Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chocolate Banana Swirl Muffins…

by Darla

…with Streusel, my friends. Chocolate. Chip. Streusel.

Before we get into any pictures or recipes, let me make one thing clear: I don’t like bananas. I don’t like them in any way, shape, or form. Not fresh, not dried, not as artificially flavored candy. I do not like bananas. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Okay. I’m really glad I got that off my chest, because I have a much bigger confession…

I actually kind of like these muffins. *Gasp*

Alright, alright. I admit that the fact that these contain a large dose of chocolate and are topped with a sweet and spicy streusel (that has even more chocolate in it) probably plays a large part in my warm and fuzzies towards them. But even the banana part of these muffins is tasty. I do have to wonder if I would like them without all that chocolate, though…but that’s another post!

My dislike of bananas is actually what led me to attempt these. We had several bananas that were past their prime (a common occurrence in this heat). I knew the most logical thing to do was bake something with them, but I wanted something that I would enjoy too. Hence, the chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better.

I think they turned out pretty darn yummy, if I do say so myself (which I do), so, of course, I brought them here to Bakingdom. For you, my dears. Because I love ya.

The first thing to make for these is the streusel topping. It’s good to get it done now, so you don’t have to run around mixing it up with your muffin batter sit in the pan waiting. The cast of characters in the streusel are brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, cold unsalted butter, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse sand, with pieces no bigger than a pea. If the mixture gets too soft, stop mixing it and chill it for 10 minutes in the freezer before continuing. Once the desired consistency is reached, stir in the chocolate chips. Cover and chill until ready to use.

For the muffins, the dry ingredients are all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, and white sugar.

The wet ingredients for the muffins are canola oil, vanilla, an egg, and boiling water.

And, of course, you’ll need ripe bananas. A ripe banana will have several black spots covering the peel and be relatively soft to the touch. If the peel feels firm, the bananas aren’t ripe enough for baking yet.

Let’s get started on these. There are several steps to making these muffins, but they are all quick and easy, so it takes no time at all to get them mixed up and into the oven!

In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the cocoa powder, stirring well (it should resemble thick melted chocolate). If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of water, but don’t let it get too thin. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside (the spices will be added later).

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork, or process them in a food processor until pureed; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the oil and sugars and mix well. Beat in the egg until incorporated and stir in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add one-third of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Scrape the bowl, then add half of the mashed bananas and mix well. Add another third of the flour, mixing until just combined. Add the remaining banana mixture and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl again, then add the remaining flour. Beat the mixture until thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter into two parts, with about a quarter cup more in one bowl; add the spices to that bowl and mix well, then set aside. Stir the chocolate into the remaining batter until combined. Place one tablespoon of the chocolate batter in each paper liner, then place one tablespoon of the plain batter on top of the chocolate batter.

Using a toothpick, gently swirl the two batters together.

Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the muffins and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (be sure not to insert the pick in any melted streusel, as it looks like raw batter.

Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

These turned out so moist and soft and sweet! By using some of the actual banana batter for the chocolate swirl, they still pack a lot of banana flavor, but the darkness of the chocolate cuts into the sweetness just enough to make these perfect!

Please don’t get me started on that streusel. Since my first bite of these muffins I have been brainstorming ideas that I can use this topping on, ASAP. It was the perfect combination of sugar and spice, but it’s the surprise of warm melted chocolate that makes these muffins so special.

Taking only about 20 minutes to mix up and 15 to bake, these are certainly doable first thing in the morning for breakfast, but if you don’t have the time or the inclination to get up early, they keep very well, covered, for four or five days. And they freeze beautifully! Enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Swirl Muffins with Chocolate Chip Streusel
Makes 12 to 14 Muffins

Ingredients

FOR THE STREUSEL
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

FOR THE MUFFINS
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 or 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water

To make the streusel: Combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse sand, with pieces no bigger than a pea. If the mixture seems too soft, stop mixing it and chill it for 10 minutes in the freezer before continuing. Once the desired consistency is reached, stir in the chocolate chips. Cover and chill until ready to use.

To make the muffins: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside (the spices will be added later).

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork, or process them in a food processor until pureed; set aside.

In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the cocoa powder, stirring well (it should resemble thick melted chocolate). If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of water, but don’t let it get too thin. Set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the oil and sugars and mix well. Beat in the egg until incorporated and stir in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Scrape the bowl, then add half of the mashed bananas and mix well. Add another third of the flour, mixing until just combined. Add the remaining banana mixture and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl again, then add the remaining flour. Beat the mixture until thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter into 2 parts, with about 1/4 cup more in one bowl; add the spices to that bowl and mix well, then set aside. Stir the chocolate into the remaining batter until combined. Place 1 tablespoon of the chocolate batter in each paper liner, then place 1 tablespoon of the plain batter on top of the chocolate batter. Using a toothpick, gently swirl the 2 batters together. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the muffins and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (be sure not to insert the pick in any melted streusel, as it looks like raw batter.

Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Darla

 

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bttrflybabydoll September 9, 2010 at 8:24 am

I finally found something we completely disagree on. LOL I love, love, love bananas! I love bananas and chocolate, but even more I love bananas, chocolate, and peanut butter! Yum!

I'm sure I'll be trying these soon. They look amazing!

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2 Gail September 9, 2010 at 9:55 am

absolutely AMAZING!

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3 Anonymous October 1, 2010 at 10:20 pm

My coworkers loved these. I still don't like bananas. Even with chocolate.

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4 DanNZ November 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I made these last night… Best muffins I ever tasted! My housemates loved them too. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

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5 peg February 8, 2011 at 9:56 am

Took these to work yesterday and everyone loved them!

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6 Ash February 1, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I made these but doubled the amount of cocoa powder/water and added it to all of the batter and they were amazing!

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7 Paige February 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I can’t believe this recipe only has six comments, it’s completely fantastic!! I made these the other day, they were so good. I’ve been waiting to make them again but my brother keeps eating the bananas before I get the chance! But yeah they’re delicious. You’re brilliant. The end.

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