Monday, 19 November 2012

Eggplant Brownie - Guilt Free Pleasure

Sneaky sneaky...that's what I thought of this month's Sweet Adventures Blog Hop : Cake and 3 vegetables.  The only vegetables I know used regularly in desserts are pumpkin, carrots and maybe a sweet potato or two.  Hmm... perhaps something a little more challenging?  How about eggplant?  And no butter or shortening of any kind?  Flourless?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Old Fashioned Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

There's something very old-fashioned about fruity cakes, and the pineapple-upside-down cake is no exception.  It has been quite a while since I saw an upside-down-cake.  Remember those pineapple rings studded with the red maraschino cherries?  Throwback to the eighties where watermelon baskets and pineapple porcupines were the rage back then and every Tupperware party had one or both.  Ouch, that was a painful statement to make - actually confessing to growing up in the '80s...

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Kaya Bread

The 1st Bread-Bake-Out was a humongous success and hopefully inspired some more bread making amongst the Singletons.  We were still pretty divided over bread-machines and elbow grease, but that's ok.  And that's the beauty of bread-making.  You can choose either and it doesn't need much TLC.  As we are all busy multi-tasking career-women, something that Monster Mom said during our 1st Bread-Bake-Out made me think of this. 

Monday, 8 October 2012

My Mother's Homemade Kaya

My mother's kaya is something that I grew up with.  Kaya slathered thickly over buttered bread for our morning breakfast.  She's made these regularly through the years, and I still remember how she would keep the eggshells for us to draw cartoon faces on.  This was the easiest way to get almost-whole eggshells as she could make a small hole on the base and let the eggs flow out slowly for the kaya.  That's why we looked forward to kaya making days.  Eggshell faces...Simple pleasures.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Fluffy Pancakes

Ever since I sunk my teeth into my first McDonald's Hot Cakes,  I've been hooked on what I term American-style pancakes.  Thick and fluffy with a hint of vanilla, served with salted butter and drenched in golden maple syrup.  All that sweet salty flavours combined together to make a truly indulgent breakfast.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Arugula Corn Pasta Salad with Lemon Dressing

When we do one of our jaunts down to Singapore, pizza at Peperoni Pizzeria is always a must-have.  The pizzas there are the thin-crust type which I prefer, and they even have a humongous 21 inch "family size".  Big Dog's fond wish is to one day be able to order the family size.  *glutton*.  One of our favourite pizza toppings is prosciutto topped with a simple arugula salad.  It always felt healthier especially when we usually over-indulge whilst on holidays.  Haha.  Healthy pizza is oxy-moronic, don't you think so?

Friday, 31 August 2012

Merdeka Day and Teh Tarik

31 Aug 1957
Happy Merdeka Day to all Malaysians here and abroad.  Today marks our 55th year of independence from British colonial rule.  My feelings about Merdeka Day and its associations run the gamut, from apathy to optimism.  As a child, Merdeka Day meant 'yay-it's a holiday-no school-so yippeeyay'.  As a student abroad, Merdeka Day was just another day in the calendar marked in the Overseas Students' Union (if we bothered to look).  Now back in Malaysia after living abroad for some years, it reminds me that I live in a wonderful country.  Wonderful, yes.  Perfect, no. 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Orange Swirl Bread

This week's bread project works off from the layered bread theme a few weeks ago.  Instead of layers, how about swirls?  Beautiful large loopy swirls spiralling around a sweet loaf.  Swirl breads are a somewhat indulgent treat at breakfast because it's made with a sweet bread dough.  Throw in some citrus zest and we have ourselves an orange swirl bread. 

