Banana & chocolate muffins

The irresistible combination of bananas, a darker sugar, vanilla and chocolate make these muffins simply yummy: a good brunch staple, something nice to bring to a party or if you need a warming & comforting treat if you had a flat tire yesterday and today the battery of the car is gone, too (oh, just us then).
I know it is a bit like the coriander/cilantro debate with bananas, people eat them either just yellow or brown. I am not overly fond of eating bananas if they get too ripe = brown but they have reached perfection to be used in smoothies and baking. A bonus is that they can easily be frozen (just peel, nestle them together in a zip-lock bag like sausages and freeze) and perpetually kept in this state of perfect ripeness just waiting for the day when you might think– anyone for chocolate-banana muffins?

Banana & chocolate muffins
makes 12, adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Express

3 really ripe bananas (fresh or frozen)
125ml (4 ¼ US fluid oz) vegetable oil
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
250g (2 cups) flour
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar or a little more of Demerara sugar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
150g (5.3 oz) dark chocolate (around 60-70%), chopped or chips

If you are using frozen bananas, break them in small pieces and leave out for a few hours or to speed things up mash already.
Prepare a muffin tin with 12 papers and preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) or 180°C fan oven. Chop the chocolate into chunks, some small, some a little bigger & some rubble. Mash the bananas with a fork. Measure the oil in a jug or small bowl and whisk in the eggs and vanilla essence.
Mix the dry ingredients in a larger bowl, stir in the liquid & banana-mash and add the chopped chocolate. Only fold the mixture a few times until just about mixed. Fill into the muffin cups (easy with an ice cream scoop) and bake for about 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.



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