In honour of ‘The Great British Bake Off’, my friends and I decided to bake a wholesome feast to devour during the entertainment that was John, James and…..Brendan? Suffocating in the smells of freshly baked goods in my Clifton garden flat, I knocked out a batch of these forever pleasing muffins and added a cheeky little extra topping. I used to make these every weekend when I ran my own breakfast menu at ’The Food Gallery’ (Marlborough) over the summer. They proudly topped my menu (minus the rum icing) served with creamy Greek yoghurt and some sweet, sticky local honey so I confirm, they certainly make a delicious start to the day too! However, tonight called for a little added sparkle so I decorated with some rum cream cheese frosting and walnut praline……
TIP: If you ever have too many bananas turning brown and sugary in your fruit bowl- don’t throw them away! I always peal mine and freeze them in a sandwich bag. Then they are ready to hand and at the perfect ripeness for when baking calls. Bring them out to defrost a little before you use them- they may go all slimy and unappetising looking but I assure you they will taste and bake perfectly!
Makes 10-12 rugby player sized muffins (adapted from Waitrose recipes)
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g light brown muscavado sugar
- 4 very ripe bananas (300g)
- 2 free-range eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Large pinch cinnamon/mixed spice
- 250g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75ml buttermilk
- 50g crumbled toasted walnuts or pecans
- 300g cream cheese
- 150g icing sugar, sieved
- A pinch of cinnamon/mixed spice
- A splash of rum
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a muffin tin with cases.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
- Add the mashed bananas, vanilla and eggs and mix
- Fold in the flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder.
- Now add the buttermilk and stir thoroughly. Add the walnuts and mix until they are evenly distributed.
- Generously fill the muffin cases and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, checking after about 20 to make sure they are not browning too much.
- Meanwhile, make the icing. Cream the cream cheese, spices and sieved icing sugar together. Add a splash of rum and mix. Chill in the fridge to harden until needed.
- When the muffins are ready, they will be soft and springy to the touch and a sharp knife inserted into the centre will come out clean. Leave to cool completely.
- Once cool, top with icing and decorate with a halved walnut and some walnut praline if you like. The praline I made by melting caster sugar in a dry frying pan until melted and beginning to turn golden. Once it is a pale light colour, remove from the heat and pour quickly and thinly over crumbled walnuts on some baking paper and leave to cool and crisp. Break into shards and top the muffins!