Monday, May 31, 2010

Roasted Banana Bread Muffins

I may have cheated a little with this week's cookbook challenge, since my cookbook isn't something you can buy in the store. But it is one of the cookbooks I use the most often, and I don't even own it. It's my mother's tiny three ring binder, only A5 size, and jammed full of recipes I've grown up with. My mother used to be a Tupperware demonstrator, and therefore had opportunities to try lots of nibblies at the refreshments after each party. Many recipes in her binder have strange names listed as sources, names even my mother can't place, but Glenys will be forever in my memory as the person who gave my mother the recipe for Mervin's Balls.

Many recipes you've seen here come from that magical folder, Cauliflower Soup, Croquettes, and Mallee Quiche (another Tupperware party recipe), plus others.

I wanted a simple banana bread recipe that I could make into muffins, to monkey-fy to take to playgroup next week, in honour of my little monkey turning two this weekend. Since it's such a small group (never more than 5 kids) I wanted a 'cupcake' recipe that the leftovers would be healthy enough for Master Six to take to school, or stand in as breakfast on weekends when we have run out of choc rubbish cereal (my kids will only suffer through weet bix on school days!) Banana Bread seemed the perfect compromise, so I sent off a quick email to my mother, and she typed it out for me. And now I share it on with you.

Banana Tea Bread (from my mother's ringbound folder)
2 cups s.r. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Dutch cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil or 90g butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
500g peeled mashed bananas
100g chopped nuts (optional)

Sift together the first four dry ingredients.
Cream oil and sugar, add the eggs and beat well.
Add bananas, and beat again.
Stir in flour and nuts (if using)
Put in greased ring tin and place in 180°C oven for 1 hour.

I made just a few alterations, because of what I had in the house, but they turned out excellent. I used Wholemeal SR flour, and Speculaas kruiden instead of cinnamon (it's a Dutch spice mix, made mostly of cinnamon but with a few other things, like white peppper and cardamom and nutmeg thrown in as well.) I mistakenly used baking soda instead of baking powder, but my mother assured me it doesn't matter that much. I used brown sugar, and I skipped the nuts completely. Oh, and possibly the most important extra step, I roasted the (4) bananas in their skins at 170°C for 15 minutes, until their skins were black and weepy. I let them cool completely before mashing. It adds just a bit more banana to the flavour, something my mother never has to do, because when she makes banana bread, she just bought 15 kilos of bananas that are almost black from the fruit shop. I got bright yellow firm things from the supermarket. I don't like not living walking distance from an excellent greengrocer, as we did back in Melbourne, no I do not.

In paper lined muffin tins, these only take 20 minutes in the 180°C oven. And even less time to cool, and subsequently eat.

These would have made a great recipe for Kids Cooking Thursday, with all the sifting, mixing, and not to mention the mashing, but two of my three are sick at the moment, and Miss Four was too busy writing stories to notice I wasn't even in the room. Better for her to miss out than trying to convince Master Almost Two that he couldn't cook too because he was sick. And there really isn't much more disturbing than a two year old who has lost his voice, trying to throw a screaming tantrum with only whispers.

This was an entry for
The Cookbook Challenge: Week 28 - Breakfast.