Sometimes The Captain wonders why I must always have a bunch of bananas in a small wicker basket on the table: uneaten and always left to ripen. It’s simple. Banana desserts are my absolute favourite and seeing them when they’re on their last legs always spurs me into a save-and-rescue mission before I’m forced to throw their rotting carcasses out.
Last week, I forgot that I had a blog for a moment (forgive me, I still love you C&C!). I know I’ve been slack but it’s just so hard to do anything blog-related when you’re not inspired to bake or cook anything. This kind of mood sucks all round on an epic level. But through the haze, just for a fleeting moment, I get a craving for something sweet and simple, usually incited by the tantalising smell of overripe bananas. From there, it’s a desperate rush to the kitchen to break out the eggs, sift out the flour and pummel the bananas senselessly like a dominatrix on heat, working at breakneck speed before the mood dissipates and I slink back to my rut.
Aah muffins. So underrated, so overlooked and too often, relegated to the back of the mind in favour for the likes of banana bread or cake, both of which does not require me to tediously fill out dozens of muffin cases with batter. But this time around, I was swayed by my inner girl. These uber cute baking cases has been sitting untouched for too long and it was time to break them in. What can I say? I’m a sucker for polka dots.
I could’ve gone with my usual no-frills banana muffin recipe that has been an ol’ faithful since my pubescent home economic days. But I was craving something a little more. It’s amazing what a simple act of browning butter into a nutty goodness can do, As well as toasting a little desiccated coconut. But the moment comes about 5 minutes after the muffins are baked. When you rip off the case like a flimsy dress, break apart the soft warm crumbly flesh and proceed to add a smoosh of butter to both halves. And just as the edges of the butter start to melt, you apply to face. Burnt fingers be damned.
I’m hoping the rut will end soon. After all, it is autumn, my absolute favourite time for baking and I’m already fantasising about things like pumpkins, apples, earthy spices, molten caramel and oozing chocolate. But for now, a simple buttered muffin is all I need.
- 150g unsalted butter, chopped
- 3 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 85g brown sugar
- 85g caster sugar
- 300g self raising flour
- 50g desiccated coconut, toasted in a dry pan over medium heat until golden and fragrant
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 190°C and line muffin trays with paper cases.
- To make the browned butter, stick them in a pan over medium-low heat and leave to melt. The butter will then start to sizzle and splutter as it cooks. Eventually the noise will quieten down and the butter will start to foam up. At this stage, keep your eye on the butter as it won’t take long for it to burn. Swirl the pan and you’ll see the foam start to colour and the butter/milk solids underneath will brown and smell nutty. At this stage, take it off the heat and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- In a bowl, add the eggs and vanilla to the mashed banana and whisk to combine. Add the sugars and mix until sugar has dissolved. Strain the brown butter into the banana mix and whisk through.
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and mix in the toasted coconut and salt. Make a well in the centre and add in the banana mixture. Fold and gently stir through until just combined (don’t worry if it’s a little lumpy. Muffin batter can’t be over-mixed).
- Fill your muffin cases to about 3/4 full (about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons depending on the size of your muffin tray). If you wish sprinkle the top with extra toasted coconut.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and the tops spring back when pressed.
- Remove from tray and cool on wire rack. Or serve warm with lashings of butter.
- Ummm butter…