I love baking… it gets me into super-mama mode, I don my pinny, pop the radio on, crank up the oven and within half an hour or so the soothing scent of vanilla or most commonly chocolate, is wafting through my kitchen.
The baking I adore the most is unhurried, quiet and almost therapeutic… I’m home alone, Nina Simone is playing in the background and a perfect cup of coffee is perched on the worktop beside me…
Oh hang on a minute… that’s not my life, that’s my imaginary life!
The baking I do is frantic, excitable, messy, noisy, full of children poking their fingers in everything and fun, fun, fun!
But I love it… it makes me happy.
I find the best recipes to attempt with young children are the simple and quick ones. Too much hanging around or a complicated method will see my children smothered in cake mix and scrapping before I can say, “Now lets all pay attention whist Mama spins some sugar baskets!”
So mostly we make muffins…
Here is my current favourite and ‘so-damn-delicious-and-gooey-I-could-weep’ recipe for banana and double choc muffins, they are so easy I felt like I’d forgotten to do something when I first made them!
The recipe is an adaptation of a Nigella Lawson recipe from her book Feast. I tweaked it slightly, as I love a little choc chip surprise inside a muffin. But please do not make the same mistake as greedy old me and snuffle a hot from the oven muffin straight into your chops, only to burn your top lip on a molten-hot nugget of chocolate.
What you need!
3 over ripe bananas mashed
125ml melted butter or vegetable oil
100gm soft brown or white sugar
125g dark chocolate chips or my preference, dark chocolate chopped by hand
225g plain flour
3 x 15ml tablespoons pure cocoa powder (not chocolate milk powder)
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 x 12 hole muffin tin, lined with muffin papers or large fairy cake cases
What you do!
Preheat the oven to 200
- Put the mashed bananas into a large bowl or freestanding mixer, then add the melted butter or oil, eggs and sugar, beat well till combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder and bicarb. Now pour into the banana mixture and fold everything together gently. Overzealous mixing will result in tough muffins, which is never good, so take it easy.
- Now gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Spoon mixture into the muffin papers and bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin a little before removing to a wire rack.
Equally wonderful with a good cup of coffee or a big glass of milk.
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