These raspberry and white chocolate muffins or loaf bread are something special. While this is one of the easiest recipes you will come across, the resulting mix is super moist with a perfect balance of tangy raspberries, sweet white chocolate and coconut. This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
These raspberry muffins or loaf (I made both as you can see) are so easy that you can bake them fresh in the morning. I did it when I was half asleep as I am not in my best in the morning. What I did was measure out the ingredients and prepared them ready to mix together the following morning. If a half asleep me can do it, anyone can ;)
Fresh or frozen raspberries? I like using frozen raspberries straight from the freezer in baked goods. Then I decorate with fresh raspberries. I like using frozen raspberries in the cake itself as they hold their shape better in the mix when you stir it. If you thaw them you'll get smaller raspberry pieces as they are so soft and the mixture will turn grey rather than stay golden.
Don't like white chocolate? I like the contrast between the slightly sweet but tart raspberries and the sweet white chocolate but if you don't use your favourite milk or dark chocolate!
Tip to keep your cakes and muffins moist and soft:
Soaking the desiccated coconut in the coconut milk makes the coconut more moist and contributes to the overall moistness of these muffins or loaf. You can skip this step but I did this step the night before so it was easy.
Use cake flour - this is a softer flour and will make cakes and muffins softer in texture. To make 1 cup of cake flour, replace 2 tablespoons of plain all purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornflour or fine cornstarch. Cake flour is a lower protein flour and adding cornflour or fine cornstarch lowers the protein content in the flour which means when it is mixed together less gluten strands form making for a softer cake. You can also buy cake flour at the supermarket.
Add baking powder to lighten the mixture. Baking powder is only activated once it comes into contact with liquid so it's fine to mix it with the dry ingredients like sugar and flour beforehand but once liquid is added, do not let your final batter sit for too long as the baking powder will lose its strength.
Acidulate your coconut milk with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. This makes a mixture like buttermilk. The acidic properties of buttermilk help to break down gluten strands resulting in a more tender cake. However it's not an ingredient that you may always have to hand. The best way to make buttermilk is to add 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of coconut or regular milk.
Bake it low to keep it moist: I baked these at 160C/320F to keep them moist. Baking cakes at a lower temperatures doesn't dry them out as much. If you want it golden on the top, bake at 180C/350F for the last 10 minutes or so (I sifted icing or powdered sugar on top anyway).
I made these raspberry muffins for the recent Easter long weekend. We usually don't go away over Easter because it requires both pre-planning and it's expensive to travel over Easter as everyone wants to go away then. But then our friend Valentina generously invited us up to her farm near Rylestone in the Mudgee region with her family (story to come soon!). We were so excited and planned to drive there on Good Friday leaving at 11am and I wanted to arrive with afternoon tea in the form of these muffins.
If I can give you one piece of life advice it is this: do not travel on Good Friday. I had mistakenly thought that everyone was already at their destination by Good Friday but there was traffic chaos everywhere. What normally is a 3.5 hour drive took much longer, significantly longer...
It was a drive full of drama. When we reached Katoomba, Teddy threw up - his new booster seat proved no match for the twisty turny roads as we followed less congested routes. We stopped, washed his blanket and took him for a little walk. Then we came to a spot in the traffic where it was faster to walk so I got out and walked Teddy while Mr NQN in the car crawled along at 1 kilometre an hour.
It was pandemonium as people tried to make it to their destination. A poor kid was doing potty on the side of the road while others stopped to have a breather and to stretch their legs on the arduous journey. We watched two adjacent cars crawl along at such a slow speed together that they were able to play a game of Rock, Scissors Paper with outstretched arms from their respective cars.
We finally arrived to their lovely farmhouse "Whimbrel" at 6:30pm, 7 hours after we had set off. Afternoon tea had already come and gone. We ate the muffins for dessert and they were still moist and delicious. Over the next 2 days we ate them for breakfast and then we took the remaining ones to Valentina's friends house for morning tea.
I was nervous about taking these to her friends' house because they were baked two days earlier and she's a chef so I didn't want to be judged on slightly old baked goods. But as it was pointed out by a kind soul, they were fine because they were so moist in the first place.
So tell me Dear Reader, how did you spend your Easter long weekend? Did you get caught in the crowds on Good Friday? Would you prefer this in muffin or loaf form?