My friend Sue is one of those rare people who have the creativity and skill to know what to do with anything – I mean anything! I swear she could make something cool out of a paper cup! So when she shared this recipe for a new way to use strawberries, I had to make it immediately. I have to admit, I had no idea how Strawberry Bread would turn out, but once I tried it, I was instantly inspired to pull every kind of berry I had out of my refrigerator and bake until I dropped!
The wonder of this bread is that it manages to have a consistency similar to bread, rather than cake, while remaining extremely moist and almost juicy because of how many berries are packed into the batter. It’s also made healthier than your normal coffee cake or muffin since the butter and oil are left out in favor of natural applesauce!
It even makes a beautiful batter!
I tried this recipe three different ways (all super delicious!): strawberry with pecans, blackberry and raspberry. For the blackberry and raspberry versions, I just used half the amount of berries and left out the cinnamon the orignal recipe calls for and added a little bit of vanilla.
The shame was (I hate to admit this!), that I wanted to share one of the loaves with Sue, but the loaves were eaten up before I had a chance to take them over to her house – Sorry, Sue! Guess I’ll have to get back in the kitchen!
Here’s the Recipe!
– 2 cups fresh strawberries
– 1-1/2 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (can use half whole wheat half regular, or all whole wheat depending on if you like the whole wheat taste)
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons no sugar added strawberry applesauce (make your own! cut up apples and strawberries and heat them up on the stove, covered)
– 2 eggs, beaten (can use 4 egg whites instead)
– 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour one 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
2.Slice strawberries, and place in medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and set aside while preparing bread mixture.
3.Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl: mix well. Blend applesauce, vanilla, and eggs into strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in pecans. Pour batter into prepared pan.
4.Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaf, and cool completely
Is there anything more joy-producing than the taste of a perfectly ripe, perfectly delicious strawberry?! It’s like Mother Nature’s promise to your tastebuds that summer is almost here. Although in the buff is my favorite way of enjoying home-grown strawberries (the strawberries in the buff – not me…although….), I bought so many at the Farmer’s Market yesterday morning that I had to try out a recipe that I had seen on one of my very favorite food blogs. The ingredients this recipe calls for are ones I had already, which was great for outbursts of spontaneous cooking! I made some little adjustments to a couple of the directions to make up for some possible probable mistakes on my part, so I’ll let you know what I did, just in case you are directions-challenged, like me.
Here’s the Recipe:
1 cup pureed strawberries (I pulsed 8-10 thawed frozen whole strawberries in the food processor)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
Several drops of pink gel food coloring
Place strawberry puree, sugar, and butter in a small nonstick pan over medium low heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Mix reduced liquid with flour and salt in a small bowl. Chill truffle filling for 1 hour in the fridge or until cold.
Carefully roll chilled strawberry filling into 12 round truffles and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or until cold.
Melt semisweet chocolate chips in a shallow bowl on High 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds; stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth, microwaving an additional 10 seconds as needed. Mix in 1 tablespoon oil. Using 2 forks, dip strawberry centers into melted chocolate and cover evenly. Place on waxed paper and smooth tops with the back of a spoon, if needed. Cool in the fridge until chocolate is set, about an hour.
Melt white chocolate chips in a shallow bowl on High 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds; stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth Mix in remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and pink gel food coloring and place chocolate in a pastry bag with a number 4 tip. Drizzle chocolate over truffles. Makes 12 truffles.
Nutrition: 106 calories, 4.1g fat, 0.8g fiber, 0.9g protein per truffle
Cost: $0.34 per truffle
The recipe calls for ten to twelve strawberries, but if you are using locally grown berries, you’ll probably have to set aside about eighteen to twenty to make one cup of puree, since the home-grown variety are usually quite a bit smaller than the kind you’ll find in a grocery store plastic clamshell container. (They taste so much better, too!)
I think that my first mistake was not reducing the strawberry puree enough – the recipe instructs a 15-20 minute simmer over low to medium heat, but mine did not reduce enough in that time period. I cranked up the heat to a higher medium, but I think I would have produced a thicker reduction if I had left it on the heat for at least 30 minutes. As it was, my puree did not set as firmly as it should have….it was still beautiful and delicious, though! (You’ll see the result of a runnier puree here in a minute.)
There are two things I changed about the chocolate ganache: 1. The recipe calls for semi-sweet, but I enjoy a richer cocoa taste to balance out the sweetness of the filling and chose to use a 60% bittersweet, and 2. Instead of the oil, I used unsalted butter. I actually had two goes at melting the chocolate because I messed the first batch up pretty badly…I melted the chocolate with the cold tablespoon of butter and the chocolate immediately seized up as it melted. Oh, well – lesson learned! Redo: I melted the chocolate first and then added a tablespoon of melted butter and it worked beautifully (and tasted better in the chocolate than oil).
Because my puree didn’t set as firmly as it should have, this is what my first three, chilled truffles did after dipping them in hot, melty chocolate (not pretty!):
So I let the chocolate cool a little and put the truffle insides into the freezer for a bit and then they worked beautifully!
I’m definitely going to have to remember this recipe for a made-with-love Valentine’s or Hostess Gift in the future – thanks, Kerstin from Cake, Batter and Bowl!