[Recipe 2] ABC MUFFINS
You’ll need four very ripe, large bananas for these two recipes so you may need to attach a ‘don’t eat me’ sticky note on them while they ripen. Using the same batter as the base for two different batches of baked treats is excellent in so many ways. It’s a cure for lunchbox fatigue, conserves energy (both your own and your oven’s) and it saves time and money.
The first recipe is for a delicious Banana honey cake. Reserve some of the batter (see the ♦ orange diamonds for quantities) and you can bake a batch of ABC muffins at the same time. A’ is for apple, ‘B’ is for banana and ‘C’ is for chocolate, although the ‘C’ ingredient can be easily varied (see tips below recipe).
These two recipes are a little different to my usual 1=2 meals as they can be cooked together. If you can’t fit the cake and muffins side by side in your oven, place the muffins on the middle shelf, and the cake below. When you remove the muffins after 25 minutes, move the banana cake up a shelf and continue baking.
If you think your oven is not a good sharer though, you can bake the cake first while you prepare the muffins.
[Recipe 1] Banana honey cake
250 grams (8 oz/2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups (450g) caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup (45g) honey
4 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1¾ cups (260g) self-raising (self-rising) flour, sifted
1¾ cups (260g) wholemeal plain (wholewheat all-purpose) flour, sifted, bran returned to bowl
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
¾ cup (180ml) buttermilk
Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF).
Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well before adding the next. Add vanilla, cinnamon and honey and beat well.
Fold in banana until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together flours and bicarbonate of soda. Fold this into the cake batter, a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk.
♦ Reserve half the honey banana cake batter, about 4 cups (approx. 950g), for the ABC muffins.
Spoon remaining mixture into a lined 20cm (8-inch) square cake tin.
Bake for 40–45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. The ABC muffins (see below) can be cooked at the same time.
Cut cake into thick slices and serve.
I like to mash my bananas with a stick blender so they’re beautifully smooth. This works well with the texture of the cake, which is as soft as a pillow thanks to the use of buttermilk.
The cake and muffins will keep for 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Both can also be frozen, with baking paper between the layers, for up to 3 months. Cut up the cake before freezing.
[Recipe 2] ABC muffins
1 green apple, peeled and grated
2 heaped tablespoons oat bran
½ cup (85g) dark chocolate bits (or any of the other options suggested below this recipe)
♦ 4 cups (approx. 950g) reserved banana honey cake batter
Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF).
Put apple, oat bran and chocolate bits into a large bowl.
♦ Fold in reserved banana honey cake batter.
Divide mixture among 12 lined (or greased) muffin pans.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of a muffin.
Muffins can be cooked at the same time as the banana honey cake (see above) – simply remove the muffins from the oven after 25 minutes (as quickly as possible so the oven doesn’t lose too much heat); and continue cooking the banana cake for a further 15–20 minutes. See extra cooking instructions in my post introduction.
You can play around with the ABC muffin recipe. ‘A’ is for apple, ‘B’ is for banana and ‘C’ is for chocolate, but there are many other ‘C’ ingredients that can be used for variety. Swap the chocolate for:
½ cup (65g) dessicated coconut OR
1 medium grated carrot plus 1 extra tablespoon oat bran OR
½ cup (100g) currants OR
½ cup (100g) chopped cashews