Sunday, 3 July 2011

Banana Muffins

now, here's a little known fact about me: i hate raw bananas. their texture, their smell, the fact that you can't touch them without them going brown and manky really just puts me off eating them. but as soon as you bake them into a cake, a muffin, a bread, they are transformed into something magical. the smell that fills the kitchen while something bakes in the oven that has bananas in is amazing - the sweet, cakey, almost moist smell really gets you into the mood for cake!

the recipe i used here comes from The Cook's Encyclopedia of Cookies, Biscuits & Bars by Hilaire Walden, which i picked up for 30p second hand at the local summer fayre - BARGAINNN :)
there are raisins in these muffins, which i love. they plump up inside the muffins, so that their sweet cakey goodness is broken up by the juicy raisins. i also used muscovado sugar because it has a dark treacly flavour compared to the raw, sweet, rather bland flavour of caster sugar, which i think would go well with the innate sweetness of mushed up bananas.
fact about sarah number 2: i'm pretty darn lazy. i hate to sieve things, i avoid sieves like the plague. sieving takes forever, half the flour ends up on the counter and you have more to wash up. if i can gain the same results just by mixing it around with a fork for a while, why go to all the bother? it breaks up big lumps, combines the dry ingredients and introduces air!
there is nothing less appealing to me than a bowl of mashed banana. okay, maybe when you're a baby it looks like the most delicious food in the entire world, but now, when i can control what goes in my mouth, i really can't stand it. eww.
the main difference between the preparation of a muffin and a cupcake is that you keep the wet and dry ingredients apart for as long as possible. this grim mixture of banana, sugar, egg and oil needs to be carefully and quickly mixed into the flour for a light and airy muffin.
try not to move the mixture about too much - you don't need to introduce air to the mixture, you don't even need to make sure all the flour is mixed in. as long as it hold together in a batter that you can spoon into the cases to let them do the magic.
all my muffin recipes make 12, no more, no less. i don't know why, but it's really convenient!
yum yum yum. that is all i can say.

225g Plain Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 large ripe bananas
1 egg
50g dark brown sugar
50ml vegetable/sunflower oil
40g raisins

mix together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg with a fork for a while
mash up the bananas in a separate bowl
mix in the egg, sugar and oil
mix together the dry and wet ingredients, and the raisins
spoon into 12 muffin cases
bake for 20 minutes at 190 degrees until well risen and brown on top

eat warm with a cup of coffee for a late breakfast. yumss

sarahh xxx

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