I know! You don’t have to say it. You think I’m obsessed with muffins. You think that’s all I ever do. Make protein packed quinoa carrot muffins one week and posh little banana chai muffins the next. Well it’s not my fault muffins and cupcakes are so damn cute! And I’m not the only person who thinks mini cakes encased in paper are somehow so much more exciting and easy to serve than full-sized cakes.
This week there were many many bananas. You’re probably imagining six or seven bananas ripening away in a fruit bowl right now, a typical kitchen scene that leads to banana baked cakes. Now take that image and multiply it by thirty! That’s right, I counted. You know that TV show called hoarders? Where they go in to people’s houses and they have newspapers from 1933 and pizza boxes filling their children’s beds? Well I’m one of those people. Although you wouldn’t know it, because it seems the only thing I hoard is overripe bananas (for now….). I deliberately buy a few too many and when the end of the week comes, steal some spotty ones away to the freezer, chuckling to myself like rumplestiltskin.
This week when my banana cube container reached overflowing in the freezer, and there were three ripe bananas still in their skins sitting on top of it, as well as fifteen small overripe bananas on the counter, it was time to take action. It was time for an intervention. So I adapted another Three Blue Ducks recipe, this time their famous banana and fig bread, into these chocolate chunk muffins. And let me just say one thing. These banana muffins put all those dry, powdery, gummy banana muffins out there to shame. TO SHAME.
They’re finally just as good as that super gourmet cafe muffin I’ve always wanted to recreate. They are somehow fluffy and dense at the same time. Somehow light yet moist, crunchy yet sticky, fruity yet chocolatey! You get the picture. They’re just that next level of yum. Sometimes you just have those moments in baking where you create something that makes you stop and think, wow. I made that. It happened when I made the vegan chocolate orange cupcakes, which just came out so so delicious and moist. It happened when I made a rhubarb and coconut crumble slice so crunchy and flavoursome no one could stop eating it. And it happened today!
Usually when I make something or follow a recipe, I might use features of that recipe again but it will be very rare that I’ll make it in it’s entirety more than once. These are those kind of recipes that never get improved upon. Everyone has their staple chocolate cookie recipe (I use David Lebovitz’) and their chocolate birthday cake recipe and their best sponge recipe. This is going to be my banana muffin recipe. Statement of the month.
My mum isn’t much of a baker, she’s more of a savoury food fan. But she did used to make banana bread pretty regularly when I was growing up. It was a little bit hippy with a sesame seed crust and a dense, wholesome texture, and a little bit my mum’s baking with a slightly raw middle and little lumps of flour that hadn’t been sifted through. But man, I really loved it. It was always so exciting finding a piece in my lunchbox and eating it in first class even though it was still slightly frozen.
Banana baked goods are so homely. I always feel worried at first posting them because the Internet is so saturated with them. Plus I’ve made a lot! Caramel Chocolate Muffins, Banana Maple Layer Cake, just to name a few. But then I think it’s not like readers have to go ahead and make everything I post. I know with most of the blogs I read all the time, I just want to eat the photos and the stories with my eyes. It’s not like a weekly update of what I should whip up in the kitchen.
Nowadays so many of the recipes I make are vegan or gluten free, sometimes both, and almost always sugar free. It was strangely therapeutic to pull out my old tins of flour and sugar and beat the eggs and vanilla together until fluffy. I didn’t have to worry about lumpy chia seeds or faulty blenders or strange overpowering raw flavours. These muffins may not be as good for your body as many other muffins on this site, but they are still very worthy and a little treat for every now and then.
If you don’t want to use chocolate chips, you could substitute 100g of walnuts (like the original recipe) or other toasted nuts and seeds, or you could throw in some raisins or blueberries, or just leave them plain. This is a simple recipe that you can take in a few different ways. Originally it was made for a banana bread. If you want to do that, substitute plain flour + 1 tsp baking powder for the self-raising, and increase the baking time to about half an hour to 45 minutes.
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe: Adapted from The Blue Ducks
200g (1 cup + 1.5 tablespoons) self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 medium-large eggs (100g)
170g (3/4 cup) sugar
430g (1 pound or 3 large) bananas, mashed well, plus extra for garnish
45ml (3 tblsp) olive oil
40g (3 tblsp) melted butter
100g (2/3 cup roughly) dark chocolate, cut into chunks
Preheat the oven to 160C (320F). Line 10-12 muffin tins with papers. Blend together the bananas and stir in the butter and oil.
Sift the flour, a pinch of salt, bicarb and cinnamon in a small bowl. Beat the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Add the other wet ingredients and stir together. Gently fold in the chocolate chunks and sift in the flours.
Split in to muffin tins and top with a slice of banana, if you like. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until golden on top and springy to touch. They last for 2-3 days, but best just out of the oven. They freeze well too!