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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Baking Banana & Almond Muffins

Have you also found that during Summer your fruit has a much shorter life? It is as a result of the hot weather. No complains there. However, it does leave me with food that hastily needs to be used to avoid it going bad and bananas tend to lead the way there. Banana Bread is always a great option, but how about baking banana muffins as a variation? Add some almonds to that, instead of the usual pecans, and you have a sure winner. Let me share with you how easy this is to make.


My reason for baking these are these overly ripe bananas. These are no longer any good for eating, but they are brilliant for baking. When they are this ripe they have developed fully in flavor and that is hard to beat.


I start by preparing the almonds. I intend to bake giant muffins, as it is school holidays and there are lots of hungry kids passing through the house. As the muffins are going to be big and my audience a nut-loving bunch, I chop the almonds very roughly.


I sieve 2 1/2 cups (675 ml) flour and 3 teaspoons (15 ml) baking powder together.


Ideally your butter should be at room temperature, but as the temperatures are so hot, I keep the butter in the fridge. Measure off 200 g.


To overcome the hardness of the butter, I grate it into a mixing bowl.


I add 1 1/2 cup (375 ml) sugar to the butter and cream it.


I now add 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla essence to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix well.


If you are using hard (greener) bananas, I suggest you mash them with a fork. These soft ones don't need any mashing and is added to the mixture as is. The blender is quite capable of handling them. Use 4-6 medium sized bananas. Mix well.


Add a cup (250 ml) of chopped almonds and mix well.


Now add the dry ingredients and mix well.


Add 2/3 cup (approximately 185 ml) of milk and mix well.


Prepare your muffin tins with non-stick spray. You can also line the tins with paper cups, but that is optional. Scoop the muffin mix into the muffin pans. This recipe makes 7 giant muffins. You should get between 18-24 normal sized muffins from the mix. Stick the pan in a preheated oven at 200°C for 20-30 minutes. They are done when they are golden brown on top and start to pull away from the sides. A skewer should come out clean when stuck into the muffins.


It is quite normal for the muffins to crack at the top when they are baking. Leave them in the tin for a few minutes and then turn them onto a wire rack to cool down.


I left the muffins to cool on a wire rack before collecting the smaller kids for a swim. When returning from the pool this little one was very excited about the prospect of the muffins and demanded we have some first before returning her home. I was dubious about her ability to cope with the large muffin, but she proved me wrong, eating all but a few bites. Enjoy!


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