Saturday, March 24, 2012

Banana Chocolate & Macadamia Muffins & Cookbook Sundays # 16

Banana, Chocolate & Macadamia Muffins

I've got to begin by saying that a pet peeve of mine is blog posts which begin with an apology for not having posted for a while, and yet here I find myself with the need to do just that!!  Life seems to be totally getting in the way of blogging at the moment - actually going out and working, whilst absolutely necessary right now, definitely cuts into what used to be my blogging time.

Now admittedly, I'm not exactly working 60 hours a week, but when you suddenly go from about 7 hours work a week to 30+, then all of a sudden all your usual routines go right out the window.  And, whilst I've always liked to think of myself as a free-spirited kind of girl, capable of acting on impulse, the reality is that like most people the certainty of a regular routine is what helps to keep me grounded.  Like a tree that needs a good, healthy root system in order to flourish and move with the winds that blow, I need that "groundedness" (quite possibly not a real word) in order to think and act with both creativity and wisdom.  When I'm out of routine I feel more like a ship at sea without a reliable navigation system - nothing seems to get done as it should or on time, and my mind feels too scrambled to come up with a clear, creative thought.

So, such is my life at the moment - busy (no excuse, I know, after all - who isn't?), and just a bit out of whack!  So if you've noticed that I haven't posted a recipe in the last two weeks, or you've taken the time lately to come visit and left me a lovely comment, you're quite possibly feeling a little miffed that I haven't yet returned the visit - please bear with me - I'm in catch up mode and I will get to you.

In the meantime, I hope I can earn your forgiveness with these Banana, Chocolate & Macadmia Muffins.  I adapted these from a recipe for Banana Espresso Muffins in Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Ingredients - one of my favourite books from the fabulous Heidi Swanson.

Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Ingredients

I'm sharing this post this week with Cookbook Sundays (see below for more details), and also at Sweet New Zealand (see more details here) which is hosted this month by the lovely Emma at my darling lemon thyme.  I only wish that you were here to share a coffee and one of these muffins with me - the banana makes these deliciously flavourful and incredibly moist, while the chunks of macadamia nut chocolate brings plenty of texture.  I've never been much of a muffin-baker, but these were a definite hit, and will be on my regular repeat list.

Cookbook Sundays Badge            Sweet New Zealand Badge A

Banana, Chocolate & Macadamia Muffins Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Heidi Swanson from
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

Note:  I made a couple of small adaptations to this recipe - I omitted espresso powder (which I didn't have), but subbed in dark muscovado sugar for natural cane sugar to get that deeper, richer "caramel" flavour to make up for it.  I also subbed in macadamia nut chocolate instead of walnuts.

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
125g macadamia nut chocolate, roughly chopped
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup dark muscovado sugar
2x large free-range eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup natural yoghurt
3 large overripe bananas, mashed

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F).

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.

In a separate, large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla, yoghurt and mashed bananas and stir to combine.

Add the dry ingredients and chocolate, and stir briefly and gently, until just barely combined.  Take care not to over mix.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, and bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes - until golden on top and cooked through.

Remove from the oven, and cool the muffins in the tin for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cookbook Sundays Badge 

If you're anything like me you have dozens of cookbooks gathering dust on your bookshelves, some of which have never even been cooked from.  Sure I spent hours browsing through them when I first bought them, marking all the recipes I was going to make with little post-it notes, and yet still those books languish in the bookcase and never make it to the kitchen.  There are others from which I have made but one recipe which was such a resounding success that I've made it over and over again, and yet somehow I've never made anything else from that book.  Sound a bit familiar?!

Take comfort - you are not alone, and now Cookbook Sundays is your opportunity to change that.  Every Sunday I'm going to share with you a recipe that I haven't made before from one of my ever expanding collection of cookbooks.  And, because I know that if you have read this far then you are guilty of this too, I'm inviting you to join in with me.  Each week my Cookbook Sundays post will have a linky for you to share something you've cooked from one of your cookbooks.

