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Double Chocolate Banana Muffins with Peanut Butter



... with chocolate chips and chunks of walnut mixed in!

Yes, sometimes you really can have everything. :D

Ever since I had a 'banana & chocolate custard wheelcake' at a very lovely little Taiwanese restaurant near campus, I've been dying to try baking with the combination of banana and chocolate. Also, I once saw a recipe for peanut butter chocolate brownies, so came the idea of adding peanut butter to the mix. Chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas. Does that not already sound heavenly?

The problem, if one can even call it that, was to decide how exactly to execute the combination. Would I just add cocoa powder to my trusty banana bread recipe? Make up a peanut butter frosting? Or perhaps swirl the frosting through the banana bread batter before baking? Should it even be a banana bread loaf? What about muffins or a light cupcake?

In the end, I settled on the idea of making banana muffins, topped with peanut butter. The aforementioned banana bread recipe makes a gorgeous loaf, but the texture of it when baked as muffins was less cake-like than I prefer. So off recipe-hunting I went! This recipe seemed to fit the bill quite nicely, and I added chocolate chips and walnuts as per my usual when I make banana bread. I tried both baking the muffins with a dollop of peanut butter on the top (couldn't be arsed to whip up a 'proper' frosting) and spreading the baked muffins with peanut butter after baking, and definitely prefer the latter method more. More peanut butter that way ;) The smell of peanut butter baking was soooooooo good though.

Verdict: Really, really yummy, great texture with the whole wheat flour, although surprisingly less chocolate-y than I expected, considering that there's both cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Perhaps it needs more cocoa powder. The taste of the banana wasn't very strong either, but that could be because my bananas weren't super-super-gross-looking ripe. All in all, I'd definitely bake them again (thought maybe with increased cocoa powder), and my friends Y and V loved them.


Double Chocolate Banana Muffins with Peanut Butter (makes 12 muffins)
adapted from For the Love of Cooking

Ingredients:
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (if you don't like the texture of whole wheat, just use 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour in total)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (may increase to 1/2 cup next time I make this)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt

- 2 large or 3 medium ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 egg

Instructions:

1) Pre-heat oven to 175C (350F). Grease a 12-muffin tray or line with muffin paper cups.

2) In one bowl, combine flour/s, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

3) In another bowl, mash bananas and mix with oil, egg, and sugars. I just put everything in my food processor until the mixture became creamy and light.

4) Add wet mixture to dry mixture all at once, and stir carefully until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in chopped nuts and chocolate chips.

5) Spoon batter into muffin tray, and bake 18-20 minutes until a cake tester or skewer comes out clean. You might have to test a couple of times, as hitting a chocolate chip with your tester may cause it to come out wet, coated in chocolate.

6) Leave to cool in tray for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Spread with peanut butter, and devour!

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