Friday, October 9, 2009

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Do you have some brown bananas on hand? Well, I've got the recipe for you.

They're banana-y, with just the right amount of chocolate, they're moist, and not too sweet. They look really chocolate-y, but actually have a stronger banana flavor. Just perfect for morning, afternoon or an evening/writing-the-blog kind of snack.

They are a really nice banana change. I've been baking the same banana bread and banana muffins for a while. I wanted something new for the four, very sad, very brown, bananas taking residence in our fruit bowl. I don't know about you, but I cannot throw away bananas.

Lucky for me, I have the amazing cookbook from Nancy Silverton, Pastries from La Brea Bakery. So I looked up bananas, and found Banana-Cocoa Muffins. Perfect.

And the best part? I can use the Scharffen Berger Cocoa Powder I got at the BlogHerFood Conference. Woo hoo!

The recipe is super simple. It says it makes 12 muffins.  Well, good news folks, it really makes 30 regular size muffins. One other thing to note, they may need to bake longer than 15 minutes. Mine took 20.

Now, don't despair if your first batch are slightly under-baked and fall, fall, fall once they are cool. Which I must say is quite disheartening. Mine did that. But you know what? They still taste spectacular. So don't toss 'em. Just keep 'em for yourself. Want to know what I do? Throw them all in a large Ziplock and stick them in the freezer. Then I have fresh muffins whenever I want. Woahaahaa.

Adding the Scharffen Berger Cocoa my strainer/sifter. Works like a charm!

Banana-Cocoa Muffins

For the Muffins:
5 extra-large eggs (room temperature)
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 to 6 ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 1/2 cups)
3 3/4 unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour (I used regular all-purpose)
3 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 cup unsweetened imported cocoa powder

For Garnishing:
1/2 cup pecans toasted and chopped

1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Shake the pan halfway through to ensure that the nuts toast evenly. Cool, coarsely chop an set aside.
3. Turn the oven up to 350 degrees.
4. In a small bowl combine the eggs and oil and stir in the banana puree.
5. In a large bowl, sift to combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa powder.  Make a large well in the center and pour in the banana mixture. Gradually draw in the dry ingredients, whisking until incorporated.
6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins to two-thirds full. It's thick, you may want to try using an ice cream scoop. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the pecans over the top of each.
7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until firm to the touch.

Yield: 30 muffins


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