Nick always rolls his eyes when I pick up a big bunch at the grocery store, he rolls his eyes even more when a few days later, he sees them going soft and speckled with black in the fruit bowl. Then I get baking and it is my turn to roll my eyes. Bananas are meant to be eaten fresh, but they are also meant to be forgotten in the fruit bowl where they achieve optimum blackness. A fact only a true baker can appreciate. From there they make their way into delicious, golden topped banana muffins. It is their destiny! This is my basic banana muffin recipe which has graced many a picnic, playgroup and breakfast get-togethers. They rise beautifully every time and fill the house with the warm smell of cinnamon and sugar crusted bananas.
This basic banana muffin recipe also forms the base of a lot of my banana breads, banana cakes and puddings. A slight change in the mixing technique, an overhaul of spices used and the addition of exciting toppings makes this recipe a new baking adventure every single time.
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
150g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to a moderately hot 200C (convection)/ 180C (fan-forced).
Line a 12-hole standard muffin pan with patty cases.
Sift flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Add the sugar and mixed spice. Stir through the flour. Make a well in the centre.
In a jug mix together the milk, eggs, butter, mashed bananas and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture into the well made in the dry ingredients.
Fold the mixture gently with a metal spoon until just combined. Be careful not to over beat the mixture or the muffins will become tough and rubbery. The mixture should still be lumpy.
Divide equally among patty cases, filling each hole to about three-quarters full. Bake muffins for approximately 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked through.
Leave the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool. Eat warm or chilled with icing. Cold muffins can be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer bag.