Thursday, January 31, 2008
Success in two words: Banana Muffins
First I must congratulate my dear cousin and her wonderful fiance whom we had the pleasure of spending New Years Eve with. You simply must click here to see their inventive DIY engagement ring.
What speaks of weddings better than yummy, warm banana muffins? OK, probably a lot of things.
I have not had much luck with quick breads. This always surprises people. "But quick breads are so EASY" they say. Yeah yeah yeah. Well often times it is the simple, easy things that are the most elusive. This always kills me with bananas particularly because we inevitibly have a few left on the bunch that do not get eaten in time. I allow them to blacken only to end up either throwing them away or making something that is disappointing. They come out too dry, too dense, too sweet, not banana-y enough etc...
But I think I hit the jackpot with this one. The traditional quick bread recipe calls for the wet dry ingredients to be mixed in one bowl, the wet in another and then you loosely mixed them together. This one is basically that concept but with a little additional effort. I was intrigued by the idea of mixing the eggs and sugar together, sort of like how you would cream butter and sugar together. It actually suggests beating it in an electric mixer for quite a long time (10 mins) in which a fair amount of volume is achieved and a luxurious texture. I love using cultured dairy in my pancakes and waffles and was intrigued to see what it would add to these muffins. I didn't have the creme fraiche it calls for so I used sour cream. There's quite a bit of sugar, but they didn't come out cloying in the least. Best of all- they were full of banana flavor! If I had to hazard a guess on that I would think it was due to the large amount of banana called for, 5 or 6. This recipe does make 2 loaves with all that banana, the typical one pan recipe usually only calls for 2 bananas.
Having not done any scientific testing i can't tell you which of these techniques added what to the final product. But I can tell you they are the best banana muffins I've ever made. Perfect texture, moist and fluffy. Strong banana flavor, just the right amount of nuts. mmmmmmmmmmm.....
(If you choose to make muffins, like I did. They only need about 25-30 minutes to bake. It makes a lot, almost 36!)