Sunday, July 24, 2011

Banana Nut Muffins - Little breads (or cakes?) from America

For a long time the debate has raged: just how to differentiate bread and cake. I mean, they both use mostly the same ingredients, flour, sugar, water, salt etc. And yet they are clearly not the same. The difference I think, lies in the ratio. For example, a typical bread recipe uses let's say 3 cups of flour and a tablespoon of yeast. Maybe a cup and a half of water. Cakes, on the other hand have maybe one and a half cups of flour, and 3 eggs along with a cup of water (or juice). And much more sugar, of course. Then there are muffins, America's contribution to the whole confusing situation. They are kind of like little cakes, but some of them are decidedly 'bready' in their texture. Some sources say Marie Antoinette actually said "let them eat brioche" a kind bread so rich it could conceivably be confused as a cake. Or could it? Whatever you decide, these muffins might be little cakes, or if spread with butter, breakfast breads. Either way they are delicious!

Here's What You'll Need:
a few ripe bananas (the kind that are too soft to eat but not ready to throw out yet)
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. espresso coffee (optional)
a pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

Here's What You'll Need To Do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

2. Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and mix until well blended.

3. In a small bowl, beat the egg lightly, then add the sugar and the vanilla. Mix well, then add this mixture to the banana mixture and mix thoroughly.

4. Sprinkle the salt and the baking soda over the top and combine with the mixture in the bowl.

5. Add the flour gradually, mixing just until combined. Finally, fold in the walnuts.

6. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3 full.

7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a strand of uncooked spaghetti comes out clean.

8. Yum!!!


  1. A strand of uncooked spaghetti? Is that the environmentally correct version of a inserting a toothpick? ;) This sounds yum, indeed!! And since I have a few bananas hanging around in the freezer...

  2. How much baking soda?

  3. Oops! I have corrected the post. Thanks for pointing this out. Use 1 tsp. of baking soda.

  4. How many muffins does this make?