So I’m back in the much cooler climate of South East England for the foreseeable future and in the midst of setting up my Brighton seaside home. First weekend, blue skies, a visit from a good friend and time to christen my new kitchen (oh how I’ve missed having somewhere to cook). Liz is a true domestic goddess, constantly baking and perfecting desserts, so Saturday afternoon with no encouragement necessary, I handed her a mixing bowl – needless to say this recipe comes courtesy of her.
I should also briefly explain that I’ve recently tried out several very different banana loaf recipes in an effort to find a worthwhile use for the surplus of over-ripe bananas I always seem to have. The first was a little over spiced with not quite enough banana oomph, another asked for too much baking soda that left a dryness in my mouth. Then there was a recipe involving walnuts, which Mel commandeered from a Chicago coffee shop she used to work at in her early 20’s; delicious, but still not quite what I was looking for. This one truly wins hands-down – it is a little fiddlier than the rest, and I guess not quite so figure friendly, but who cares when it tastes this good, right?
Peanut butter chocolate chip banana muffins
Makes approximately 12 muffins
220g/ 2 cups sifted plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 medium ripe mashed bananas (save one half to slice & top each muffin)
115g / 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
45g / 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, divided use
115g / 1/2 cup granulated sugar
110g / 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120ml / 1/2 cup milk
60g / 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp Demerara sugar (optional for glazing)
Preheat oven to 170 C/340 F. In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt then put to one side. In a second larger mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed (or a good hand whisk), beat together bananas, peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes; beat in eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in milk (texture is like a thin pancake batter at this point) and then slowly add flour mixture until just combined; stir in chocolate chips. Pour mix into your cases (here we used little individual silicone muffin cases), top with a slice of banana and place on baking tray; bake for 25-30 minutes. Towards the end of the baking time, melt remaining tablespoon of butter and mix in Demerara sugar. Remove pan from oven and brush sugar & butter glaze evenly over each muffin. Place back in the oven to bake for a final 5 minutes to give them a crunchy golden brown top. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from cases.
If you’d rather make a banana loaf, follow the same guidelines, just grease and use a 9-inch loaf pan instead. Oven temperature will remain the same, but increase baking time to 1 hour and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before running a knife around outside edges, removing, and transferring to a wire rack to cool further before slicing. – Lorna