I was going to give you a break from baking this week and provide you with a warming soup recipe for a change. Obviously this did not happen but there are some mitigating factors and I think you’ll find them quite reasonable. You see, for the past two weeks my boss has been out of town and on any normal occasion this would mean that I would be left with rather more work on my plate than is to be desired, especially in the run-up to the holidays. But what wasn’t known when she booked her two week beef eating, wine drinking, tango-dancing jaunt to Argentina was that the day after she came back there would be a rather famous British chef cooking for a week on the show. Jamie Oliver- perhaps you’ve heard of him?
Jamie, was how it all began for me and I look back on my days assisting his food stylist fondly- except maybe that day where I spent twelve hours cleaning mushrooms. Or the time when I had to wash-up in a pigs trough in the winter in the pouring rain. But other than those two days, pure fondness. Working with a genius is never easy and so this past week my work load went from being undesirable to down-right stressful. Delays in getting information did not help but then neither did my decision in the same week to run a marathon, in eleven weeks time. Training for 26.2 miles of knee-pounding does have a habit of eating into one’s waking hours. Jamie marathons or even Jamie and marathons combined with daylight savings is why I never got around to photographing the parsnip soup that is warming my belly for the second night in a row. And that is the long and the short of why there’s no soup recipe for you today- it’s now too bloody dark outside to take a decent photograph. And I didn’t want to try to sell you parsnip soup without showing you how beautiful it really is- so you’ll have to wait.
On that note- they say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I say that when life gives you bananas and you don’t get a chance to eat them because you spend too many hours at work, make banana bread (or muffins). And of course no banana recipe would be complete in my books without its best mate, dark chocolate firmly by its side. These muffins use the same method as the pumpkin one’s I made a few weeks ago and it is officially my new favourite muffin batter. It’s so moist that it’s hard to eat just one; although the fact that they’re mini doesn’t help either. Or perhaps it’s just all that running I’ve been doing…..
Banana & Chocolate mini muffins
I think these muffins are adorable- but mostly just marvelously tasty. If you don’t think that you will be able to get through 40 in one week, then fear not, they freeze beautifully.
Diet Facts: a banana a day keeps the doctors away…or was that apples?
200g/ 1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
150g/ 3/4 cup sugar
370g/ 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas, chilled (about 3 medium-sized bananas)
125 ml/ 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
100g/ 1/2 cup chocolate chips (preferably dark chocolate)
1/ Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line 40 mini muffin holes with paper liners, or spray with cooking spray.
2/ In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In another large bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil. Add the mashed bananas and whisk to combine. Whisk in the egg and vanilla until combined.
3/ Fold the flour mixture and the chocolate chips into the wet ingredients until just combined. Scoop batter into the lined muffin tins and bake for about 15 minutes, or until set on top and springy to the touch.