To put it mildly, our freezer is rather chock-a-block. To the point where something inevitably comes cascading out whenever you open it, which is mildly annoying when all you want are a couple of ice-cubes for your G&T. I mean, uhm, water. Several weeks ago, I decided to start playing “freezer roulette” – open the freezer, and use up whatever comes tumbling out (as long as it belongs to me – actually nobody quite remembers precisely what belongs to whom, which is a whole other issue, so the game also requires some detective work).
After several bananas came shooting out at me a few weekends ago, I decided that banana & walnut muffins were on the cards for breakfast. I enthusiastically set about whipping them up, not thinking about what I was going to do with a dozen muffins – I obviously wasn’t going to be eating them all by myself, even spread over two breakfasts. Excellent planning, right there. Since it was a Saturday, my usual tactic of taking surplus baking into the lab wasn’t going to work, so banana & walnut muffins were
forced upon kindly offered to anybody who had the misfortune of stopping by the house that weekend.
Luckily, the muffins turned out rather scrumptious – filling without being heavy, full of banana and walnut flavour and with a lovely slight crunch on top (although this softens up if left overnight). I’d wanted to add extra walnuts to the topping but ran out, so that would add a further delicious crunch. Nobody complained about being effectively force-fed muffins. And they make a fabulous breakfast by the way, especially since they don’t take too long to throw together.
Banana & walnut muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Adapted from My Baking Addiction
These make great breakfast muffins as they’re easy to throw together. If you’re using frozen bananas, remember to take them out far enough in advance to defrost (you can leave them out overnight if making these for breakfast). Toasting the walnuts is optional, but I find it really does enhance the flavour and really doesn’t take long. If you’re a big walnut fan, feel free to add some to the topping as well (I would have, but I’d run out). Muffins are best eaten the same day, but they will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container – the topping will just go a bit soft.
For the muffins:
200g all-purpose flour (190g)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3 very ripe bananas (defrosted frozen ones are fine)
100g caster sugar
50g light brown sugar
80 ml rapeseed oil (canola oil)
1½ tsp vanilla extract
75g walnut halves or pieces
For the topping:
50g light brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
15g unsalted butter
To prepare the muffins:
1. Roughly chop the walnuts halves or pieces and toast in a frying pan until fragrant (watch they don’t burn). Set aside to cool whilst preparing the muffins.
2. Line a muffin tin with liners or set out 12 silicone muffin moulds on a baking tray. Preheat the oven to 210°C/fan 190°C.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and stir together.
4. In a medium-sized bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the sugars, egg, oil and vanilla extract and whisk together (either by hand or by electric whisk).
5. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture using a metal spoon until just combined (there should still be a few small streaks of flour in the mixture). Fold in the toasted walnuts and spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin or moulds, not filling them more than ¾ full.
To prepare the topping:
6. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Rub in the butter, until crumbly in texture. Sprinkle over the tops of the muffins.
7. Bake for 18-20 mins, until risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Either eat them warm or remove from the tin/moulds to a wire rack to cool.
Since these muffins are made from scratch, I’m submitting them to this week’s Made with Love Mondays hosted by Javelin Warrior. One of the guiding principles is to avoid using frozen produce when you can use fresh, and whilst I did use frozen bananas, this recipe works perfectly whether using fresh or frozen bananas, so I’m sure that’ll be acceptable. Plus the bananas only ended up in the freezer because we had a deluge of overripe fresh bananas in the first place.