I have mentioned here how i’ve been recently inspired to get back into baking again and today, at home with my daughter, and in frankly in need of something chocolatey (ladies – you know you have certain days, nay weeks, of the month when you need this…) and rather than just head to the Spar for a massive bar of chocolate i reverted back to a recipe which i ripped out of a magazine last year and promptly made (then got the bookbook it came from).
The recipe was for Chocolate Banana Muffins, from Nigella Lawson‘s book Kitchen. I only really got into Nigella last year and am completely converted. I love her appetite for food, eating and the pleasure of sharing food (and yes, also the pleasure of stealing stuff from the fridge when no-one else is looking…). This recipe, as are most recipes for muffins, is pretty easy and its possible to do it with a young person ‘helping’. Actually, my young person is nearly 4 and did all the banana mashing and the bulk of the mixing so was pretty useful to have around.
I’ve copied the recipe out below but it, along with hundreds of other recipes are available on http://www.nigella.com. Some of the comments on the recipe page suggest these are a bit dull but i suspect they just aren’t using good enough Cocoa Powder and are folk used to the huge monstrosities of muffins available in the shops which just taste of fat and sugar. I used Cadbury’s Bournville Cocoa Powder which gave them a lovely rich taste. Also, you could add chocolate chips etc if you wanted more chocolate gooey-ness but for me, these are great as a chocolatey hit withough making you feel guilty (hell, even the bananas make them feel positively virtuous…) Enjoy!
Makes 12 (though don’t last very long…)
- 3 very ripe or overripe bananas (Tildy nb: go for large rather than small here)
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 2 eggs (Tildy nb: Nigella uses Large unless specified)
- 100g soft light brown sugar
- 225g plain flour
- 3 x 15ml tablespoons best-quality cocoa powder, sifted (Tildy nb: i go HEAPED tablespoon-fulls)
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 x 12-bun muffin tin
Serves: Makes 12
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with papers. Don’t worry about getting special papers: regular muffin cases will do the job.
- Mash the bananas by hand or with a freestanding mixer.Still beating and mashing, add the oil followed by the eggs and sugar.
- Mix the flour, cocoa powder and bicarb together and add this mixture, beating gently, to the banana mixture, then spoon it into the prepared papers.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, by which time the muffins should be dark, rounded and peeking proudly out of their cases. Allow to cool slightly in their tin before removing to a wire rack.