Sorry (again!) for the absence… it’s not that I haven’t been baking – I have, but since starting this blog I’ve become quite critical of everything I make and fussy about whether or not my recipes are good enough to post. As if PhD anxiety wasn’t enough! On a side note, my supervisor fully encouraged me to do some more ‘stress-relieving baking’ the other day. I was all “Wah, I think my vector has a mutation! Wah, my scholarship is running out! Wah, things aren’t working! Booohoooo! Woe is me!” So apparently the answer is to bake more. For my own mental health. Mind you, I don’t think anyone in the lab minds being a guinea pig for my kitchen experiments either.
Since my last post, I’ve made a Tamarillo Upside-Down Cake, which looked impressive but I thought tasted foul. It has put me off tamarillos and Greek yoghurt, which I hope is not a lasting thing. Dan said it was fine, but I notice he didn’t go back for seconds. I’ve also made an Eggless Plum and Rhubarb Cake with Cream Cheese Icing a few times which is very tasty, but I haven’t managed to get the texture quite right yet. Eggless baking is so tricky! I also made bagels for the first time this morning which were very delicious. You should try them.
I think of all my baking efforts of late, the most success I’ve had has been with the humble Banana Muffin. To jazz them up a bit, I added in some chopped hazelnuts and a swirl of Nutella (well…. ‘Hazelnut spread’ – I’m too budget to fork out for real Nutella, haha). They may not be the prettiest thing you’ll ever eat, but they taste good and were sufficiently popular to merit sharing on here, I think! Plus, they’re super easy and quick to make.
Probably the most tricky thing (which is really not very tricky at all) is toasting and skinning the hazelnuts. All you need to do is spread them out on a tray and bake at 180°C for about 10 minutes, or until the skins darken and crack. Keep an eye on them and be careful not to let them burn. Remove from the oven and wrap them in a tea towel for a few minutes to let them steam. Then, simply rub the skins off with the tea towel. Don’t worry if they don’t all come off. Just try not to eat them all before putting them in your muffins, they’re quite irresistible!
Banana and Hazelnut Muffins
- 200g flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 100g white sugar
- 1 egg
- 80g butter, melted
- 70g hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed and roughly chopped
- About 1/3 cup hazelnut spread
- Preheat oven to 180°C, fan-bake. Prepare muffin tray with cases. This recipe will make 12-15 muffins.
- In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, sugar, egg and butter.
- Sift in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Fold in the chopped toasted hazelnuts.
- Spoon the batter into cases, filling to about 3/4.
- Drop small dollops (about 1 teaspoon) of hazelnut spread onto the top of each muffin and use a skewer to swirl slightly into the batter.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the tray for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.