Monday, February 27, 2012

Bananas, Coffee, and Chocolate

While I am fond of all three ingredients in the title of this post, I was not entirely sure they'd go together well in a muffin. But The Cheese Board: Collective Works cookbook says it's a great combination and that many patrons love these muffins, so I figured scores of Berkeleyans couldn't be wrong.

These are not healthy muffins by ANY stretch of the imagination, but could be modified to be somewhat less bad. The cup of sour cream added a really nice tang to the batter, which was still present after the muffins baked (I was afraid it would dissipate). Plain low-fat yogurt could be substituted, though, and still impart the same basic tang. An entire cup of chocolate chips just isn't necessary; I used a half cup and thought it was more than enough. I also reduced the sugar in the recipe by a tablespoon or two, which turned out just fine.

I was a bit disappointed that the coffee flavor seemed to get lost in the muffins, what with all the banana, sour cream, and chocolate, so it might be worth adding some espresso granules or instant espresso powder to the batter to increase the mocha flavor.

The recipe actually says to fill the muffin cups all the way to the top. When does THAT happen?!

I froze most of the baked muffins, since I can't possibly eat 12 of them in a few days, and have found that when I slice them in half and reheat them in the oven for several minutes, they hold up pretty well. Maybe that's because the stick of butter contains enough fat to prevent them from drying out. Like 47 times over.

The perfect muffins for letting a little kitty cat warm himself on a cold winter morning.

Banana Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins
from The Cheese Board: Collective Works

makes 12 muffins

1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C strong brewed coffee, cooled
1 C sour cream or plain yogurt
2 1/4 C AP flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 - 1 C chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine egg, egg yolk, bananas, vanilla, coffee, and sour cream or yogurt. Whisk until blended.  Set aside.
3. Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in bowl of stand mixer. Add salt and sugar to dry ingredients. 
4. Add butter and cut in on low speed for about 4 minutes, or until it is the size of small peas. Mix in chocolate chips. Make a well in the center and pour in wet ingredients. Gently mix just until combined. Do not overmix!
5. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each well until batter just peeks over top of well. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown, firm, and springy.
6. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then unmold and cool completely on a wire rack.

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