Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Banana Muffins

Muffins will always have a special place in my heart because they are the breed of pastry that sparked my baking craze some 2-3 years ago. The tragedy of sentimentality also means that I have, against good reason, ordered many a lousy muffin. 

In my experience, the 3 main grouses regarding commercial muffins are: 
1. Too sweet - Muffins are not just one big cake divided into little paper cups!
2. Too oily/buttery - I don't want to see oil-soaked paper cups. It gives me the impression that the muffin has sitting there for too long. It scares me.
3. Weak flavour- Muffins are not simply cupcakes minus the frosting! Since they don't have frosting on top, the muffin batter needs to be packed with flavour.

Banana Muffins Recipe

Makes 7, as shown in the photos. If you like muffin tops (where the batter rises out of the cup and forms and overhang), fill each cup with more batter, yielding 6 muffins

2 large bananas, mashed (I used del monte)
70g unsalted butter, softened
30g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
110g plain flour
30g rolled oats
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp caster sugar
A dash of ground cinnamon 

3 Tbsp Nutella
Enough slices of banana to place atop each muffin

1. Prepare the glaze: Stir together ingredients for the glaze and brush it on the inside of the paper cups. Set aside extra to brush muffin tops later.
2. Make the batter: cream the butter and brown sugar together till light and fluffy. 
3. Whisk in vanilla extract and egg, followed by the mashed bananas.
4. Add plain flour, rolled oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and whisk till combined.
5. If using, add Nutella in chunks and give a gentle stir so that uneven streaks form. Avoid mixing Nutella homogeneously with the batter so that you can still taste the nutella chunks in the finished product.
6. Scoop batter into prepared paper cups and brush tops with remaining glaze. If using, set a thin banana slice on top of each muffin.
7. Bake at 180 deg c, 25 min or until a cake tester inserted at the centre comes out clean and the tops spring back gently when pressed. 

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