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Banana and cacao muffins

Banana and cacao cupcakes

Once again its been another super-crazy-ridiculous couple of weeks, I’ve struggled to find time to bake! For those out there who love to create, when you don’t get to do it as often as you like, you kinda get a bit fidgety and frustrated. I always have so many ideas in my head for cakes that the longer I go without baking, the longer the list of ‘must bakes’ gets. I had the BF’s 30th birthday the other weekend on a barge in Battersea (too cool for school) so of course, I had to whip up the cake of my career (results to be posted soon!). Then this weekend I got to join some old friends on their hag doo (stag+hen= Hag. Obvs.) in Berlin. This involved much partying and very little sightseeing so a return trip is a must do, if only to indulge in more apple strudel. This weekend I have kept it empty and pretty much fun free to indulge in sewing patterns and baking (in order to recuperate some precious brain cells, two weeks of partying in a row for this old gal is not big or clever).

Banana and cacao muffins

I got back to my flat (or apartment? Is there a difference?) to find my bunch of bananas had reached the end of the line, looking sad and very brown in the fruit bowl. I didn’t want to throw them away and so I did the sensible thing and put them in a cake! The bananas were super brown, all over. The riper the banana you use, the sweeter your muffins will be. I have used cacao here because the chocolate hit is more intense and the product much less refined but if you can’t get hold of it, super market unsweetened cocoa is OK. To top off, I used a tasty chocolate cream cheese icing and used some left over chocolate shards to decorate then dusted with icing sugar. If you want to make your own chocolate shards, the quick and easy way is to gently melt some chocolate in a bain marie then pour on to some grease proof paper on a baking tray, pop in the fridge until solid and use a knife dipped in hot water then dried to slice the chocolate into shards. I’ve called these bad boys muffins due to being dense, squidgy and super moist. So don’t go throwing out those bananas, help them achieve their life mission and put them in these glorious muffins.

Banana and cacao muffins

Banana and cacao muffins

 

Banana and cacao muffins

  • 3 medium-to-large very ripe bananas
  • 120g unsalted butter, melted
  • 140g light brown muscavado sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 130g plain flour
  • 60g cacao (or cocoa)
  • 170g chocolate chunks or chips

Chocolate cream cheese icing

  • 125g full fat cream cheese
  • 125g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons cacao (or cocoa), sifted
  • 250g icing sugar
  1. Heat your oven to 170 degrees. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases.
  2. Mash bananas in the bottom of a large bowl.  Beat in the melted butter, then brown sugar, egg, and vanilla.
  3. Sift the cacao, bicarb, salt and flour into the wet mixture.
  4.  Fold dry and wet ingredients with a spoon until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks or chips.
  5. Divide the mixture equally between the 12 muffin cases until about 3/4 full. Pop in the oven and wait about 12 minutes. Check with a knife, it should come out clean once inserted (but don’t mistake melted chocolate chips for mixture!). Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  6. As they cool, make your icing. Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth, sift in the cacao and icing sugar. Add the icing sugar bit by bit until desired sweetness is achieved, dollop on top of each muffin, decorate as you wish.

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