If I had to choose between a cupcake and a muffin, I would most definitely choose the latter. I love muffins; love how they can be so versatile (you can make them savoury or sweet), there's ever so many combinations that you can experiment with and in most cases, you don't have to feel too guilty about about eating one too many of them. Don't get me wrong, there's moments where a cupcake is the only answer but when I have free time to do some baking, I almost always make myself a batch of muffins.
Part of my love of muffins comes with an addiction for muffin liners. These ones are probably my favourite - found them in House and if you've got a handful of cookbooks at home, you'll notice that these muffin liners feature in the styling of a lot of them. Anyway, let's start off by lining a 12 hole muffin tray with liners. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Mash two bananas in a large bowl. Everytime I go shopping for bananas, I always buy that extra few so that I have them sitting there to ripen.
Sift 280g plain flour, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 2 tsps baking powder over the bananas. Make a well in the centre and add a pinch of salt. In another bowl, whisk together 250ml soy milk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp natural vanilla extract, 80g firmly packed soft brown sugar and 125g melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry and lightly fold togehter.
Spoon into the prepared muffin holes. Cut a banana into 12 slices and top each muffin with a piece.
Combine 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 3 tbsp caster sugar and sprinkle over the muffins.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Remove to a wire rack for the muffins to cool.
This recipe is from Michele Cranston's 'Marie Claire - Comfort Real Simple Food'. Michele is another one of my favourite food authors; I love how she presents food and well, seems like I almost have everyone of her cookbooks! (Comfort was one I recently picked up at Basement Books for $20 which I thought was a bargain).
Back to the muffins, I loved these! After baking, the muffins have a slightly caramelised top and if you've sprinkled enough sugar, you'll also have a caramelised piece of banana. When eaten straight out of the oven, the muffin seems to stick to liner a bit but after it's cooled (and also after placing in the fridge overnight), the muffins peel away from the liner nicely. After fridging, I took one into work as a mid morning snack. Didn't have to microwave these at all; the muffins retained their soft texture and well, they were scrumptious! I actually really enjoyed making this recipe and I think soy milk works really well with it (gives it that slighly nutty taste).