October 21, 2008

Banana and Chocolate Muffins

Banana and choc Muffins-1

MUNCH RATING: 2/5

I had two reasons for making these muffins:
1) I had two bananas that were quickly going past their prime but I didn't want to throw away.
2) Steve wanted something yummy to eat when he got his mid-morning cakey-pangs at work.

I had a recipe on the back of a bag of flour for banana bread, but I'm not a lover of it as I find it too banana-ry (funny that!) but I like chocolate and muffins are easy to make, so Banana and Chocolate Muffins had to be made! They're not very healthy but as Steve would say "It's got fruit in it so it's OK!"

I have to admit I wasn't that confident about making these as my 3 attempts at baking in SF haven't been that successful. But these were a great success as I've now got the hang of the electric oven, the cup measuring system and using the silicone pans Steve bought me.

  • Makes: 12 muffins
  • Oven shelf position: middle
  • Oven temperature: 350F/180C/Gas mark 4
  • Baking time: 20 - 25 minutes
  • You will need: muffin pan and cases if appropriate

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups (245g/9oz) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (30g/1oz) cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (200g/7oz) granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (85g/30z) chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 stick (113g/4oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 225g/8oz/about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Optional: ½ cup (55g/2oz) toasted walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas mark 4 and place oven rack to middle position.
  2. If using a normal muffin tin prepare it by greasing/placing paper cases inside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
  5. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients until just combined and batter is thick and chunky.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips (and nuts if using them).
  7. Spoon heaped tablespoons of the mixture into your muffin pan until they are pretty full so you get a nice muffin top shape (the only type you'll want!).
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Mine only took 20 minutes as I used a silicone pan.
  9. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove from the pan.

TIPS:
You can freeze your baked muffins by allowing them to completely cool, then wrapping them in foil and then popping them in freezer bags. To reheat, just take out of the freezer, unwrap and put them back in your muffin pan and pop into a 350F/180C oven until heated through.
You can also freeze the raw muffin batter by spooning into your muffin pan and then putting the whole thing in the freezer until the batter is solid. You then put these discs into freezer bags. To cook, just put the discs into your muffin pan and cook for about 5 minutes longer than usual.

STRANGE, BUT TRUE:

As my muffin pan is only for 6 muffins I had to cook 2 batches. I was a bit worried that the second batch wouldn't rise as much as the first, because I always thought you had to bake things ASAP so that the baking agents (powder and soda) didn't lose their potency. However, as you can see from these pictures, the muffin from the second batch on the right rose even higher than the first!


Banana muffins compare

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