muffin tops

Whee! Hooray for muffin season! Well at least for me that is. It's more like exam season but yeah whatever. I've been on a muffin streak this past week even though it's been quite a stressful and trying time for myself because of the exams and all. However, baking is the only thing I know to de-stress myself from the hectic week of holing myself in the library and coming out for light and food every now and then in five minute breaks.

The first batch of muffins for the week, which I made last Tuesday was adapted from Culinary in the Desert's Doughnut Muffin recipe. They came out pretty good and smelled awesome and my friends liked them but I think I sort of grew out of chocolate chip muffins and thought it was rather plain and lacked something more substantial to spice it up. I should have added some sort of roasted almonds or walnuts for that nutty flavour to round the muffin up. The texture was good and rather like a scone slash bread. I think I prefer more complex flavours which combined citrus, nutty, salty and something sweet in my muffins.

The following is my altered version from the original:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil (I used vegetable oil.)
1 egg
3/4 cup skim milk

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, mix sugar, oil, egg, and milk.
Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened or stop when there's no traces of flour left. Be careful not to over-mix.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin tin to about 3/4 full.
Bake at 180
°C for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done.

Today's freshly baked batch is my take on Elise's banana nut muffin, which I tweaked a little by substituting the walnuts with some leftover milk chocolate chips. These gave out the most sensuous and delicious aroma or bananas and chocolate chips I've ever had the pleasure of smelling and tasted even better! Love the texture of the muffin and the flavourful taste with every mouthful of it. I always love the combination of bananas and chocolate chip as previously I had made also with a banana and chocolate chip "Monkey" bar. I'm definitely keeping this recipe in mind for any special occasions coming up.

This is my slightly altered version:

3 ripe bananas (mashed)
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar (I reduced it from 3/4 to compensate for the chocolate chips.)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking soda (I used baking powder. Maybe that's why my muffins didn't expand and crown as much.)
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Mix melted butter with the mashed bananas in a large bowl.
Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla.
Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Transfer the banana mixture and combine them together until no traces of flour is seen.
Fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over-mix.
Divide mixture into prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, it's done.

Both recipes for today yield a dozen muffins each.