The rules for joining in are simple:
  1. Your post must state the author and the title of the book your recipe has come from.
  2. Your post must mention Cookbook Sundays and link back to this post.  Including the Cookbook Sundays badge is optional, but always appreciated.
  3. You may submit as many entries as you like, and you may use the same cookbook as many times as you like.  Old posts are also welcome.
  4. Lastly,  remember that what goes around, comes around - one of the reasons you are participating in this is because you want people to read your posts, so do the right thing and go and visit a few of the other participants - you can even "Like" your favourites. 
Now, go and dust off those cookbooks and get cooking!  Use the linky tool at the end of this post to submit your entry/entries - simply scroll down to where it says "You are next ... Click here to enter", and then follow the instructions.  The linky will be open for one week.

Lastly, if you would like to use the Cookbook Sundays badge in your post, simply copy the code in the box beside the badge below and paste it into your post.  Feel free to also use it in your sidebar if you wish.

CookbookSundays

23 comments:

  1. Double entry, well done!

    Ciao
    Alessandra

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  2. They look great, but bananas?!

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    Replies
    1. That made me laugh, Clare - you obviously know me so well. Actually, even though I can't stand cooked bananas - a banana fritter or anything like that would truly make me barf - I love things like banana cake, banana bread and yes, even banana muffins.
      xo

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  3. Que bien y doraditos que se ven.
    Un saludito

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Miju - yes, they really were nice and golden brown :-)

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  4. I know what you mean a about busy! Love Heidi's cookbook, haven't yet tried these muffins but they sound wonderful.

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    1. I've made a number of dishes out of this book now - it's definitely become one of my favourites. The muffins are wonderful - hope you try them - the original version with espresso and walnuts would be pretty good too.
      xo

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  5. I know exactly what you mean, Sue. I get all out of sorts when I'm busy too. Like you, I need down time in order to gather my thoughts.

    These muffins look beautiful. I really love the unique combination of banana chocolate and macadamia. Lovely.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, that being thrown out of routine just really messes with my head!!

      The banana, chocolate & macadamia was a great combo - I'm thinking I would like to try that combo in ice cream next.

      xo

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  6. Your muffins look yummy, love that you sub with macadamia choc, sounds delicious.
    I've linked up a jam post. Thank you for hosting, have a lovely Sunday!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joyce - the macadamia chocolate was a great sub - one of those fortuitous accidents that I just happened to have some on hand and was all out of walnuts.

      Thanks for linking up your jam - Mango Orange sounds heavenly - if I can get a few mangoes at a halfway decent price I am going to try that with some of the Seville oranges I have lurking in my freezer.

      xo

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  7. That's funny, Sue. I cannot stand to eat bananas unless we're talking Bananas Foster or a really tricked out banana bread. These muffins I could do!

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    Replies
    1. I'm very picky about bananas - I like them to still have a tinge of green on the skin, and if there is so much as a speck of brown on the skin I won't touch it. As for cooked, sorry to say Bananas Foster would be my idea of "dessert hell" - but, tricked out banana bread, now you're talking my language xo

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  8. I am bookmarking this recipe for the next time I have bananas. They look great!
    I know what you mean by being busy. I did 4 posts for this week today! Doing the posts was the best part of the week!

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  9. Ciao Sue,

    I tried to enter this one http://alessandrazecchini.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/pine-nut-tofu-sauce-and-japanese-recipe.html but it didn't work... I tried again and it said that it had already been entered, not sure what happened there, but let me know if it shows up :-).

    Ciao
    Alessandra

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  10. I'm like that with routine as well, Sue. Our life is rarely routine, but I always feel more grounded when it is :) As for those muffins, what a great combination of ingredients! I adore macadamia nuts and they would be perfect with chocolate and banana. This week I have shared another recipe inspired by the late Linda McCartney's book Linda's Kitchen. I've changed the recipe quite a lot, but she definitely inspired me! Thank you for hosting, and have a lovely week.

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  11. Nice Muffins Sue. What have you been doing, is it the yoga school that is keeping you busy or are you doing other stuff too? I know what you mean about time though, my work has gone crazy this year and I am spending a lot of time in Sydney but trying to juggle round the school that has got busy too.

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  12. Last comment was by Alli@peasepudding :0)

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  13. It seems everyone is crazy busy this year! Thanks again for your Sweet NZ entries! xx

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  14. Hi Sue,
    I've just linked up! Thank you for hosting! Have a lovely weekend!

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