I presumed most readers will know that mandarin oranges is an auspicious fruit during Chinese New Year. It was considered as auspicious because the name 大橘 （da jv) has almost the same tone as 大吉 （da ji) which means auspicious. Therefore, these mandarin oranges are needed for gift sending, house visiting and many praying ceremonies.
Usually, families are loaded with lots of mandarin oranges and it can be a burden when there are about 50 mandarin oranges in the house. Of course one way is to eat it as it is, some blend it into fruit juice and I did issue a recipe to make into mandarin orange jam (recipe: Mandarin Orange Jam (橘子酱）) which is well liked by the families.
I have also used it to steam into jidangao or Chinese sponge cake (recipe:Mandarin Orange Steamed Sponge Cake (芦柑鸡蛋糕）) which is delicious also .
Since I have never had an orange muffin recipe, I thought I might as well take this festive seasons to share a recipe that uses some mandarin oranges.
I have always rather confident about my muffin recipe and this is no exception. I personally like this muffin very much and the only disappointment is the type of mandarin oranges used. Not all the mandarin oranges has the same aroma, some beautiful mandarin oranges imported from Pakistan or Taiwan are rather beautiful, juicy and sweet but there is no childhood aroma of what a mandarin orange should have.
I know I am being unfair, personally, when I was young, we only have one type of mandarin oranges called 蕉柑 （jiao gan) imported from Shantou. These type of oranges can be kept for a very long period of time due to its ultra thick skin. Though the skin is very thick, they emit a very unique mandarin orange aroma that other type of mandarin oranges (including lu gan aka 芦柑）does not have. If jiao gan is used in this recipe, it will be perfect and the mandarin oranges aroma will be very strong.
Well, for my international readers, if you cannot get hold of mandarin oranges, you can always use normal oranges and I am confident that normal oranges will provide a stronger aroma than mandarin oranges. Since this is a Chinese New Year recipe, I have added some red colour cranberry and cherry. To provide some bites in the muffins, pecan nuts was added.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: about 12 cupcake size muffins
- 150 grams of butter, meted
- 140 grams of sugar
- 130 grams or ml of mandarin orange/orange juices
- 200 grams of self raising flour
- 1 tablespoon of mandarin orange/orange zest
- 50 grams of mandarin orange pulp, deseeded (optional)
- 50 grams of cranberry or cherries (optional)
- 50 grams of chopped pecan nuts/walnuts or other nuts of your choice (optional)
- 3 eggs
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
- In a bowl, crack the eggs , add the melted butter, mandarin orange juices and mandarin orange pulps. Stir until well combined set aside.
- in another mixing bowl, sift the flour, add the castor sugar, cranberries/cherries and chopped nuts. Stir until well combined and make a well in the centre. Gradually add the egg mixture and use a fork or spoon to mix it swiftly and lightly. Lumpy batter is acceptable and over mixed batter will result in chewy muffins.
- Transfer into the muffins cup until 80% full and bake in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Muffin is best eaten after resting overnight as it will become moister.
I hope this recipe will benefit readers who are in need of ways to get rid of excess mandarin oranges. If you do not have any mandarin oranges now, you can always use oranges instead and rest be assured it will be a delicious muffin.
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