Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Banana Caramelized Peanut Muffins

Personally I do not like bananas, I think they completely lack texture and are too mushy and gooey. But then my better half does like them, so was trying to be kind :) 

I love peanut butter, but am trying to bake more consciously, so thought of making the muffins with chopped caramelized peanuts. Of course nothing can compare to yummy peanut butter, but these cupcakes came pretty close to nailing the peanuty essence.
The recipe is very simple, easy to make and truly rewarding as well!

Part A

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Part B
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Part C
  • 2 bananas, slightly mashed
  • 100g caramelized peanuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
1. Sift together the dry ingredients of Part A.
2. Beat the wet ingredients of Part B.
3. Stir Part A (dry ingredients) into Part B (wet ingredients).
4. Fold in Part C - the mashed bananas and chopped peanuts.Do not overmix or overbeat, just gently fold in the bananas and the peanuts.
5. Scoop the batter into paper muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes or untill they are springy to touch.

Drizzle some caramel sauce on the top, and they are ready to travel to your tummy!

Speculoos Ginger Madeleines

Humm.. what can I say.. I so lurve the Speculoos spread.. It's my next best favourite thing! After peanut butter that is.

I had the great fortune of meeting Nicolette from CafeCreme at the Cupcake Camp Paris mentioned that normally it's not Speculoos as the French pronounce it, it's Speculaas (as the Dutch say it). We couldn't quite figure out  how they would translate in English, but it would be more towards a ginger snap biscuit spread. It's something like Nutella, you can't quite explain it well. Any which way, I loves it.
So I very much wanted to make "madeleines", having heard they are not easy, you have to have the right moulds, blah blah blah. Nothing doing, they are simple and simply decadent. And even though they seem light and fluffy, they can be very filling!

Now ginger and speculoos make a great combination, although I tried to keep the ginger on very small note. Else it can easily become overpowering, and, also, I did not use fresh ginger, as I did not know how it would impact the lightness of the madeleines.
Here is the recipe, it makes a great breakfast munch and a great tea time snack!

  • 80 g or 2/3rd cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsps ginger powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g or 1/2 cup sugar
  • 70 g or 3 tbsp Speculoos spread
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 90 g or 6 tbsps butter, melted and cooled down
  1. Sift the dry ingredients together - flour + baking powder + ginger powder + salt. 
  2. In a bowl, beat the wet ingredients - eggs, then add sugar, beat until fluffy. 
  3. Beat in the Speculoos spread and vanilla extract. 
  4. Add spoon by spoon the dry ingredients to the wet egg mixture.
  5. Lastly add the cool butter. 
  6. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours. 
  7. Remove from the refrigerator, don't worry if the batter has hardened. Wait for a couple of minutes till the batter gets back to normal.
  8. Spoon out the mixture into madeleine moulds, bake for 11-13 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 200°C. 
  9. Once done, let the madeleines cool off on a wire rack and then unmould them. 
While these take time to sit out or 3 hours, you can bake them after 30 minutes of rest period as well, that is if you are pressed for time.
They make great accompaniments as dippers for chocolate fondues.