part more interesting by adding grated lemon rind to almond flakes and mixing them all into the flour, sugar and butter mixture. The lemon gave a subtle flavor to the whole of the muffin and the almond flakes was a lovely garnish.

Ingredients :

3/4 cup pureed mango flesh (1 large mango)
1/2 cup unsweetened dried dessicated coconut
1 cup All purpose flour
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter (room temperature)
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg

Streusel :
1 tbsp almond flakes and extra
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp flour
1 tbsp butter (cold)

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 6 muffin tins or cups.
2) To make muffin: Sift the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
3) Beat the butter and sugar till creamy. Add in the egg and continue to beat till combined.
4) Fold in half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add the mango puree next to combine and fold in the dessicated coconut.
5) Fold in the remaining half of the flour mixture. Batter will be heavy and firm.
6) Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling 3/4 of each cup.
7) To make the streusel: Combine the 1 tbsp almond flakes, sugar, flour and lemon rind. Stir to combine evenly. Using your fingers, rub in the butter to make sure it coats the flour mixture resembling crumbs.
8) Sprinkle on top of each muffin and sprinkle extra almond slices to garnish the top part of the streusel.
9) Bake for 25 mins till the streusel is slightly brown and toothpick test comes out clean. Remove from oven and let rest in the muffin tin for 5 mins. Serve with coffee or tea.

Makes : 6 muffins

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