Not, unfortunately, a close acquaintance of the Muffin Man

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I must confess that I am not a massive muffin maker. This is mostly because something inherent in their easily portable, bite-sized goodness suggests an obligation to “share”. I also find that my personal food-based guilt is exponentially linked to numbers and not to size. For example eating one entire cake is basically just a minor slip-up whereas eating twelve whole muffins could arguably be considered gross misconduct.

However, when you are attending a party where lots of little (and big) fingers are likely to be in attendance, muffins can come in pretty handy. Or fingery. And these muffins are super moist and silky because of the mashed bananas so that, unlike most muffins which dry out after less than half a day, these will stay good for about 3 days after baking. Not that they are at all likely to stick around that long. This recipe is also great because it genuinely takes less than half an hour from start to finish. This means that if, to your embarrassment, you recently discovered that man-flu can be catching, they really don’t take all that much effort to rustle up.

RECIPE:

  • 3 very ripe, or over-ripe bananas, peeled
  • 125ml vegetable oil, or melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 225g plain flour
  • 3tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1tsp bicarbinate of soda
  • 50g milk or dark chocolate (optional)

I used 5 very small, lunchbox bananas for this, which worked perfectly because they are so sweet. I don’t think the smaller variety exist outside of Australia though, so if you’re in the UK stick to the normal sized ones, making sure that they are very ripe. I also must stress that because this recipe relies quite a lot on cocoa powder, especially if you aren’t using chocolate as well, that it has to be really, really good quality. Brits, you can’t go wrong with Green & Blacks.

Preheat your oven to 200’C and line a muffin tin with muffin cases. This mixture can either make 12 regular sized breakfast muffins or about 18-20 mini ones.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl with a fork and, while mashing, pour in the oil or melted butter followed by the eggs and sugar. Mix the flour, cocoa and bicarb together and then add this slowly to the mixture, beating all the time.

Break up the chocolate into chips. You can do this by putting it in a zip-lock bag, squeezing the air out, closing it and then beating the crap out of it with a rolling pin. This doubles as a fairly viable anger-management aid, so feel free to really go for it.

Add the broken chocolate to the mixture, give it a good stir and then spoon it into the muffin cases and pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You should notice that the mixture is silky smooth and totally lickable. Reserve anything left in the bowl for scraping out whilst the muffins are in the oven. Consider it foreplay for the muffin-y goodness to come.

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They should come out nice and plump and rounded. And in less than 30 minutes time? Not bad work for a Sunday morning where by all rights you should be in bed with panadol and lemsip and a soothing, comforting episode of The Walking Dead, I’m sure you’ll agree.

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Among the reviews I think it should be noted that I overheard a small child telling her friend that they were “very chocolate-y”. So there. Michelin-stardom, here I come.

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