Today has been exceptionally long. The children – now tucked up in bed, like sleeping cherubs – have been extremely trying for much of the day, especially the smaller one who has had at least 15 episodes of hysteria and temper. The cat, meanwhile, to put it delicately, has suffered some gastrointestinal distress and the house is a tip. My efforts to remedy this have been almost comically scuppered by the children. (Certainly scuppered, it is the comedy of it all that has been in doubt.) Every threat and bribe in my armoury has been employed, but by 3pm I was resigned to it just being ONE OF THOSE DAYS and I tried to let the unreasonable behaviour and disagreeability and slovenly conditions wash over me.
As the day drew to its long awaited close, I suggested a bit of baking. Whilst this seems entirely unhinged in the circs outlined, the littlest minx is actually moderately helpful in the kitchen and I had some bananas I needed to use or put in the bin. After stocking up on these purveyors of tropical goodness when I shopped, the smallest rascal had decided that she wasn’t going to like them this week. Last week, of course, they were her faves and I bought extra to supply the demand, but such is the fickle nature of five year olds. (The 9-year-old decided some years ago that she only likes the bananas at school – to my knowledge EXACTLY the same as those I buy, indeed how different could they be? – Irksome, but consistent, at least.)
Anyway, the bunch was looking unappealing brown and it seemed but a matter of moments before the fruit flies descended, so I decided that baking with them may sneak them into the reluctant masses. Any snack with actual fruit, and actually no added sugar, which can be passed off as an actual chocolatey treat wins big with me and these muffins actually go down very well, even if their banana-y goodness is still detectable to a trained nose.
Chocolate banana muffins – makes 12
- 4 small/medium, ripe bananas
- 2 medium eggs (though large would no doubt be fine)
- 175 g flour (I used spelt, white would be fine)
- 30 g cocoa powder/cacao, if you’re feeling fancy
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- (Optional – 50 g of chocolate chips or chopped nuts)
12-hole muffin tin lined with cases.
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
2) Mash the bananas well and beat in the eggs.
3) Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together into the banana mixture and mix until combined.
4) Stir in chocolate chips or nuts if you’re going with them.
5) Dispense evenly into 12 muffin cases and bake for – approx. – 12-15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they spring back if you press them in the centre.
6) Cool on a rack and then store in an airtight container.
These keep pretty well, for 2 or 3 days at least, but I put half into the freezer to keep for break time snacks. If I get one out at breakfast, I am informed it has defrosted nicely by play time.