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Simply Nutty over Banana Nut Muffins

It's been a pretty crazy week at work.  Missed deadlines, last minute requests and late nights conspired to drive me barmy and I'm shattered.   Fortunately, the weekend brings some respite from the madhouse aka The Office.  So, I thought it would be apt that this week's bake out choice landed at bananas and nuts.  A banana nut muffin.  Going bananas and driving me nuts, get it?  Haha. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Brandied Cherry and Nut Chocolate Cupcake

As a child, happiness was biting into a bar of Cadbury's.   Peeling back the purple wrapper and foil to sink your teeth into the luscious dreamy chocolate squares.  Mmm....My favourite Cadbury chocolate is the Fruit and Nut - the one with the raisins and almonds, and remains that until today.  I still buy huge slabs from London holidays to give away (after keeping some for my personal stash, but of course).  There's something about biting into the contrasting flavours and textures of the milky chocolate, plump juicy raisins and crunchy almonds that goes so well together.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Nuts about Almond Nut Butter

User discretion required : highly addictive.

Yesterday, I made almond nut butter.  Yup, from almonds.  From scratch.  Homemade.  And, guess what?  It's easy!  It's delicious too!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Chocolate layered bread - mad about layers

I like layers - layered cakes like kek lapis, layered jellies, mille feulle etc  The visual contrast between the layers can be stunning.  But making layered cakes is a very tedious affair, heck making anything with layers is tedious.  Long hours slaving over the oven waiting for each layer to bake out or set before doing the next one. 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Steamed Pumpkin Muffins

 On a recent trip down to Singapore to visit my adorable nieces, I noticed a lot of steamed muffins being sold.  Aha....this must be the latest food fad in food-fad-mad Singapore.  This is one uniquely Singaporean trait - be it apple strudel, bubble tea, doughnuts, ramen, or Hello Kitty plush toys - come the latest fad, you will find Singaporeans queueing for hours to purchase the product and proudly sharing their find (spoils?) with all and sundry.  Then you'll find restaurants and kiosks sprouting up like lallang after the rain, all selling the same stuff.  And just as sudden as the next thunderstorm, it'll die down when the next new kid on the block comes along.  Economics 101, the law of supply and demand; real-life demo.  To be fair, you do get the same behaviour in Malaysia, but somehow just not as intense and frenzied. 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Beating the haze with a Lemon Yogurt Cake

The haze is back with a vengeance this year, with the API readings at unhealthy levels again.  It makes my nose itch terribly, and the air smells vaguely burnt.  Other than lighting up scented candles or fragrance oils to counter it (which isn't so smart since its already so hazy),  perhaps baking a cake will help.  There's comfort food, and there's comfort smells.  A baking cake in the oven is the best of both worlds - comforting, safe.  Ahhhh....

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Fruit Compote in Ginger Honey Syrup

Breakfast is usually a rushed affair for me and means something quick with my morning coffee.  It's not quite grab-and-go as I hate eating on the run.  However it does mean no cooking and it has to be strong enough to kick start the day alongside the coffee (and believe me when I say I need a good kick-start to get going especially when I'm as fast as molasses on a Monday morning).  Since making my own yogurt, its been a regular breakfast staple.  To save on washing, I confess to eating it straight out of the bottle.  Oops.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Udderly Delicious Homemade Yogurt

Two cartons of yogurt walk into a bar.  The bartender says to them, "We don't serve your kind in here." One of the yogurt cartons says back to him, "Why not?  We're cultured individuals."  Badabam.  Haha.

Bad puns aside, I happen to be watching River Cottage on AFC one day, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall made yogurt.   From scratch.  Without a yogurt machine.  I’d never thought of making my own yogurt.  Never one to shy from a challenge, I set out to understand the process better.  It’s all and well to follow a TV show but because this deals with milk, I was a little concerned over the food safety aspects of making yogurt.  But I didn’t have to worry.  It is very easy to do, as long as you remember the basics. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Chai tea cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting

I love a good cup of chai ( or better known as masala tea here) and really learnt to drink it from my ex-boss.  His wife served me masala tea when I visited them in London and I was hooked from then.  And there's nothing better than chai as an after-dinner drink especially after a heavy Indian curry dinner redolent with spices.  I find that chai settles the tummy and helps with the digestion.  Making chai is easy; nothing more than bringing a pot of milk to boil with the tea and spices, simmering the milky tea for about 10 minutes or until the spices release their aromatic oils and infused the tea concoction.  Simple, really. 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The best wanton noodles in Bangkok

