Pumpkin, pumpkin, everywhere.
It’s that time of the year (in some parts of the world). Trees turn all kinds of gorgeous reds and oranges, winter wear makes its first appearance and every single baker out there turns pumpkin into every possible baked good.
SO MUCH PUMPKIN.
I do love a pumpkin cheesecake, but I had no idea this otherwise insignificant vegetable (fruit?) could be made into cookies, muffins, cupcakes and everything else. (I also tried the Starbucks Pumpkin Latte after hearing and reading so much about it. Not my thing, I’m sorry. Pumpkin and coffee is….odd)
But this post is about bananas.
Because we don’t live in the parts of the world lucky enough to experience autumn. No, we live in Mumbai where pumpkin is just a regular, unloved vegetable, October feels like May, and shorts are fashionable and essential, all year round.
So….I’m going tropical today 😀 Bananas, the epitome of tropical fruits, and these delightful cupcake liners, which I admit, I did not need, but THEY HAVE FLIP FLOPS AND SUNGLASSES ON THEM.
Of course I needed them.
I swear I even saw a bottle of sunscreen on them somewhere.
And I’m heading to the beach this weekend. So they just seemed like the right thing to have.
Oh, and this post is also about more barley goodness. The incredibly awesome Loaded Banana Cake recipe, halved, tweaked and adapted to make the most wholesome, bursting-with-banana-flavour barley muffins.
And then because I got alarmed at all the healthiness going on in my kitchen, I added a ganache frosting. Paradoxical, I know. But hey, it’s still barley flour with frosting 😀 Oh, and sprinkles. Because, well, sprinkles.
There’s a A LOT of pictures in this post, be prepared. I’m embracing the tropics!
I talked about my barley flour discovery in my last post. The result was so incredible, I knew I had to bake with it again. So this time, I used it in muffins to substitute regular flour. Like the cookies, the muffins were softer with barley flour, and stayed so even after overnight refrigeration and didn’t need to sit out to come to room temperature. Even chilled, they were like little banana and chocolate-chip pillows.
Look! Flip flops!!!!! And if you look reeeeeeeely hard, the bottle of sunscreen right next to it!!
I used brown sugar instead of all white for extra colour, flavour and another reason to call these healthy 🙂 This happens to be one of the first recipes where I did a lot of improvising, so hopefully, I’m getting close to devising my own!
The ganache frosting got the better of me though. I happened to have a little lying in the fridge, so decided to try being all skilled with a piping bottle. Turns out, it’s too thick to pipe, so I just slathered it on with a spoon. No complaints!
The muffins themselves are super easy to make and if you have the will power to not eat half the batter as is, I bow to you. It’s just SO good!
I photographed this with the whole ‘climb into the balcony’ stunt again. Not fun in this sweltering October heat. But, it was for a good cause. LOOK at this one!! All those melty chips…mmmmmm.
Sadly, using two cupcake liners per muffin still didn’t stop them from getting all translucent in the oven. So you can’t see all those wonderful beachy illustrations. The next time, I’m just going to wait till the muffins are cooled and then slide them into fresh liners!
I have TONS more…. *sheepish look*
Ok, make these. Seriously.
What you’ll need:
1 and 1/4 cups barley flour
1/2 heaped tsp baking soda (Barley flour doesn’t seem to rise as much as regular flour, so I got smaller muffins but maybe more baking soda is the answer, if you’re feeling gutsy)
1/2 cup brown sugar and castor sugar, mixed (a 60:40 proportion worked for me, but you could use just white or just brown too)
What to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. Sift the barley flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Sifting barley flour is essential because there were some thick bits of fibre that I didn’t want in the batter. You’re not sieving the nutrients out, don’t worry 🙂
3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar till smooth and creamy.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one.
5. Mix in the mashed bananas, milk and yoghurt and mix.
6. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, and mix well.
7. Fold in the chocolate, pour the batter into lined muffin moulds (if you’re not using cupcake liners and don’t have a non-stick pan, grease each mould)
8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till the tops are golden-brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
9. This is optional, but slather on some of your favourite frosting and sprinkles.
P.S. The batter can also include walnuts!
P.P.S I made these muffins with regular flour a while back and swirled a bit of Nutella on the top of each one. Saw that here. Incredible idea!! Here’s a picture of them, but I took it on my phone, so don’t judge 😛