Sunday, 25 March 2012

Banana Apple Muffins - a healthy treat



I've been on a bit of a roll lately, a muffin roll to be exact.  After the goji blueberry muffins, and the banana muffins, this time it's banana apple muffins.  Over the last few weeks for some strange reason, we had plenty of bananas in the house (the fruit, not manic humans).  I guess the neighbourhood market was selling them on the cheap. 

Incidentally, the most expensive bananas I'd seen were in Sydney in 2006.  AUD10!  That worked out to AUD2 per banana - I almost fainted in Coles. Coming from a country where banana trees are a dime a dozen, and bananas equally cheap, paying so much for bananas was just mind-boggling.  I think they were expensive because Australia was plagued by a severe drought at that time.

This recipe is a variant on the banana muffin recipe.  It produces a moist muffin because of the apples.  They are good eaten on their own as the baked apples add a nice flavourful sweetness to them.  Who says you can't have healthy and tasty at the same time?


you can see the layer of diced apple in the middle
soft and moist

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:
75g/3oz melted butter
250g/9oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
115g/4oz sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp honey
2 large ripe bananas
2 medium eggs
125ml/4oz milk
1 green apple

Method :1.  Preheat oven to 190c and prepare muffin trays with liners.
2.  Melt the butter in the microwave oven and leave to cool.  20 seconds on medium-high is normally sufficient.
3.  Mash the bananas.  Peel, cored and dice the green apple.
4.  In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, soda and ground cinnamon.  Add the sugar and mix well. 
5.  In a second bowl, mix the eggs, milk, honey and vanilla extract.  Stir in the mashed bananas and diced apple. 
6.  Make a well in the center of the dry bowl and stir in the egg/milk/fruit mixture.  Don't over mix.  Batter should be lumpy. 
7.  Scoop batter into muffin tins, about 3/4 full and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
8.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.  Use a skewer to test for doneness.  Cool 5 minutes in tin before removing. 

Enjoy :)




Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happiness is....

banana muffins baking out in the mornings ....it's enough to coax the most comatose from the arms of Morpheus.



There are some fruit and muffin combinations that always go together.  Bananas and muffins are like bananas in pajamas.  Remember them?  B1 and B2.  Lol. After making the blueberry and goji berry muffins, I decided to make some banana muffins.  There was a comb of bananas ripening on the counter crying out to be used.

I like making muffins.  It's easy to make and takes very little time to bake out.  In less than an hour, you get freshly-baked muffins.  And nothing beats the aroma of freshly baked muffins gently wafting out of the kitchen in the mornings.  These are guaranteed to kick start the drool glands even if you belong to the only-coffee-in-the-morning clan. Muffins are easy to eat.  You can eat them on the go and a little goes a long way, especially with banana muffins.  They are a power packed snack.  Small enough to pack into your handbag, yet power packed to boost your energy levels for a discreet mid-morning snack or after
yoga indulgence.

This is a tried and tested recipe which bakes out perfectly every time without fail.  And I love that there's nothing complicated about any of the ingredients.  The bananas, cinnamon and vanilla combine into the most delicious scent - eat your heart out Jo Malone!


coffee and muffins for the morning


Recipe adapted from nigella.com
Makes 12 muffins
Ingredients:
75g/3oz melted butter
250g/9oz plain flour
2 tsp baking pwder
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
115g/4oz sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp honey
2 large ripe bananas
2 med eggs
125ml/4oz milk

Method :1.  Preheat oven to 190c and prepare muffin trays with liners.
2.  Melt the butter in the microwave oven and leave to cool.  20 seconds on medium-high is normally sufficient.
3.  Mash the bananas.
4.  In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, soda and ground cinnamon.  Add the sugar and mix well. 
5.  In a second bowl, mix the eggs, milk, honey and vanilla extract.  Stir in the mashed bananas. 
6.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the egg/milk/banana mixture.  Don't overmix.  Batter should be lumpy. 
7.  Scoop batter into muffin tins, about 3/4 full and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
8.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.  Use a skewer to test for doneness.  Cool 5 minutes in tin
before removing.

 

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Beer Bread


I can hear some cries now - drink your beer, not cook with them!  But if you ever have leftover bottles of beer sitting forlornly in your fridge, and you're not about to add more to the jackhammers pounding in your head, ta-dah...Beer bread!  Stupidly easy to make, and guaranteed to chase the blues away once you get a whiff of the aroma wafting out from the oven.  Ah guaranteah y'all that...quintessentially American. 

It only takes all of 5 minutes to put together.  Yes, you read that right.  5 minutes.  No kneading.  No proofing.  No rolling and shaping and what-have-you.  Just stir all the ingredients together.  Just 6 things.  At the end of it, you get a buttery, chewy bread with a faint hint of your favourite brew.  The texture is more like cornbread than regular bread.  Dip it in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, serve it over some chunky soup, or simply slapped with some butter - it's a winner :)  

This is so seriously addictive, it ought to come with its own warnings.  Half the loaf landed in my tummy before you could say beer barrel polka.























So how does it work?  While there is no added yeast, there is yeast in the beer.  The beer, with the sugar and baking powder produces CO2 which reacts by bubbling and rising happily in the heat.  Don't worry about the batter - it should look quite thick, lumpy and sticky.  And shove the pan immediately into the oven as you don't want to lose any of the lovely CO2 before the heat gets to it.

How strong or mild the flavour is will depend very much on your beer.  I used Tiger beer which is a pale lager, so the bread was quite mild.  For something more robust,  I think I'm going to try a Guinness Stout next.  Black dog bread*, anyone?


Makes 1 loaf 9 x 4 inches
Ingredients:
3 cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
350ml beer - 1 can or 1 bottle
2 tbsp butter or olive oil

Method:
1.  Grease a 9 inch x 4 inch loaf pan.  Pre-heat oven to 190C/375F.
2.  Sift all the dry ingredients together into a bowl.
3.  Make a well in the centre, and mix in the beer until incorporated.  You should get a thick, lumpy batter.
4.  Pour the batter into pan and bake for 45 - 50 minutes. 
5.  5 minutes before time, brush the melted butter over the bread and finish up in the oven.
6.  Bread is done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.  Turn out and cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Knock yourself out.

the Guinness Stout mascot used to be a bull-dog.  That's why it is colloquially known as black dog.  Not that I'm going to bake a black dog!

Popular Posts