"You must try the wanton mee near Platinum Mall guaranteed more than 1 bowl"  - so read the message I received as I landed in Bangkok airport.  Huh? The land that gives us tom yum, green curry and pad thai, and I'm to go look for wanton mee?  Okaaayyy.... trusting the messenger, I verified this with the local guide and he kindly offers to take us there for lunch.  And it was a good thing too since my texted directions consisted only of "turn right at hotel, walk towards McDonald's and turn into a side lane".  Wah, very helpful.  Do you know how many side lanes or soi there are?

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Rustic Honey Oat Bread

Just look at how soft it is

and how rustic it looks

Once in a while I crave for white bread, the soft white of the supermarket variety.  At times, all you want is to sink your teeth into some soft white and not bother with all that chewing that comes with whole-grains.  I know, white = bad in these enlightened times.  Refined carbs = bad carbs that go straight to your thighs.  Then I found what I was looking for.  Honey Oat Bread. 
High fibre
Heart friendly   

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Shrek muffins aka sweet potato muffins

green ogre vs green muffins

Shriek!  Shriek muffins?  Shrek muffins?  Bright green muffins!   How on earth did purple sweet potatoes morph into green muffins which resembled a certain Disney Dreamworks ogre? I swear they started out as purple-gray batter. 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Hainanese Chicken Rice in Taipei

I used to think that Singapore had the best Hainanese chicken rice around. Singapore does a pretty good job branding their chicken rice, so you get the likes of Boon Tong Kee and 5 Star branches everywhere.  And even the single outlets like Tian Tian and the used-to-be good Chatterbox @ Mandarin Hotel generated passionate discussions and legions of loyal fans.  Then I went to Taipei.

It was the last place I'd expected to find chicken rice - a hole in the wall, literally. Big Dog had stumbled upon it during one his sojourns to Taipei.  When we first ate there, it was a hut sandwiched between 2 shops. In winter, you'd eat quickly and vamoose because you're dining alfresco freezing your toes off.  No heating, no frills.  You pay, eat and go. Chop chop.  Business must have been good because a year later, they'd upgraded to a proper shop.  Luckily for us, it was still in the vicinity when we went back for a visit and we found it easily. 

So what do you get at Ching Cheng Hoinan Chicken Rice?  The smoothest, tenderest, poached chicken with an awesomely flavoured rice.  Rice cooked to perfection with each individual grain loose and fluffy.  Not sticky or clumpy.  You can taste the chicken stock, fat and the merest hint of garlic in the rice.  The chicken is served plain - no sauce, no garnishing to distract.  Smooth, smooth, smooth - even the white meat was tender.

Smooth poached chicken with ginger-spring onion dip

Large portion served with sides
What do you not get?  Unlike Malaysian and Singaporean versions, they don't serve it with chilli or soy sauce. Instead you get the most piquant minced ginger-spring onion dip on the side.  Be prepared that the dish isn't piping hot - the rice is warm, the chicken and sides are room temperature.  The only piping hot dish is the free soup simmering away in the corner which you help yourself to.  You have a choice of small or large portions. Small (NT65) comes with just rice and chicken.  Large (NT85) gets you additional sides of omelet and stir-fried vegetables.  Oh - you are expected to clear your own tray after eating - just like in McDonald's.  There aren't any cheap foreign labour or amahs to clean up after you here.  

Hainanese chicken rice is a dish which Chinese immigrants brought across with them to Malaysia and Singapore.  When I was in Hainan island, I was hard put to find Hainanese chicken rice like the ones back home - I found wengchang chicken instead.  Just like you'll never find Hokkien Mee in Fujien or Singapore Fried Noodles in Singapore, Hainanese chicken rice is a dish which has evolved and taken on local influences over the years. 

