Brown Banana Muffins

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Having bought a couple of packs of reduced price bananas (20p for 5!) recently and not wanting them to go to waste, I’ve slightly changed my Banana and Choccie Chunkie Muffin recipe, which incidentally was the first ever post on my blog back in May 2011, to produce these:

Instead of using butter, I’ve substituted it 80% for Farrington’s Mellow Yellow Rapeseed Oil and 20% milk.

280g Plain flour

5ml Baking powder

5ml Bicarbonate of soda
2.5ml salt
125g Soft brown sugar
3 large, over-ripened bananas (about 450g peeled weight)
1 egg, beaten
90ml Rapeseed oil
60m Milk
 
Fan oven: 170°C.
 
1. Line a deep, 12 cup, muffin tin with tulip paper cases.
2. In a large bowl place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar.  Mix these together thoroughly with a fork to get some air into the dry mixture.
3. In another bowl mix together the mashed bananas, beaten egg, rapeseed oil and milk.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add all of the wet mixture.  Mix both together quickly for no longer than 20-30 seconds until just combined.  Make sure that you scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl properly to incorporate all of the dry mixture but DO NOT BEAT the mixture or worry about small lumps.
5. Fill each muffin cup to about 3/4 full.  This will then make 12 muffins.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are slightly browned and spring back when touched.
7. Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack until cool.
 
I also made up a batch of blueberry muffins using oil and milk as the butter substitute, so I’ll share the recipe shortly for those too.

Winning Be-Ro banana bread recipe

Please note that the original recipe is NOT mine. It’s one that I found years ago in one of my trusty fail-safe, go-to recipe books. It came from the Home Recipes with Be-Ro Flour, 37th edition. I wanted to share it, along with some little alterations that I have made along the way to all the banana bread lovers out there.
200g (8oz) Self raising flour
1.25ml (1/4 tsp) Bicarbonate of soda
2.5ml (1/2 tsp) Salt – I NEVER add this
75g (3oz) Butter – I use Stork margarine
150g (6oz) Caster sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
450g (1lb) Bananas (weighed with the skin on)
100g (4oz) Walnuts, chopped (optional)
Winning Be-Ro banana bread recipe
Recipe Type: Baking
Author: www.freycob.co.uk
Ingredients
  • 200g (8oz) Self raising flour
  • 1.25ml (1/4 tsp) Bicarbonate of soda
  • 2.5ml (1/2 tsp) Salt – I NEVER add this
  • 75g (3oz) Butter – I use Stork margarine
  • 150g (6oz) Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 450g (1lb) Bananas (weighed with the skin on)
  • 100g (4oz) Walnuts, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C, Fan 160C, Gas 4.
  2. Grease & flour a 2lb loaf tin.
  3. Mix together the flour, bi-carb and salt (if using).
  4. Mash the bananas.
  5. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale & fluffy.
  6. Add the eggs, a little at a time, alternately with a spoonful of the flour mixture and beat well.
  7. Stir in the remaining flour, bananas and walnuts (if using).
  8. Pour into your prepared tin & bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until a skewer, inserted into the centre, comes out clean.
  9. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then turn out to cool completely.
  10. Once cool, wrap in foil and ideally leave for 24 hours before slicing & eating.
1. Preheat your oven to 180C, Fan 160C, Gas 4.
2. Grease & flour a 2lb loaf tin.
3. Mix together the flour, bi-carb and salt (if using).
4. Mash the bananas.
5. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale & fluffy.
6. Add the eggs, a little at a time, alternately with a spoonful of the flour mixture and beat well.
7. Stir in the remaining flour, bananas and walnuts (if using).
8. Pour into your prepared tin & bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until a skewer, inserted into the centre, comes out clean.
9. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then turn out to cool completely.
10. Once cool, wrap in foil and ideally leave for 24 hours before slicing & eating.


