Monster Banana Muffins

If I become the president of the republic, my first executive order has to be to make bananas the Philippine national fruit.  My second is to serve bananas at at least one meal in all official functions of all government agencies.  And then I will call the chef and ask her (or him) to bake me the most delicious vegan banana cake in history.

Because the humble, delicious banana is happiness.  There’s even a joke at the office to make anyone in a bad mood eat bananas.  And because my Boy Scout was in a bad mood yesterday, I made banana muffins.  (Okay, okay.  His bad mood was just an excuse to bake since he was already fine yesterday afternoon.  But still… bananas, right?)  Truth is, he told me banana is his least liked bread/cake but because I love banana bread/cake (and it’s the easiest to make), he consented to eating this for breakfast today.  We pretended we joined the city’s fun run and this was our post-run food.  (By the way, bananas are excellent post-run.)

I’ve made countless batches of banana bread/cake/muffins before since as I said they’re a breeze to bake.  And I hate to admit this but my favorite version is those I’ve made back in my lacto-ovo days.  They had a good rise, moist on the inside, and had a crunchy top.

But those lacto-ovo days are definitely over so I don’t even look at non-vegan recipes anymore.  Unfortunately, the recipe I’ve been using since then, my favorite vegan Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s banana bread, was more pudding than cake.  (I’m not sure if I’ve been doing it wrong.  But since mine and hers look the same, I don’t think I was.)

So this morning at 4 a.m., I decided I will make banana muffins.  I pre-heated my oven and made the following changes to my go-to recipe:

  • I sifted the dry ingredients.  Chef Chloe’s recipe doesn’t call for sifting, and in fact I’ve read that I must not if the recipe doesn’t call for it.  But for some reason sifting makes my whole wheat cakes lighter so for now I’m not giving it up.
  • I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose flour because whole wheat pastry flour is healthier.
  • I used ground cinnamon and omitted nutmeg, cloves and ginger because I didn’t have them at the moment.
  • I used regular soymilk instead of coconut milk because I thought maybe coconut milk is causing the cake to be dense.
  • I used 3/4 cup muscovado sugar instead of 2 cups sugar because muscovado is healthier and 2 cups sugar is just too much.
  • I used a blender to mix the wet ingredients so the bananas are practically invisible when you bite into the cake.  I just thought that will make my cake lighter.

(Mama always reprimands me for attempting to healthify recipes which sometimes end in kitchen disasters but. No. One. Can. Stop. Me.)

I meant to bake my muffins for just 25 minutes but I overstayed in the bath so they baked for 28 minutes.  I inserted a skewer and was pleasantly surprised that they were perfectly baked.

The result of my 4 a.m. experiment?

  • Just right sweetness.
  • Nice rise.
  • Top is crispy.

Beautiful.  And yes, I almost cried.

I’m not saying it’s healthy because of it’s size.  (One muffin has probably 600 calories.)  But all the ingredients are good for you.  It’s vegan, whole wheat, and refined sugar-free.  You can healthify it further by making them smaller but at the moment, I’m happy.

By the way, it’s not yet Christmas.  Pardon the pretty, pretty liners.

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Patti’s Monster Banana Muffins

Yield: 6 monster muffins

Ingredients:

Dry:

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup muscovado sugar

Wet:

  • 1 cup overripe lakatan bananas (3-4 medium)
  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Optional:

  • 6 pcs Malagos 65% dark chocolate, quartered

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius (325 degrees Fahrenheit) and line a six-cup muffin tin with large cupcake liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon before adding in the muscovado sugar and mix them well.
  3. Add in all wet ingredients in a blender and blitz.
  4. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir just until incorporated.  You know the golden rule: Thou shall not overmix.
  5. Pour the batter into prepared muffin tin and if you want, add your choice of topping.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25-28 minutes.  The muffins are baked when a bamboo skewer (a toothpick will not suffice for muffins of this size) inserted at the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool a bit and enjoy!

Here’s the instruction:

Banana Muffins

Tips:

  • The recipe will also make 12 regular muffins, 24 mini muffins, or 1 cake.
  • Pre-heating the oven as accurately as you can makes all the difference in baking.  A local pastry chef advised me to get an oven thermometer and my baking has definitely improved since then.
  • Use overripe bananas.  The ones with some black spots.
  • You may blend your wet mixture by hand.  Of course.  But you’d want to mash your bananas first.  Of course.
  • It is important to work really fast when baking using baking soda and vinegar as egg replacer.  If not, this mad scientist trick will not work.
  • I’ve tried brown sugar and chopped nuts for toppings, too, and they’re amazing!

By the way, here’s the nutritional facts from Spark People Recipe Nutrition Calculator.

monster

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