A couple of weeks back, Dolly, my friend from Taiwan was in town on business. She brought me a box of lovely muffins and muah chee from Gui Yuan Cake(www.guiyuancake.com.tw). They are well known for their Dried Longan Muffins and have won several awards for them too. The shop takes its name after the dried longan which is called Gui Yuan in Chinese. Dolly mentioned that the Taiwanese believe that eating these muffins, especially during the colder months, has a warming effect on the body.
The muffins are choked with hydrated dried longans and chopped walnuts. The dark brown cake has a rich molass flavor and is moist though dense. Biting into one actually reminded me of eating a very fragrant Huat Kueh.
I did some googling and found a few recipes for this muffin and finally settled for one which I felt was a good representation of the ingredients and method I imagine.
Although the original recipe uses cake flour, I replaced that with top flour as I felt it would yield an even more superior product.
Come on, give this recipe a try and you will be enchanted by the taste of this dried longan muffins.
Longan Walnut Muffins
150g Top flour
2 tsp double-acting baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
110g dark brown sugar
70g dried longan
3/4 cup hot water
70gm butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup longan water
75g walnuts, roasted and chopped coarsely
1) Hydrate the dried longans in the 3/4 cup of hot water for 20-30 minutes. Strain the hydrated longans and squeeze lightly to remove excess water. Reserve 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid.
2) Sift top flour, salt and baking powder together.
3) Combine cooled longan water, melted butter and vanilla together
3) Whisk eggs and brown sugar till creamy. Add the butter/water mixture and whisk till just combined.
4) Fold in the flour lightly, add 50g of the chopped walnut and the dried longans.
5) Mix well and spoon batter into muffins/cupcake cases, top with the balance chopped walnuts.
6) Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree C for 30-35 minutes for medium sized muffins and 20-25 minutes for mini muffins. Skewer test for doneness.
1) The batter is quite runny.
2) Pulverize your brown sugar if necessary to remove any big lumps.
Updated 6 June 09
I have corrected the walnuts to 75gms (50gms in batter + 25gms for garnishing. I had earlier indicated 150gms as I had doubled the recipe. Thousand apologies for the mistake.