Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Banana CHOCOLATE muffins

So I was contemplating making yet another recipe from Baking by Flavor (WOULD YOU BUY THE BOOK ALREADY ANGELA??!!? Heh ;-)!) because I love how Lisa Yockelson accents her chosen ingredient with spices - and take a look at the theme for this edition of Sugar High Friday - and I kinda had to keep in spirit.

But. When a man wants chocolate, he's gotta have chocolate. Luckily, Yockelsen has been so kind as to provide variations with almost ALL of her recipes, including in the one for these, the aptly named Texas-size Banana Muffins! (Is everything bigger in Texas than in America in general?) Usually, the spices used would have been nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and cardamom and I REALLY want to try that variation - but this time around, my man demanded chocolate, and chocolate it was.

Now, I fiddled around with this recipe quite a bit - it called for coconut and walnuts, of which none of us are big fans, and then of course all of the spices, that were to be left out and substituted with chocolate, as instructed in the variation-bit. Anyway, I thought I tossed it around so much, that I feel it's okay to give you "my" run of it:

Banana Chocolate Muffins
4½ cups unsifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
½ pound unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cup plus 2 tablespoons mashed ripe banana
3/4 cup thick, cultured sour cream
2 cups chocolate chips/chopped chocolates

Makes for 10 HUGE muffins - so you need 10 HUGE muffin cups, buttered and floured.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda and the cream of tartar.

In the bowl of your freestanding mixer (or get out that wooden spoon and beat like h*** and think of the nice biceps you'll get!) cream the butter for 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat for 1 minute - add the light brown sugar and beat for another. Add the eggs, one by one, beating for about 30 sec. after each. Blend in the vanilla extract and the bananas.
Alternately, add the sifted dry ingredients and the sour cream - dry ingredients in three additions, sour cream in two. Blend in the chocolate.
Divide between your muffin cups

- I truly don't know what it is, I just like those little armies...

- and bake in an oven preheated to 375F /180C for about 25 minutes. Cool in the cups for about 30 minutes (if you can wait that long!), then remove form their cups and serve at room temperature (or scolding hot if so preferred!) Can you tell mine barely came out of the oven before I dug in?

I have to say, this is a surprisingly light and fluffy muffin, with a nice hint of banana. I really wanna try the original recipe - I like my chocolate, but I tried the blueberry muffins in the book and they were FABULOUS! with just that extra blueberries because of the spices...

Yet again, I must succumb: I love this book. Apart from the cookie-semi-disaster - which, in truth, was my own fault, not using the right ingredients - and I might add, the taste was a ok! - it's really lovely and very instructive. What I might miss is PICTURES! Then again, it does do a great job of explaining how everything should end up with little paragraphs on "batter observation" and introductions to every single recipe. And, erm - if you really WANT the pictures you could always check and see if I've done it and taken photographs - chances are I might have...


Anne said...

Mmm! That sounds really good! I'm not a huge muffin fan in reality, but I do love them in theory, and I might just have to make these! I'll certainly try to join in for SHF3! I have an awesome strawberry-cardamom liquer that should be ready to taste by then, and I'll see what I can make to have with it.

rowena said...

Hi! I was blog-hopping, followed your link through another site, my eye caught the Banana Chocolate Muffins, and I'm hooked. The sour cream intrigued you use that greek brand, Total? I absolutely love that stuff with some honey for breakfast.

I also read the link about the Petite Critters, and I must agree....they are cute! Now if I can get myself motivated and organized, I just might join you all in SHF. ;-)

Zarah Maria said...

Anne - strawberry-cardamom liquer - that sounds awsome! Hope you find the time to join SHF!

Hi Rowena - welcome and please feel at home! I use a local brand of sour cream, made from Jersey cow's milk - I haven't found Total as sour cream here in Denmark, only yoghurt, but I'm pretty sure you could substitute if you wanted. I'd go for the full-fat version then. Lisa Yockelson uses sour cream in a lot of her recipes and it gives moisture and a hint of sourness which I for one really appreciate! I think it's something about the acid and the chemistry and the-whatta-hava-you?!? that makes for a light, but still moist crumb.

Please join in on the SHF, we're having so much fun! And nice blog btw - had to take a sneak peek at yours!8-)

Niki said...

Hi - I'm just wondering what photo service you use to upload your photos? They're a nice size. I'd like to use larger photos myself, but I use Flickr, and they're standard size photo is a bit too large for the Blogger website.

Zarah Maria said...

I use BloggerBot, a service I found with Blogger. It's kind of fiddly when you want to use several pictures in one post, I have to start with doing lots of posts and then weave them together - but if you have patience, it works okay... (you can hear I'm not completely satisfied with the user-friendliness of this, can't you? If you have any suggestions, please spill!) - but yes, they do have a nice size, now that I think of it - you can actually choose between three different sizes when you post..

Anonymous said...

Good to see some of the book in action - you got me tempted into
buying it by posting about it earlier (and the good amazon
reviews made it an easier sale). I was going to start out by
reading "Bouchon" by Thomas Keller, but these nice pictures got
me started reading "Baking by Flavor" and comparing this muffin
recipe from "The Professional Pastry Chef" that I've used before
with much success.
BTW: your muffin cups look rather nice - do you know a good
source for them in CPH? The few I've seen here have been rather
expensive :(


Zarah Maria said...

Hi Mads!
Oh I sooo want to get my paws on Bouchon as well! Hey Santa...?

Glad you like the book, I'm definetly enjoying it and the things I produce from it! Have you tried any of the muffins in the book yet? And if so, how are they compared to "Professional Pastry Chef"'s?

Am afraid the muffin cups was bought in London, they're actually a "mini pudding bassin" and I have yet to find anything like them in CPH, which is quite annoying seeing I'd really like a couple more... If I stumble upon any, I'll let you know!