Last week, technically last Friday, was my dad’s birthday. I was a bit belated in celebrating his birthday since I was working that day and all I said to him was, “Happy Birthday.” What I did to make up for the lack of presents or anything to commemorate the day of his birth was to bake for breakfast. Yep, he loves bread and sweets as much as I do except he doesn’t love chocolate like my mom does.
Anyways, I ending up baking a batch of vanilla sugar encrusted, grapefruit-cranberry muffins and about two dozens of my interpretation of the traditional mantou. To my readers who are bakers, the recipe for the muffins will be at the end of the post.
Basically this muffin had a wonderful aroma of vanilla and floral citrus of the grapefruit. The cranberries gave the muffins a nice tartness to the muffin.
What I did for the mantous was using my 7-month old sourdough starter (thankfully it’s still living), sweeten it up with sugar and add an extra teaspoon of yeast to make sure the dough would rise and then let it have its first proof. Shape it like it was a cinnamon roll but fill it with granulated sugar, sweetened flaked coconut, and dessicated coconut. Proof it again overnight. Steam for 20 minutes and it’s ready to eat.
I don’t have a photo for the final product due to the fact that it wasn’t as photogenic as my muffins and my family consumed it once it came out of the steamer. I guess this is arguably a tribute for Father’s Day (Happy Father’s Day to all the dads who are reading this!)…but obviously I’m not repeating myself.
Here’s the recipe for the muffins.
Vanilla-Sugar Crusted Grapefruit-Cranberry Muffins
Makes 1 dozen
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus tablespoon or so for greasing pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cranberries (I froze mine before since it was leftovers from a previous recipe)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Zest of a large grapefruit (approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of grapefruit zest)
1/4 cup vanilla sugar (you can either purchase this or make your own)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan and add in a tablespoon of vanilla sugar in each muffin cup, tapping out excess; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat butter and the sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Mix in vanilla.
3. With the mixer on low speed, add reserved flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add milk, beating until just combined. Do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cranberries. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining vanilla sugar on top of muffin batter.
4. Bake, rotating pan halfway though, until muffins are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn muffins on their sides in their cups, and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.