The challenge for this month’s Breakfast Club was to do something exciting with Cereals. When I first read the theme of the challenge, hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours, nothing particularly inspiring sprang to mind. After a few weeks of thought, I decided to fall back on the fail-safe, but still wonderful, option that is the muffin. I ignored the minor detail of not really knowing how I was going to incorporate cereals into a muffin recipe up until yesterday when I realised I should probably get round to actually giving the muffins a go. Whenever I bake something, I’ve usually at least roughly planned it and can make sure that I have all the required ingredients, but these muffins ended up being rather haphazardly thrown together…
There was a rather lonely-looking, very ripe banana sitting in the fruit basket which I decided would be perfect to go into the muffins, and would keep them moist. Plus fruit is healthy, so ya. Since the muffins were to be for breakfast, I also decided that some dried fruit would be a good addition, being energising and all, so I decided I would throw in some raisins, too. I still wasn’t really sure how I was going to include cereals (or even which cereals I was going to use), but decided that was still a minor detail and set about looking for a suitable recipe. I have a muffin recipe which contains banana and porridge oats, and on reading that I suddenly realised that perhaps I could substitute crushed cereals instead of the oats and then sprinkle some crushed cereal over the tops of the muffins to give a slightly crunchy topping. Problem solved!
I only had about half the amount of banana required for the recipe, but I couldn’t really halve the whole recipe since only one egg was required and I wasn’t about to start faffing around trying to measure out half an egg, so I fiddled around with the quantities of dry ingredients. Out of the three boxes of cereals in the cupboard, I decided that the Weetabix chocolate Crispy Minis (that I inherited from my flatmate when she moved out of St Andrews and had sort of forgotten about – I don’t tend to eat much cereal) seemed the most promising choice, with the bonus that chocolate goes well with both banana and raisins. Sorted! So I enthusiastically crushed the cereal, substituted it for porridge oats, messed around with the quantities of flour and sugar, threw it all together and hoped for the best. Much to my astonishment, the muffins worked wonderfully and were delicious both as an afternoon snack (I made them yesterday afternoon – I obviously had to taste one…) or for breakfast! Although I must say that by breakfast this morning the topping was a little less crunchy than it had been yesterday afternoon. Sad times, though still totally yummy!
Banana, raisin & chocolate Crispy Minis crumble muffins
Makes 9 muffins
Adapted from Mad About Muffins
These can be made the evening before, left to cool and then stored overnight in an airtight container ready for breakfast the next day. I used Weetabix chocolate Crispy Minis, because that’s what I had, but any other flavour or similar cereal would probably work just as well. Sprinkling cereal over the top gives a slightly crunchy top layer which is balanced by a lovely, moist muffin.
50g all-purpose flour
45g wholemeal bread flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
80g Weetabix chocolate Crispy Minis (or similar)
80g light muscovado sugar
1 very ripe banana
½ tsp vanilla extract
45g very hot water
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C. Line a muffin tin with 9 liners or lay out 9 silicone moulds on a baking tray.
2. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Tip in any bran from the wholemeal flour that didn’t go through the sieve. Place 50g of the Crispy Minis in a zip-lock bag and crush them finely using a rolling pin before adding them to the flour mix and stirring all the dry ingredients together (set the zip-lock bag aside for later).
3. Melt the butter in a large, heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, remove the bowl from the pan, add the sugar and mix thoroughly.
4. Peel the banana and mash them with a fork in a small bowl. Add to the butter and mix thoroughly.
5. Lightly beat the egg using the same fork and bowl that you just used for the bananas. Mix the egg and vanilla extract into the butter mixture.
6. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Stir in the hot water, followed by the rest of the flour mixture. Stir in the raisins and spoon the batter evenly into the muffin liners/moulds (don’t overfill the liners).
7. Place the remaining Crispy Minis in the zip-lock bag and roughly crush them (not too finely!). Sprinkle the pieces over the tops of the muffins.
8. Bake for 30-33 mins or until the muffins are well-risen and golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container until breakfast.
PS – If you read my blog regularly and are thinking that this recipe looks a little familiar, I realised halfway through making the muffins that the recipe I was adapting was, in fact, the same recipe that I had adapted when I made the banana, date and pecan loaflets for the very first Breakfast Club challenge that I took part in… Woops?