Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Banana and Walnut Muffins

Last year, I went a little crazy making batches and batches of cupcakes and muffins. This was much to the despair of YH, and 2 friends who were all trying to lose weight. Thankfully for all involved, I've stopped the baking madness for now, but there is one muffin I still make. I'm not a very good baker, as baking involves precise weighing and measurement, but this recipe is very forgiving. For those who are keen on baking muffins and just want one simple recipe that works consistently each time, this would be it.

It's also fairly healthy - there's very little butter in the recipe, and it is sweetened with honey and banana (and for my version, a crunchy sugar walnut cinammon topping, which adds a lovely toasted nutty flavour and texture to the muffin).

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This recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson cookbook "How To Be A Domestic Goddess". It's under her "Children" cooking section, which probably explains why it is so simple and fool-proof. I've added a walnut topping which I find gives the muffin a nice texture and more flavour.

Banana and Walnut Muffins

Makes 10 standard size muffins

30g unsalted butter
2 heaped Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp vanilla essence
2 large ripe bananas
150g plain flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

Sugar Walnut topping
Mix together:
100g chopped walnuts
3 tsp golden raw sugar crystals (the large sugar crystals used for coffee)
dash ground cinnamon

Line muffin pan with 10 paper muffin liners and preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

Melt butter, honey and vanilla extract on low heat in a small saucepan. Set aside to cool a little. Mash the bananas and add to the butter. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, ground cinnamon and salt together. Add the banana liquid into the dry ingredients all at once, and mix gently to combine. Don't overmix here or the muffins will be tough. I find mixing with a fork helps as well. 

Fill the muffin liners 2/3 full of muffin mixture. I find using an ice-cream scoop to helps to measure the mixture out evenly and quickly. Top with around 1 tsp of the sugar walnut topping (optional but highly recommended!) and bake for 25 minutes. 

muffin mix

During the last 5 minutes, check the muffins (the walnuts on top may brown quite a bit, watch they don't burn too much). Test with a skewer to ensure the inside is cooked (skewer should come out clean). Remove and cool on a wire rack.


Store the muffins in an air-tight container. They can last in room temperature about 4-5 days. They taste better warm, so after the first day, revive them by warming one muffin in the microwave on High for 10 seconds.



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