Friday, January 10, 2014

Banana White Choc Muffins

I absolutely, utterly and hopelessly love bananas. I could blend them in smoothies, incorporate them in cakes or just eat them as a snack. Their rich, tropical flavor and creamy texture make me feel like I’m on some tropical island. Besides, they are a perfect base for any kind of baking if you would like to reduce the amount of sugar and flour you generally have to put in.
I also love chocolate. But the combination of bananas and chocolate – well, now we’re talking! It’s as if the two of them complement each other in some very unique way, the two flavours blending and creating a new one, a sweeter and creamier combination of the milky chocolate and the ripe bananas.
I have been constantly in love with this particular recipe since forever. I first saw it here and since then I have been making it whenever I feel like having some sweet and very quick. Of course, I have made small adjustments to the original recipe. First of all, I have added some twist by incorporating 3 tablespoons of dark rum to the dough. Then I bake the muffins initially at a very high temperature, so that they could raise and crack and become huge and fluffy!
This particular batch of muffins is an order I made for a children’s Christmas party. I was so excited – this was my second order since starting BARkery and I wanted it to be perfect!
It was actually quite the challenge, as I had to bake several batches of cookies the night before, pack the luggage for our Christmas trip home, clean the house and go get the presents for home (something which I vow every year not to postpone for the last minute but then again I always do put it off…oh, well, nobody’s perfect!). So I had to get up so early, chase off the sleepiness with some English breakfast tea and yoga and bake the most perfect Banana White Choc Muffins ever!

The best thing about this recipe is that you can’t really fail it. Unless you use low-quality chocolate, of course. Or you forget them in the over and they turn into coal. But otherwise they always turn out perfect, golden-brown, wonderfully sweety-crusty on the outside and soft and moist inside.
So, here’s the recipe:

You need:

1 3/4 cups (225 grams) flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) white sugar
1/4 cup (55 grams) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (65 grams) white chocolate chips (I use about ¾ 
of a white Milka chocolate bar, which I cut into small chunks)

3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR two vanilla powders

3 tbsp. dark rum (optional)

You do:
1.      Preheat oven to 200oC (180o of the fan is on) and line a muffin tray with paper liners.
2.      In a large bowl sift together flour, salt, soda, baking powder. Add the white chocolate chunks and stir with a fork.
3.      In another bowl, beat the eggs with the butter and sugar until well combined (you could totally do it by hand with an egg beater but if you’re too lazy, just use an electric mixer). Add the mashed bananas, vanilla and rum and mix well.
4.      Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ones. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, mix until just combined. It’s OK if the dough looks chunky and not smooth – the important thing is not to overmix it, as the muffins will turn out rubbery and not fluffy.
5.      Fill the muffin cups about ¾ each. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for about 10 minutes at 200oC (180o of the fan is on), then reduce the temperature to 170 oC    (150o of the fan is on) and bake for 10-15 minutes more – until golden-brown. You can check if they are ready on the inside by inserting a toothpick – if it comes out clean, your muffins are thoroughly baked. The recipe makes about 15 muffins, depending on the size of your cups.

I like these best as a light afternoon snack or as a sweet start of the day with a cup of coffee.

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