Rosie’s notes:

A) I add ALL of my ingredients to the bowl & mix as per the ‘all in one’ method.
B) Instead of greasing & lining my tins, I find it much easier & more convenient to line them with a loaf tin liner from Lakeland.
C) when the mixture is in the tin, scatter the top with some more chopped walnuts and then sprinkle some soft brown sugar over the top. The flavour that this imparts is amazing!
D) Try spreading your sliced banana bread with some proper butter for added flavour.
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Great Banana Bread Bake Off

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I spent a lovely afternoon in Vanessa Kimbell’s kitchen this afternoon where we decided to have an impromptu banana bread bake-off to use up some over-ripe bananas she’d got.
I chose to go with my very trusty (and fail safe) Be-Ro recipe, whilst Vanessa chose to follow Mary Berry’s.
There was no difference in the quality of ingredients used. All the eggs were free range from Vanessa’s chickens. The flour, (star anise) sugar, milk, Stork margarine and bananas were identical with exception to the quantities specified in the recipes. They were both made using the ‘all-in-one’ method using Kenwood K-Mix machines. Poured into identical greased & floured tins and baked on the same oven shelf for an identical amount of time.
From the start, my cake looked a different colour as my recipe called for 1lb of (skin on) bananas, whilst Vanessa’s only wanted 2 whole bananas.
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The resulting bake was judged by us both but to add an unbiased twist, was also judged by Vanessa’s husband, Alastair, who had no idea which one of us had baked which loaf. The initial reaction from us all was that one loaf seemed to be richer in colour, darker on the crust, had risen more and smell more intensely of banana. On cutting, from the crumb one was obviously lighter in texture.
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The hands down winner was this one…
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Which recipe was the winner? Why Be-Ro of course! My mum bought each of my sisters & I our first ever recipe book. Mine was the 35th edition, and since then I have added 3 more, updated versions, to my collection. It was my first ever recipe book & the one that I trust to work implicitly every time.
Thanks to Vanessa for such a lovely afternoon of laughs & baking together, and for letting me bring the winning loaf home to keep my hubby ‘sweet’ as I was later home than planned/promised.

Rosie’s Banana & Choccie Chunkie Muffins

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Had to get up early this morning as Jacob had an Athletics meet for the Air Cadets.  Not one to get up and then go back to bed, I decided that today was a baking day!  3 lots of muffins baked: Cheese & Red Onion, Philadelphia Blue (made up recipe but tasting good) and these, my banana and choccie chunkie muffins.
Those out there who LOVE Masterchef as much as me will know James Perry AKA The Tattooed Cook.  Well, James tells me that he struggles to make light and fluffy muffins, so at his request, I’m sharing my recipe with both him and you all out there.  You can see that the inside is really light, well risen and perfectly cooked.  (Click on the photos for a better look if you like).
So, James and everyone else, here’s how to make these muffins:
10oz (280g) PLAIN flour.
1tsp (5ml) baking powder.
1tsp (5ml) bicarbonate of soda.
½tsp (2.5ml) salt.
4-5oz (110-140g) granulated sugar.
4-6oz (110-170g) white/milk chocolate chips/chunks.
3 large, well ripened bananas (about 1lb/450g) mashed.
1 egg, beaten.
3floz (90ml) corn oil (you can substitute melted butter for this, but remember the calories!).
2floz (60ml) milk (to reduce a few calories, you can use water instead, I suppose).
Oven: 200°C degrees (though I set my fan oven to 170°C).
1. Prepare your 12 cup deep muffin tin by lining it with paper cases.
2. In a large bowl mix the following: flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, sugar and chocolate.  Mix these together thoroughly with a fork to get some air into the dry mixture.
3. In another bowl mix together: Mashed bananas, beaten egg, corn oil and milk.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the full contents of the wet mixture.  Mix together quickly for no longer than 20-30 seconds until combined.  Make sure that you scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl properly to incorporate all of the dry mixture but DO NOT BEAT the mixture or worry about small lumps.
5. Fill each muffin cup to about 3/4 full.  This will then make 12 muffins.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are slightly browned and spring back when touched.
7. Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack until cold.
Tips & hints:
a) Buy bananas when they’re reduced in the supermarket because they’re over-ripe and they’ve gone a little bit brown on the skins.  These will give you the best, sweet flavour as the carbohydrate in the fruit will have turned from starch to sugar (which is why ripe bananas are easier to digest too).
b) You can freeze bananas for future use in baking.  The skins will go very dark brown/black but the fruit inside will stay creamy coloured.  If you do freeze bananas, make sure you defrost them thoroughly in a container as they WILL ooze juice.
c) Do NOT overmix the wet and dry ingredients together as this will start the chemical reaction with the gluten in the flour and cause your muffins to become dense & heavy.
d) Bake the muffins immediately after mixing as, again, a chemical reaction will start between the baking powder/bicarbonate of soda and the wet mixture.
If you do follow my recipe to make yourself some gorgeously light, fluffy and incredibly tasty muffins, please come back and leave me a comment and tell me how they turned out.  A photo of your creations would be great too!
Happy baking folks.
Rosie
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