As a newbie in the kitchen, I’m learning that there is no easier food ingredient to find a use for than a ripened banana. I wonder if everyone has their favorite food ingredient? All I can say is that the sight of a browning banana makes my mouth water for banana bread, muffins, caramelized pancake topping! It’s a very versatile fruit.
I can’t stand the texture of bananas, but I love, love, love the scent. Something about the mush of it makes me gag, but I still force myself to eat half portions most times. It’s usually the maximum amount I can stomach.
Two very ripe bananas last week presented me with a chance to bake once again. I feel like it’s been awhile for some reason, even though I spent 3-4 hours in the kitchen the day before Easter baking a homemade cheesecake and a corn soufflé. Maybe because there was a purpose behind those goodies, to provide for the holiday feast. This time, though, with the bananas, it was all for fun.
As bananas ripen, their starch converts to sugar at an exponential rate. In lab tests, we found that heavily speckled bananas had nearly three times the amount of fructose (the sweetest of the sugars in fruit) than less spotty bananas.
~ Cook’s Illustrated
Is this common knowledge? Not to me! So this is why banana bread recipes always call for very ripe bananas. Otherwise, your bread could come out rather bland. Wow, I have a lot to learn. But let’s bake up some chocolatey stuff first…we’ll learn the food science stuff later.
Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 large bananas, mashed
¾ cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup milk chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, combine bananas, sugar, egg, melted butter, cinnamon, and vanilla.
- Add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Add chocolate chips.
- Scoop into muffin pans and bake for 13-15 minutes (for larger muffins, bake for 25-30)
*I found this base recipe on a handful of websites and blogs, actually, so there is no source being cited here. None of those, however, included chocolate chips in the recipe. The addition of the chips doesn’t make me a culinary genius, I know this, but only two things can make almost anything taste better: Bacon or Chocolate Chips. Bacon didn’t seem appropriate with bananas, though. CHOCOLATE WINS.
For a delicious banana bread recipe, try this one: Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Banana Bread. (It involves not only loads of chocolate, but also powdered sugar. Yum!)