I’ve been in denial, but now I need to accept that I have a problem and address it. I like cake.
I make cake at home, I share it with friends. I bake birthday cakes for people. I think most of the cakes I make are better than those that I buy.
And yet, I buy far too many expensive, mediocre cakes and biscuits during the week at work.
THIS HAS GOT TO STOP.
You see, the problem is that I tell myself I don’t need cake in the week, that it’s just for dessert and occasional weekend treats. But this is not true. I eat some form of cake, biscuit or pastry every day, often twice a day. So what I should really do is make my own cakes, try and make them as healthy as I can, with whole grains and fruit in, and take them with me to work, so that I won’t buy the Paul Pain au Chocolat, the Eat Banana cake or the Pret Flapjack thing. (I might have to stick with the Leon Lemon and Ginger cake for a while, just until I figure out the recipe).
The first step then, was to bake some muffins, which freeze very happily, are very accommodating of modification, and fill that mid-morning gap perfectly.
Gordon Ramsay has a nice recipe for blueberry muffins in his ‘Healthy Appetite’ book, which uses wholemeal flour and mashed bananas, so that seemed like a good place to start.
” buckwheat-banana-walnut-coffee-candied ginger muffin”
Doesn’t that sound amazing? I knew I had to give it a go.
So I started with the Gordon Ramsay recipe and modified it. Unfortunately my modifications weren’t bold enough the first time. The coffee made the dough convincingly brown, but didn’t contribute much to the flavour. The ginger appeared when you got a nugget of candied ginger, but otherwise was quiet. So I tried again, and increased the quantities of flavouring, adding the ginger syrup, and more coffee. I ended up with a great flavourful muffin. The bitter flavours of the coffee and walnuts balance the sugar and bananas to make a not-to-sweet breakfast muffin. The walnuts and demerara give crunch and the bananas keep the whole thing moist. And I get to tell myself that its entirely healthful, so I can tuck in every day of the week.
Ginger coffee walnut banana muffins
Based on a single line from Shuna Fish Lydon: “ buckwheat-banana-walnut-coffee-candied ginger muffin”.
The recipe is adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe for blueberry muffins in ‘Healthy Appetite’.
This is a great breakfast muffin, because the bitter flavours of the coffee and walnuts balance the bananas and sugar to make sure it is not too sweet.
You can freeze bananas when they are ripe, even all brown, for baking with later. They will go very squashy, but that doesn’t matter if you’re going to mash them up anyway.
Flour develops gluten when it comes into contact with liquid – the protein that makes bread strong and elastic. If this develops in muffins, it makes them seem tough and chewy, so minimise the gluten by keeping the dry and wet ingredients separate until the last minute, and by then mixing gently together until they are just combined.