After going nuts over Pistachios its now time to go bananas! Seriously, I can see myself going from relatively sane to insane very soon. Its the dreaded time of the year around the corner...March, April and May. The kiddo's exams, more of work at office and the most dreaded long summer break... sigh!! Its virtually impossible to work from home with the kids around all day, my son groaning to go to an activity center, my daughter dutifully echoing her brother. I wonder how the younger ones so quickly latch on to things about the older ones - the not-so-good-things I mean. And to think that you will be a better parent just because you are a Mom second time is a mistake - a huge one! Brother and sister are chalk and cheese. He was never a kid to howl his lungs out, never made me dread the time he would return from school, a stern word would immediately put him back in place.
The daughter has manged to ruffle my feathers , well mine and most people around to be precise. 'Amma!!!!', she calls out to me, "Look - she has not folded up the blankets neatly'' - the 'she' is the flabbergasted house-help. She runs to the kitchen when I am just about to hand my hubby his morning cuppa, asking him very seriously "Do you want Amma's coffee or the coffee from my kitchen set?'' Hubby is torn between the two important women in his life. My attempt to scare her( as a last desperate resort ) by telling her that the garbage picker has come to warn naughty kids, fails miserably when she tells me "She is here to just pick up the garbage, you don't worry''. I am left racking my poor brains for the next smart thing I can do or say.
Son's friends come to call him for cycling or a bey blade battle when am I just all set for the home work session. For all the pain taken to get him to write in cursive for years, he suddenly decides that the other way of writing looks 'just awesome and cool'. When life ruffles your feathers, thank God there is always baking to make me feel better. Never found a better thing which can instantly make things appear suddenly brighter...A batch of delightful Banana Muffins- soft, tender and delicious, were the outcome of one such instance.
Recipe adapted from Joy Of Baking. I have halved the recipe to make 10 mini muffins. I find my digital kitchen scales very very handy for accurate measurements and definitely better baked goods. If you are serious about baking, its worthwhile investing in one. The only pre-planning you would need for this are the very ripe bananas.
The original recipe has walnuts and cinnamon added to it. You could add chopped nuts or chocolate chips to the batter to make these muffins even more better. Here is the recipe as given in Joy Of Baking. You could also watch a video of Stephanie bake these on her site.
This recipe yields 12 standard size muffins. I have halved the proportions below as I have found my previous banana bakes not- so- good. Do go ahead and bake these for the entire proportion below as my muffins disappeared pretty fast!
All purpose Flour / Maida - 1 3/4 cup (230 grams)
Granulated white sugar - 3/4 cup (150 grams)
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
Baking Soda - 1/4 teaspoon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Ripe bananas - 3 large (454 grams) 11/2 cups
Unsalted butter - 1/2 Cup(113 grams), melted and cooled
Vanilla extract / essence - 1 teaspoon
Ground cinnamon - 1 teaspoon(optional)
Chopped walnuts or chocolate chips - 1 cup (I did not use either, could have)
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon ( I do not use)
Procedure: Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C /350 degrees F. Grease your muffin pans.
Toast the walnuts lightly if using. You could toast them in the oven or on your stove top. Cool and then chop them roughly, keep aside. In a large bowl, combine the four, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, nuts and cinnamon. Whisk the eggs lightly in a small bowl. In a medium sized bowl, mash the bananas( with a fork or with your hands). Its OK to have a few chunks here and there. Add the melted butter, vanilla and the whisked eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones in the large bowl. With a silicone spatula, combine the ingredients. Mix well, but DO NOT OVERMIX. (if doing this for the first time, watch the video for this part). This can make the difference between soft and tough muffins.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups using two spoons or an ice-cream scoop. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. My small muffins took around the same time to bake surprisingly. Cool the tray on the rack for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins form the tray. Cool on the rack completely. Serve warm or at room temperature. Best eaten on the day they are baked.
These muffins tasted great warm with a slightly crisp top. They were not too sweet (as I had feared), very soft and tender, but not very light though. I guess most banana muffins and breads are a tad dense. Which is your most favorite banana bread/ muffin recipe? Tell me..