Thursday, 14 July 2011

Glama-rama Banana Muffins


As you’ve seen from my previous posts, muffins can make great, healthy (ish!), on-the-go treats, but muffins have a lot more to offer and this is the recipe to prove it!

This is a stylish, glamorous, sweet yet naughty take on the humble muffin. The fruity banana, the devilish speckles of creamy white chocolate, the smooth sweet icing and all encased in a delicate cage of caramel drizzle. This may well be to the muffin what the Ferrari is to the car, or the Louis Vuitton to the handbag, the Louboutin to the shoe and I promise, they’re simple to make too!





Glama-rama Banana Muffins

Ingredients

300g self raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
115g caster sugar
100g white chocolate, chopped
125g butter, melted
80ml milk
2 eggs, lightly whisked
3 bananas, mashed
1tsp vanilla extract

White chocolate icing
125g icing sugar
100g white chocolate, melted
A few tablespoons of cold water

Caramel topping
125g white caster sugar
2tbsp hot water

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.

In a large bowl sift in the flour and add the baking powder, sugar and chocolate. Mix well and make a well in the centre, leave to one side.

In a large jug pour in the melted, cooled butter, milk, egg and vanilla extract, whisk lightly until just combined. Pour in the mashed banana and continue to whisk thoroughly until the mixture is thick and creamy. Don’t worry if there are some lumps, you don’t want it completely smooth.

Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and gently fold until just combined, you don’t want to overwork it. Fill the 12 muffin cases evenly with the mixture and bake in the top of the oven for 15-20 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre come out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

For the white chocolate icing; put the icing sugar in a large bowl and leave to one side. Fill a large pan with water and place a heatproof bowl over the top, ensuring the water doesn’t touch the bowl. Place over a medium heat and break the chocolate into the bowl, allowing it to melt slowly, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place a few tablespoons of water into the icing sugar and mix until combined. Pour in the melted white chocolate and continue to mix thoroughly. If you find the mixture too thick add a little more water, a few drops at a time, until you have the right consistency. Remove the cooled muffins from the paper cases and place on the wire rack with some paper underneath. Spoon the icing over each muffin, the paper will catch any drips. Leave for a few minutes for the icing to stop dripping and place in the fridge to allow the icing to set.

For the caramel; place a large, heavy based pan on a medium heat for a couple of minutes and then pour in the sugar, shaking the pan slightly to even it out. After about 5 minutes, when the sugar has turned to liquid around the edge, give the pan a good shake and return to heat.

After a few more minutes use a wooden spoon to stir the sugar and continue stirring until the sugar has turned to a honey, amber coloured liquid, this should only take a few minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and, keeping a safe distance, pour in the water. The caramel may bubble and spit so please be extra careful, it will be extremely hot; stir the mixture until smooth.

Remove the muffins from the fridge and again, place the wire rack over some paper to catch the drips. Drizzle the caramel over the iced muffins, it will set quickly, and voila! Ready to serve!

Belle’s Top Tip
I cannot stress enough how careful to be when making the caramel for this recipe. It tastes gorgeous on the muffins, but when it’s on the stove this sweet treat is like molten lava so please be extra cautious!