Learning to Cook · Miss Mary · Recipes

Learning to Cook, Old Dogs do Learn New Tricks – Recipe Review

2016 DCB muffins 1It was their fault I went down this path.  Old Bananas.   It’s the weekend and we have possible guests coming.  I don’t keep sweet breads in the house so I felt like I should at least have Banana Muffins available.  I’ve always made my muffins but thought I should try a variation on a theme giving Deb Perelman’s, of Smitten Kitchen,  Double Chocolate Banana Bread a try.  I like reading her blog for newer takes on American cuisine.

The uniqueness of this recipe is the brown sugar, chocolates, cinnamon, and butter.  So that’s a lot.  Truth be told, you can’t taste the cinnamon because the chocolate is so prominent.  Deb leaves the cinnamon as optional.

In researching chocolate powders, while writing this and after the baking of the muffins, I fell across the King Arthur site that explains the science behind Dutch Chocolate and regular Chocolate powder.  I did not have the Dutch processed powder in my pantry.   I used Scharffen Berger Sweetened Natural Cocoa Powder, which according to the article, I’ve canceled out the rising capacity of the soda using a Natural Chocolate Powder.  My bad.  Moral of the story, pick up the Dutch powder.  PS, I never knew.  Old dogs can learn new tricks.  This changes the way I look at baking recipes.

2016 DCB muffins 10Vanilla.  Not all vanillas are the same.  SERIOUSLY, they are not.  I’ve tried 5 different vanillas.  I even went into the Mexican grocery store looking for vanilla.  Years ago I purchased this vanilla, La Vencedora Mexican Vanilla, in Arizona.   I can’t find it here in Illinois so I order it from Texas.  This is by far the best vanilla because it really improves the taste of your baked goods.  You’re welcome!

2016 DCB muffins 5I usually use the stand mixer but decided to go old school with the manual method similar to Deb’s idea of one bowl.  Lesson learned, use the mixer next time.  The mixer mashes the bananas much better than I can with my old potato masher.

2016 DCB muffins 8Per the hubby, the banana taste is faint.  In the end, as muffins, they’re more like cupcakes.  They’re delicious, really moist, chocolatey, and more suited as a dessert than a breakfast bread.   I might sprinkle confectioner’s sugar on top.

2016 DCB muffins 3The recipe is written as I made it.  Ms. Perelman’s recipe is listed in the earlier link.

Printable version:  Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins/Cupcakes 

  • 3 medium-to-large very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder (see above why you should use Dutch process)
  • 1 cup semisweet chips

Preheat your oven to 350°. Prepare your muffin tins with Pam.

Sift together the soda, salt, cinnamon, flour, and cocoa powder.  Set aside.

2016 DCB muffins 4Using a potato masher, mash the cut up bananas in a large bowl.  Whisk in melted butter.   Using a wooden spoon, stir in the brown sugar breaking up the little lumps of the packed sugar.  Add the egg, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

2016 DCB muffins 6Add the sifted ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time till combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

2016 DCB Muffins xUsing a ladle, fill the prepared cupcake tins 2/3rds full.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 350° till a cake tester comes clean.   Run a knife around the edges and remove to a cooling rack.  You can store and freeze these in freezer bags.

Yield – 12 cupcakes

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