Most Taiwanese speak the Hokkien dialect, or Min Nang hua, so conversing and ordering wasn't difficult even with our limited Mandarin.  In fact the wait staff were pretty delighted and amazed that we could speak in Hokkien (we were obviously not local and not from mainland China).

How to get there:
Take the MTR to Nanjing East Station and exit Qingcheng Street.  You will see Brother Hotel on your right.  Keep the hotel to your right.

Walk down Qingcheng Street towards McDonald's, pass Les Suite Taipei and Movenpick.  Turn right into the lane when you see Hooters. 
The shop is on the right side, opposite Friends Pharmacy.

Address :
Ching Cheng Hoinan Chicken Rice
Lane 16, Qìngchéng Street, Songshan District, Taipei,

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Street food at Feng Jia Night Market, Taichung

On our last trip to Taichung, Big Dog and I found ourselves hurtling towards Feng Jia night market in a taxi. Now, Taiwan taxis are a world of difference from their KL counterparts. Having experienced KL taxi drivers who are grumpy, have no clue how to get to point B, refuse to use the meter, or refuse point blank to take you to point B and are generally more a menace than a service, Taiwan taxis are a breath of fresh air. There's always a taxi when you need one.  As a plus point, they even have practical taxis to boot, the Toyota Wish - it can actually fit more than 1 suitcase into the boot. Ever tried that with the KLIA taxis? I always end up paying for premium taxis just to fit our luggage. My only gripe with Taiwan taxis is the way they drive - the muddle of cars, scooters and pedestrians always just seem to miraculously avoid collision; there's probably an invisible force-field protecting them.

Feng Jia market in Taichung is the 2nd largest night market in Taiwan, after Shilin market in Taipei. As it is situated next to Feng Jia university, expect plenty of students and affordable trendy fashion. But we were there not to shop, but to explore street food dining options.

I'd recommend that you hit the market early, at about 6pm as it gets claustrophobically crowded as the night wears on.  Humans, scooters and the occasional dog on a leash.  Taiwanese love their dogs, mostly the cutesy lapdog variety.  They dress them and parade them everywhere.

The first long queue at a stall - this is the "big  sausage wrapped around small sausage" aka double layer roll aka sausage wrapped in glutinous rice. 

Plain tau foo far and tau foo far with the ubiquitous tapioca balls.  The tau foo far texture is different in the sense that it is more jelly-like rather than curdy.  It's also served steaming hot, which makes the tapioca balls rather gummy.  Smooth, springy and gummy textures - weird in an interesting way.

 Honey glazed fruits arranged very prettily.  Are tomatoes fruit? Very temptalicious but resist I must.

Another local favourite, similar to our lok-lok.  The Taiwanese version of fast food.  Meat, vegetables and processed food on skewers waiting to be dip and cooked in large vats of boiling water (photo on right).  You'll see variations of this even at c-stores (convenience stores).  They also love offal.  You can see the selection of offal available for cooking up -stomach, intestines, kidneys liver etc all waiting to be selected by hungry customers.
There are plenty of stalls selling soup noodles.  The soup is more like a 'kang' ie thick and starchy, not the usual clear broth.  Rather like mee suah kang.  It's served piping hot and is just the right tummy filler on a winter night.  One of our main handicaps is our inability to read fluently in Chinese.  We recognise words, but sometimes menus still confound us.   So we make do with recognising key words, and pointing to what looks interesting at neighbouring tables.  It was hit & miss initially, but as you can see, we've gotten better with every trip we make. 

This was at a dimsum stall.  Rice balls and black glutinous rice balls, steamed up in little mini muffin cups.  It's rather like eating flavoured sushi rice. 

A couple of literal translations into English - would you care for some bloody cake, a porky box or even a fish that wants sauce to eat?  Upon closer inspection, bloody cake isn't as gory as it sounds.  It's just black pudding ie congealed pork blood.   Still looks pretty blood-curdling though.  Porky box = a pork fillet bento.  However I really couldn't decipher "fish eat sauce".

