Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Muffin Joy: Banana and Butterscotch.

These are a triumph...a triumph in muffin form albeit but, well heck, you’ve got to take your successes as they come and give yourself a massive cheer and pat on the back while you’re at it. I’ve spoken before about my quest for the perfect muffin; that elusive height and big fat overhang, and today, when I opened the oven door, I greeted these baked beauties with a jig of muffin joy.

Can you seeeeeee how tall they are? They look proud and noble....okok not noble, not sure muffins can, but if they could....

The only sliiiiight problem is that I don’t know exactly what I did this time that made my muffins tall and proud and jig-worthy. I thought, in fact, that I had dillied and dallied too much for this to be a real success story. The supposed secret to perfect muffins is to chuck, stir, bake, bosh...no messing about, but I took a little while to get the mixture into its cases; not one of my strong points, and thought, therefore, that this would be just another stop along the journey: destination muffin joy. But I got there in one piece and was rewarded with the most delicious, light and airy treat.

So yeeeeeah, not reeeeeally sure that my triumph has unlocked some secret entrance into muffin nirvana or revealed any nugget of information that even Nigella would thank me for, other than the fact that some days the baking gods must on you....and you might as well turn the oven on and keep on trying just in case today is your day. With Love and Cake.

Banana and Butterscotch Muffins.
Original recipe is Nigella's, from her Express book.

A few notes:
  • So these butterscotch chips....my wonderful friend bought these back for me from her recent trip to Canada. I've known about them for a while thanks to Nigella so you can imagine my joy when presented with them. I know however that not aaaaall of you however will have Atlantic hopping friends (deffo try and find some) and this makes things harder. I think you can get them in some posh food places like Harvey Nicks and in those specialist American sweet shops and you can definitely find them online. If that' just too much hassle for you though, just substitution them with chocolate chips, I suggest dark chocolate, in the muffins, and golden syrup in the filling.
  • Of course you can leave out the butterscotch filling and drizzle; you will lose some of the decadence but that's not always a bad thing.
Makes 10-12
You will need

A 12-hole muffin tray, lined with muffin cases

For the muffins
3 ripe bananas
125ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
250g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
150g butterscotch chips

For the sauce
75g unsalted butter
50g soft light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
2 heaped tbsp butterscotch chips
125ml double cream
a good pinch salt

  • Let's bake. First preheat the oven to 200˚c.
  • Mash up the bananas finely and set aside.
  • Measure the oil into a measuring jug and whisk in the eggs.
  • Mix the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder together into a bowl and stir in the oil/egg mixture followed by the bananas.
  • Finally stir through the butterscotch pieces.
  • Divide the mixture between your cases....I always overfill mine a bit so only make 10, if that's the case for you too then make sure you fill the empty holes in your muffin pan with water so the heat distributes evenly.
  • Get the muffins in the oven as soon as you can and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile make the wonderful filling. Simply heat the butter, sugars and butterscotch chips gently in a small pan until the sugars are dissolved and the chips have melted.
  • Pour in the cream and salt and let bubble away for 1 minute or so.
  • Leave to cool.
  • When the muffin are baked and golden and proud, let them cool for a while on a wire rack.
  • Then time to add the filling; use a little serrated knife to cut a 'lid' off the top of the muffin.
  • Pop a teaspoonful of butterscotch sauce into the hole you have cut and replace the muffin 'lid'
  • Drizzle extra sauce over the muffins if you haven't eaten it all with a spoon and do your muffin jig.

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