Friday, 23 August 2013

step by step : banana coconut muffins

I love making muffins, and these are so simple - definitely child cooking fodder.  Even quite little ones can get involved - lots of 'stir this together' opportunities!  I've given the full list of everything I put in, but feel free to use your discretion - different sugar, or cinnamon instead of nutmeg, or yoghurt other than vanilla - this is just the combination my kids favour.  My thinking is that they make a change from chocolate, and since they have banana and coconut in, that's two of your five a day, right?

Ingredients :

75g marg
*200g plain flour
*75g soft brown sugar / light muscovado sugar
*100g dessicated coconut
*2tsp ground nutmeg
*½tsp bicarb of soda
*2tsp baking powder
150g vanilla yoghurt
75ml milk
an egg
2 ripe bananas

(* indicates dry ingredients)

This amount of mixture will make about twelve muffins, but when I made them and took the photos I was using double, so don't worry if it looks like your bowlful of mixture is a bit on the empty side compared to the pictures here!

This is a great way to use up some of those bananas that have somehow managed to escape the clutches of those pesky school age kids that having been hanging around the house recently - or if you spot an unloved bag reduced in the supermarket, grab it and give these a try - you'll be glad you did!

What to do :

Before you get started, turn your oven on to preheat - 200°c or 180°c if you have a fan oven.

Weigh the marg into a jug or bowl that you can safely throw into the microwave.  Melt the marg and leave to cool.

Weigh all the dry ingredients (marked with * on the list above) into a bowl, stir a few times to roughly mix.

Mash up your bananas - this can be a really therapeutic activity, so if it's been that kind of day, go for it!  Stir the milk in once you've finished mashing.

Add the yoghurt and egg to the melted marg.

I know it looks awful, but don't worry!

Mix with a fork, making sure you break the egg yolk.

Yes, it does look like cake batter that has curdled, but it's meant to look like that.

I promise.

Add the wet mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients.  Mix it all together, but don't worry too much if there are small pockets of flour left.  It's supposed to be lumpy at this point.  Really.

Stir the milky mashed bananas into the bowl.  These will loosen the mixture and make it kind of sloppy.  Scrape a flexible spatula around the edges and base of the bowl a couple of times to make sure it's all getting mixed in.

Put approximately 1½ tablespoons of the mixture into each of the muffin cases, and put the trays into the oven.

Set a timer for 15 minutes, and check them then - if they're still pale on top give them just a couple of minutes more.  

They're delicious warm, so don't feel you have to restrain yourself until they've cooled!

* * * * *

Just so you know :

How long will these keep?

Like muffins you get from the shops, these are the most yummy the day they're made, but will be okay for another couple of days after that.

How should I store them?  

The muffins will go stale if they're left out, so to keep them from drying out shut them in a biscuit tin or cake tin, or else in the old cliché - an air-tight container.

Can I freeze these?

Yep - once they've cooled down put the ones you want to freeze in a freezer bag, tie the top and chuck them in there, but remember to write on the bag what they are.  They can stay in there for months, but when you want them just take the bag out of the freezer and put the muffins on a plate, and they'll be ready to eat in about an hour.  If you want one straight away then pop it in the microwave for 60 seconds and it'll be nice and warm and soft . . . yum.

If you would like a text only version of the recipe, click here to let me know and I'll email it to you.  If you'd like to see more recipes like this, as well as other posts about life as a round peg in a square hole and the extraordinary within the everyday, enter your email address in the box at the top of the page and you'll get a slice of abstract life direct to your inbox!

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