I couldn't help but stop at the neon sign shouting 'squid' in such bright lurid colours.  The grilled squid was irresistible; tender, juicy, liberally brushed with a sweet teriyaki sauce which caramelised over the grill and sprinkled generously with toasted sesame seeds.  The prawns were largish and sweet, and in Australia you'd call them yabbies. Finger-licking good.

Malaysia Boleh!  Our export toTaichung - Satay! Would have missed this or thought it was yakitori if not for the Malaysian flag which caught my eye.

With winter being very mild in Taichung (night temperature in the mid-teens), it was quite pleasant to walk around the market.  For shoppers, there are plenty of inexpensive bits and bobs - I bagged a winter scarf for NT100.  And check out the helmets below :)

Address :
Feng Jia Night Market
Xitun District Taichung, Taiwan.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Hot Cross Buns

I never knew that hot cross buns are synonymous with Good Friday.  Traditionally, a hot cross bun is a sweet spiced bun made with dried fruit and topped with a cross. Here in KL, you'll see local versions of the buns in bakeries all year round, but these are mostly just sweet buns topped with a piped cross for decoration.  Apparently there are a number of beliefs with hot cross buns, and one of my favourites is that you'll have lifelong friendship with the person you share it with.

Anyway, making hot cross buns isn't difficult at all.  Like making any yeast breads, all you need is time for the dough to proof and either some elbow grease or a machine to knead.  I was rather careless in my first batch and chucked in a cup of wholemeal flour instead of plain flour.  I did wonder why the flour looked odd at that time.  Darn.  Then as I was getting ready to shape them after the 1st proof, something came up. So I ended up chucking the dough into the fridge for shaping later. Double darn.  I thought I was done for, as the dough may have been abused beyond recognition.  Luckily for me, this recipe is pretty hardy and as the buns turned out pretty well considering. 

 I liked that the cinnamon gave it a warm aromatic flavour and the currants remained plump and juicy (well, about as juicy as dried fruit can get).  The kitchen smelled heavenly of cinnamon and spices during the bake-out.  The wholemeal gave it more of a bite, so mistake or not, I decided to keep it in the recipe. 

Dear friends, for logistics reasons if I can't share a hot cross bun with you, here's a yummy hot cross bun recipe to share.  To life-long friendship :D

Makes 12 buns
Hot Cross Buns - adapted from Darla of Bakingdom

Ingredients:For buns:
1 1/2 cups plain bread flour
1 cup wholemeal bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil, or butter
3/4 cup warm milk
1/2 cup raisins or currants
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
1 egg for egg wash (optional)

For Icing:
3 tablespoons icing sugar
2 teaspoon warm water

1.  Line a baking tray with baking paper. 
2.  Combine the flours, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, allspice and salt into a large bowl.  Make a well in the center.
3.  Stir the liquids (milk, egg, oil) into the dry ingredients and mix until a dough just forms.  Cover the bowl with a tea towel and rest for 15 minutes.
4.  Once rested, add in the dried fruit and knead until smooth and elastic.  Or use the dough function in a bread maker.  If the dough is too dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time.  If it is too wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time.
5.  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the proof until double in size, approximately 1 hour.
6.  Gently punch down the dough, and turn it out unto a lightly floured surface.  Divide the dough into 12 pieces, roughly the size of a golf ball.
7.  Shape the dough pieces into round-ish balls and place on the lined baking tray. Ensure you leave enough space between the dough balls for them to double in size. 
8.  Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise until double in size, approximately 1 hour.
9.  Lightly whisk the egg, and glaze the dough with the egg wash if preferred.  Bake in a pre-heated oven 200C/400F for 15-18 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  It should be nicely brown when done.
10. Remove from oven and cool completely before icing the cross design.
11.  To make sugar icing, mix the icing sugar and water until smooth.  It should be quite
thick and 'sticky'.  Pipe or paint a 'cross' design on each bun.

