Wednesday, 30 January 2013

pretty on the inside

not the most appealing-looking muffin you'll come across, but definitely one of the most delicious. don't mistake these muffins for the usual flour-heavy cannonballs, or even the meal-sized, if fluffy, ones you find in cafes that cater to business people. nope. these are small but perfectly proportioned, tender morsels of cake-masquerading-as-muffin. just try not to love them, and, upon eating, know that you'll never again judge on appearance.

these can be happily gluten-free - just substitute your favourite coeliac-friendly plain flour mix and proceed as normal.

p.s. I know all manner of bakery uglinesses can be, are frequently are, covered by a lavish application of icing or icing sugar. not these. that would nullify the whole point; and besides, no muffin in its right mind would ever allow itself to be iced.

1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
125g butter, melted
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2 medium bananas, mashed
good handful of flaked almonds
1 - 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon honey
vanilla to taste (I have a heavy hand - about 1/2 a tablespoon)
good handful of dark chocolate chips

line a muffin or cupcake pan with papers or those strange plasticky things (you'll need about 12). preheat your oven to 170 degrees.
find two large-ish bowl for mixing. in the first one, put the flour, ground almonds (not the flaked ones - they're for later), baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon and spice and mix together. in the second bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until smooth. now add in the eggs, honey and the banana, and mix a little more until smooth again. add the flaked almonds, chocolate and vanilla. once they're mixed in, add the contents of the first bowl in two lots, mixing gently in between. spoon the batter into the pans and bake for about 30 minutes. At 25, check with a cake tester - it should come out clean; if not, just slide them back in for that last 5 minutes. when done, they should look gorgeously ugly: lumpy, golden brown and just right. eat warm.

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