13 March 2011

By son & heir's request : Walnut & Banana Muffins

Hubby has started a new short-term contract and so is working during the week.  This means, as our son quickly deduced, that he won't be at home to make cakes, buns, bagels or bread -  all of which appeal greatly to son and heir when he returns home from school.

Hence, in desperation at the idea of a week with no home-baked goodies to return from school to, he asked me whether I'd be able to make some muffins "or something".

I had anticipated a request such as this and had stocked up the baking supplies cupboard already.  Hence, I had a number of goodies like dessicated coconut, semi-dried apricots, chocolate chips and walnuts, just waiting to be used.

However, sitting on the kitchen's side windowsill were two OAP bananas.  They had two options - inclusion in some form of baking, or being pensioned off to the great bin in the corner.  As I'm sure you know, I hate throwing anything away, so it was a foregone conclusion that those bananas were right up there on the ingredients list.

I've used bananas in muffins in the past, as they provide a great base for flavours.  However, you have to be careful about what flavour you match them with as they can be somewhat overpowering in their advanced OAP stage.

Now I'd just read something about how walnuts have been favoured in France for their anti-inflammatory effect, and was quite keen to make use of the walnuts I had in the cupboard.  The condition that afflicts me - Polymyalgia Rheumatica - is one where the veins & arteries become inflamed, so you can probably understand my interest!

There was an added benefit to making walnut & banana muffins, which is that I am very aware of hubby's diabetes and so any sweet cakes we make are required to be low in sugar.  Owing to the intense sweetness of the bananas, I felt sure I would be able to reduce the sugar content - and indeed I was right.

All of which serves as explanation as to why the Walnut & Banana Muffins were settled upon.

The end result was a type of muffin that isn't best eaten as is, but is quite gorgeous when halved and spread with a little butter.  They have that lovely sweet/savoury thing going on, which made them perfect for their function - a little bit of loveliness to go with a glass of milk (or a cup of tea!) after school.

WALNUT & BANANA MUFFINS (makes 10-12)

Ingredients :

2 large overripe bananas, mashed
a quarter of a cup of granulated sugar
1 slightly beaten egg
one third of a cup of melted butter
100ml milk
half a tsp ground cinnamon
half a tsp baking powder
quarter of a tsp salt
one and a half cups self-raising flour
half a cup of chopped walnuts

Method :

1.  Pre-heat oven to 180deg C.

2.  In a large bowl or a Kenwood Chef type of mixer, mix the mashed banana, sugar, egg, butter and milk lightly until combined.

3.  Add the baking powder, cinnamon, salt and flour and mix again until just combined.

4.  Add the walnuts and give it a final mix.  Try not to overdo the mixing, or the muffins will toughen.

5.  Pour into silicone muffin moulds (or greased muffin tins) and bake for 30-35 mins or until a cocktail stick comes out clean.

6.  Put on a cooling rack and get the kettle on.

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