To hit the sweet spot with anything banana, it is first necessary to exercise some discernment when choosing them. Those brown splodges on the skin that are the enemy of most shop fruit displays? They are known as the ‘Sweet Spot’ Those fresh young bananas with a tight yellow skin will not infuse your baking with the squidgy texture and depth of flavour that a mature fruit is in possession of. Yes, that mottled, streaked skin with some give is a sign of age but in contrast to the more usual response to the advancement of time, this is what we most desire here.
We have spent many decades in our (fruitful) search for the perfect and simple banana muffin recipe and as far as we are concerned, this quest of Quixote like scale is over. This easy to adapt and forgiving recipe is it. Forgiving of added (or subtracted) dried banana chips, other dried fruit such as sultanas or even sliced preserved ginger in syrup, we have never had a fail with it.
Preparation time 15 mins + chilling. Cooking time 18-20 mins. Preheat oven to 375F / 190c / Gas mark 5
175g softened butter / 120g caster sugar / 4 oz soft brown sugar / 1 beaten egg / 3 ripe medium size bananas, mashed / 1 tsp Vanilla extract / 250g plain flour / 1 tsp baking powder / 175g banana chips, broken up (these are optional)
Place butter and sugars into a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg until it is well incorporated then stir in the mashed bananas and vanilla extract. Sift the flour and baking powder together then sift into the mixture and incorporate, making sure you don’t over mix. Lastly, add the dried banana chips (if using) or the dried fruit- a small handful (if using). The same rule applies to adding sliced stem ginger. We find one small ‘ball’ of stem ginger fine sliced then diced is more than enough to infuse them with a delicate gingery heat.
Grease a muffin pan with butter or baking spray or use paper muffin cases inside a muffin pan (we do this). Take spoons of the mixture and add to the muffin cases/pan, filling them 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until done; they can vary a little in their cooking times depending upon the size of the muffins made. Keep an eye on them and remove when golden and a tester stick comes out clean when inserted into their middle. Allow to cool for as long as you can stand to wait then eat!