Baked Sunday Mornings: Waking with banana, espresso and chocolate

A few good muffins…it really doesn’t hurt to have a handful of go-to recipes for these underrated (and too infrequently made) breakfast and coffee-time treats. Why don’t I make more muffins? After all, they are easy (even kids can stir them up) and come together quickly. In a matter of moments you can have a batch in the oven — and out — in a relatively short baking time.

The Baked Sunday Mornings recipe roster is getting me reacquainted with my fondness for and experience with home-baked muffins, with last month’s Orange Almond Blueberry Muffins, and this month’s Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins (recipe:, both from Matt Lewis’ and Renato Poliafito’s “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” (2008). 

Not only do I love any excuse to make muffins, I also I love having a reason to break out the espresso powder and infuse something with it (as well as add a caffeine kick to my baked goods). The combination here of banana, espresso and chocolate seemed unusual and intriguing to me, so I was anxious to try this recipe.

I did tinker with the recipe a bit, mainly adding a few things. For some reason, toasted pecans seemed to speak to me as something that would lend a bit of additional rich flavor and a crunch to the texture. I ended up using about 1/2 cup (folded in at the end).

I also added a couple of pinches of cinnamon to the dry ingredients (that included the espresso). I always seem to put cinnamon in my coffee, and I thought it would also team up nicely here with he other flavors.

To the wet ingredients, I took it upon myself (and actually couldn’t help myself) to add a splash of vanilla to the four mashed bananas, melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, egg and milk.

This muffin recipe also employed the “well method” of mixing, where the dry ingredients are distributed so there is a deep bowl within the bowl in the center, and into this, the wet ingredients are poured. Everything is stirred gently until just mixed.

At this point, I folded in chocolate chips (I used mini chips here…and I’ll get to that reason shortly) and the toasted pecans.

One last bit of straying from the recipe was my decision to make these in mini muffin size (thus my downsizing of the chocolate chips), for the sheer reason that I wanted more muffin mileage — I had a work thing I wanted t bring these muffins to, so I opted to get more of them,  in bite-sized form. This recipe filled about 34 mini muffin cavities, and I probably could have gotten 36 had I filled them a little less.

It took about 15 minutes for these to bake completely (I have a slow oven). They were a beautiful dark golden-brown, and after I let them cool a bit, they released easily from the pans.

I’ve never been a huge fan of banana and chocolate together (like chocolate chips in banana bread or fudge frosting on banana cake), but I think the espresso powder flavor element helps tie everything together here. These little gems were moist and flavorful (and as I noticed as I put part of them away to store for later, smelled outstanding), and I do think the crunch of the pecans (or walnuts or your favorite nut) was a good decision. Despite the presence of such strong flavors as banana, espresso and chocolate, no one flavor dominated, so they almost teamed to create a new flavor of some kind.

Blogger’s Note: You’ll find the recipe for Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins at Baked Sunday Mornings:


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