If you don't like wholemeal, just use plain bread flour instead.
I like baking buns out where they are 'joined' to one another, so I used a 3x4 configuration.   Alternatively they can be placed individually.
Ensure buns are completely cooled before piping the sugar icing, otherwise the icing just melts into the buns.
I painted the design using a teaspoon :)  No more messing with a piping bag or zip-lock.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Mandarin orange sorbet - without ice-cream machine

Chinese New Year has come and gone, but it left in its wake more mandarin oranges than we could possibly eat.  If like me, you got tired of eating them, why not make them into a nice refreshing sorbet? A mandarin orange sorbet.   After all, sorbet is nothing more than frozen fruit juice with syrup.  Plus with the weather opening in the low 30s and hitting the mid-30s by noon, a sorbet is a delicious non-fat frozen alternative to ice-cream.   You get an almost explosive burst of citrusy mandarin flavour with every spoonful.  Somehow the flavours are concentrated and intensified after the entire freezing process.  Ooohhh....yummers.

isn't it a gorgeous mandarin colour? 
After doing some research, most sorbets are best made with simple syrups.  A simple syrup is made from equal parts water to sugar.  It is the syrup that reduces the freezing point and gives the softer texture to sorbets.  Otherwise you end up with a large crystalline icy texture or worse, a solid ice brick.  I normally make extra syrup as you can keep the balance in the fridge for later use.  Adding a splash of alcohol also gives a less icy texture as alcohol also reduces the freezing point.  As a plus, a shot of vodka gives it an added zing and makes it 'tres adult'.
splash some of your favourite vodka into your sorbet!

As I didn't have an ice-cream machine, I had to do this manually, which although easy enough, took some time as I had to wait for the freezing process to happen.  Do this well ahead of time.  It took a couple of tries to get the texture that I wanted.  The first came out looking like shaved ice (ala ice kacang).  I had forked up the semi-frozen mixture and it stayed that way, like loosely packed snow.  It was soft, not icy at all but the texture was too loose and fluffy.  Then I tried beating it with a whisk until smooth.  This worked better.  I had a more compact mixture and it was still soft textured and not icy.

Trust me, once you've tried making your own sorbet with fresh fruit, there's no going back to the store-bought stuff.  I can't begin to describe the clean mouthfeel you get; none of the artificially flavoured funny mouthfeels you get with commercially sold sorbet. 

No additives, no artificial flavours, 100% real.  To paraphrase, nothing tastes as skinny as a sorbet feels ;D
home-made and guilt-free
Mandarin Orange Sorbet - without ice-cream machine

300ml mandarin orange juice - squeezed from approximately 5 oranges
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp mandarin orange zest
30ml of vodka (optional)

1.  In a pot, bring the water and sugar to a boil to dissolve the sugar.  Boil for about a minute or until the syrup is slightly thickened. 
2.  Stir the orange zest into the syrup.  Leave to infuse and cool the syrup before using.
3.  In a large bowl, pour in the mandarin orange juice and add 1/4 cup of the syrup first. Taste first before adding more syrup.  Adjust the syrup quantity to taste.  This is important!
4.  Add the alcohol in if preferred.
5.  Pour the fruit/syrup/vodka mixture into a shallow pan, preferably glass as this is citrus-based.
6.  Freeze about 2 - 3 hours, or until it comes to a soft set.  The edges should be starting to freeze up, and the center still slushy.  With a fork, scrape the frozen bits towards the center and use a whisk to beat vigorously until you have an icy slush.  Put it back into the freezer and repeat the freeze/beat cycle another 1 to 2 times.
7.  After the final beat, leave in the freezer until fully set before serving.

After a few days in the fridge (assuming it actually stays that long in the freezer), the sorbet gets icier.  Don't fret, just beat it up and freeze it again.
I prefer to use a whisk to beat the sorbet.  Some recipes suggest using a blender, but I ended up with a semi-frozen slush which was difficult to blend.

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

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 :)

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