Tag Archives: muffin

Banana Muffins with Maple Cream Frosting

1 Feb

I like making muffins using fruit. It means that instead of eating them as a 4pm snack or waiting until pudding, they can also be scoffed at breakfast, (as part of a balanced diet, of course). Unfortunately, I’ve never been one for willpower, so fruit muffins usually become my breakfast, lunch and dinner (and snacks, and puddings, and just-becauses). It’s a double-edged sword this fruit muffin lark.

This recipe is taken from the Australian Women’s Weekly Complete Book of Cupcakes and Baking.

Ingredients:

60 g butter

60g soft cream cheese

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 medium bananas, halved lengthways, sliced thinly

For the frosting

30g butter

80g soft cheese

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

Adjustments:

I replaced maple syrup (expensive) with golden syrup (cheap) and used a little less.

I halved the icing recipe and still had enough to coat the cakes.

Method (makes 12):

1. Preheat oven to 180 oC. Line 12-hole muffin pan with cases.

2. Beat butter, cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in milk, syrup and sifted dry ingredients.; fold in bananas.

3. Drop 1/4 cup of mixture into each case; bake about 30 minutes. Stand cakes in pan for 5 minutes then turn onto wire rack to cool.

4. Make maple cream frosting by beating butter, cream cheese and syrup in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy; beat in sifted icing sugar, in two batches, until combined.

Milibanana

Now first I’m going to need some bananas. Can you help me out David Miliband?

“Sure Hannah – Here you go. You can have mine.”

But David Miliband! This banana is all wrinkled and almost past its best.

“Oh god. Yeah, sorry about that. It’s been a tough few months.”

Not to worry David Miliband, I know you have a kind heart. I wish you’d won the leadership election instead of Ed.

That news seems to please you David Miliband. I’ll just leave you to it. Thanks again.

“No problem. As you can see, I’ve got plenty of things – not least this ice cream – to be getting on with now.” **

Like the inside of a Miliband brother, the banana is soft and packed full of potassium.

We’ll also be needing some cream cheese, but it looks like I’ll have to fetch that myself.

Like _______(*Insert name of politician), this cream cheese is slimy.

Like _________ (*Insert name of political party), these eggs are past their best. (Safety Notice: Not really, the eggs are well within the use-by date.)

I’m also using a whack-load of solden syrup. Now I gave a fairly comprehensive commentary of this golden syrup a couple of posts back, so I’ll say no more about it for now.

Giving it a good old going-over.

Gloopy.

Now time for the bananas.

In they go.

It’s satisfyingly sticky putting the mixture into the cases. Must be all that syrup. #schlurp

Bow down and worship the Sun God banana muffin.

“This shit it bananas,” says Neo.

VERDICT:

Taste:

Delicioso. The banana is sticky yet firm, and the icing on top is really, well, the icing on the cake – so to speak. Although there’s no banana in the icing, it tastes like there is. Result!

Recipe pros:

It’s easy to do, especially considering I substituted golden for maple syrup.

Recipe cons:

The icing doesn’t look as light and bouncy as it does in the pictures. Perhaps I didn’t give it a good enough beating. Should have asked John Prescott.

** For some genuinely insightful political commentary, why not romp across to Pete’s politics blog? You won’t find cake, but you will find a gullet-full of nuanced political analysis. Feed your mind.

Chocolate Brownie Muffins

4 Jan

Mmm, chocolate. Actually, I originally glossed over this page when I first flicked through the recipe book. It didn’t look particularly “wow”. But then I got a craving for a good solid gobful of chocolate, and this seemed to fit the bill.

This recipe is taken from the Australian Women’s Weekly Complete Book of Cupcakes and Baking.

Ingredients

2 cups* self-raising flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup caster sugar

60g butter, melted

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped coarsely

1/2 chocolate hazelnut spread

1 egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup soured cream

*Measuring Cups


My recipe book is Australian, so they use cup measurements, as do American recipes. Happily, I found these American-style measuring cups in Sainsbury’s for about £4. Sorry Delia – cups are definitely the way forward. For me it’s so much quicker and cleaner than measuring everything out onto a scale.

Method (makes 12):

1. Preheat oven to 200 oC. Fill 12-hole muffin pan with cases, or grease the pan.

2. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl; stir in remaining ingredients.

3. Divide mixture among holes of prepared pan.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes. Dust with sifted extra cocoa if desired.

Adjustments:

I didn’t use pistachios because they were too expensive.

I can’t be bothered to grease the tin, so I’m using cases instead. I like how they look like little upside-down debutantes in tutus. No? Just me then.

Sifting it all together. Is there anything more satisfying?

Mixing in the other ingredients. My silicone spatula-thingy means none of the mixture sticks to the side of the bowl.

See how scraping the bowl had made little cartoon emphasis lines around the chocolate mix? It’s like it’s saying “ta-da!” Or even “ahhhh!” (*phonetic for the angelic song of a holy choir – like that bit at the beginning of The Simpsons).

The mixture is gooey and looks like chocolate mousse.

In you go my pretties.

Anyone know how to bake without making a horrible mess? (Pete would say this is my favourite bit of the process.)

Fresh (literally ten seconds) out of the oven. I did a happy little jig when I saw how they’d risen.

Yes, they looked cracked on top, but so do the ones in the book. Is that a muffin’s defining characteristic?

Voila.

VERDICT:

Taste

After 20 minutes, the kitchen smelled like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. When I get the muffins out of the oven, it’s all I can do not to stick my face in them immediately. And when I do? Lovely – especially with a nice cup of tea.

Recipe cons:

Um, none? Really simple and quick to make. Nothing fiddly. I would say that it is most definitely a muffin and not a brownie – they are light and spongey, rather than having the heaviness/chewiness I’d associate with a brownie. They are, however, brown – so I’ll give it a pass.

Recipe pros:

These are possibly the best things I’ve ever made.

The cakes are moist and bouncy and very chocolatey. The chocolate chips have retained most of their shape and ooze chocolate when you bite into the muffin.