Writings on curious recipes, food I've tasted around the world and the quest for finding the perfect blueberry muffin.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Banana walnut muffins - or banana bread in disguise

This started out very innocently. I spotted a recipe for banana oat muffins in an article clipping I had lying around, and because the recipe was literally four sentences long and I had all the ingredients at home (well, except for the bananas), I decided to try it. Plus, this site is in desperate need of more muffin recipes - for someone who is a declared muffin fanatic, I have posted very few (aka, one) muffin recipes on here. 

So I made the muffins and hoped for the best. 

However, what I got was only good. Even though my friends liked them a lot, I thought they needed slightly more sugar, and were a little too hard on the outside. I don't know if hard is precisely the right word, but for whatever it's worth, they were not worthy of a post on this site dedicated solely to them - even if I did end up eating two three.

So then I continued. I decided to make another batch, this time with more bananas, more sugar and a oat/sugar/cinnamon topping. I also swapped the milk for buttermilk. And I am pretty sure there was something wrong with my home-made buttermilk, because already the batter smelled a little off. I can't even judge these because all I could focus on when I ate them (and believe me, by my third one I was really trying not to focus on it) was this weird smell, probably due to the bad buttermilk and I probably shouldn't have continued to taste them, either...

Okay, so now I was determined. What started off as a quick recipe had by now turned into a 36 hour event, with multiple runs to the market to get more bananas. And while the original recipe was one for bananas and oat muffins, I really felt that nuts were missing, but that oats and nuts and bananas would almost be too much, so I decided to forget about the oats and make banana walnut muffins. Similar to banana bread.

And now we're talking. 

You see, I have this banana bread recipe... one that I have perfected over the years, one that I love dearly, one that never fails, one that is so good, I am never allowed to be in the same room with it. As soon as I thought of it, I knew I would simply adapt it to a muffin batter. Why hadn't this occurred to me sooner? Why did I have to make 24 banana oat muffins before having this revelation?

I don't know.

What I do I know is that now I have the perfect banana muffin recipe, which is just lovely, considering that right now I feel like I never want to eat another banana-anything ever again.*

Also, if there is anyone in London craving banana muffins, feel free to stop by.

*When that feeling subsides, knowing me I'll have another go at the banana oat muffins.

Banana walnut muffins // Banana bread

Banana bread was one of the first things I perfected in the kitchen. I just love this one. What makes it extra special is that it is even better the next day, and even better on the third day (but sadly, unless you hide it from me, it probably won't be around that long). But promise me that once you take it out of the oven you'll cover it in plastic foil and let it steam under that for a half an hour. That just locks in the moisture, and makes it so incredible. Then remove the foil and let it cool completely. And then enjoy a muffin/slice. Or two.


250g // 2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
200g // 1 cup of sugar
113g // 1/2 cup of butter (softened)
1 egg
3 medium, very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
75ml // 5 tablespoons of buttermilk 
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 176°C // 350°F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a different bowl, cream together butter and sugar (I normally mix for at least one and a half minutes). Beat egg slightly and add to creamed mixture with the bananas using a wooden spoon. Then stir in the dry ingredients until just combined (do not overmix). Add buttermilk, vanilla and nuts and once again stir until just combined.

For muffins: Divide the batter evenly amongst 12 muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. (Mine were done in 21 ;-)).

For banana bread: Spread the batter into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan and bake the banana bread for 50-60 minutes. If you are not sure whether the bread is done, insert a toothpick - if it comes out clean it's done! 

As noted above - after baking, cover the muffins (still in their tins) or the banana bread (still in its form) with foil and let it steam for a 1/2 hour. That really locks in the moisture!!



Anonymous said...

I just flew all the way to London to taste one of these banana nut muffins! Soooo worth the trip. Also, tasted suspiciously like banana bread...

Anonymous said...

Got amazing recipes here as well for delicious muffins, Had already tried couple of recipes: http://bit.ly/pmJZVN

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