Thursday, February 7, 2013

Banana Blueberry muffin trial attempt!

Okay here I had a DS - 18 months old-who just loves bananas, two beyond recognizable over-ripened bananas with almost a black skin exterior dangling on their hooks and him wailing for them. My immediate reaction was to toss them out in the trashcan as I always used to do but somehow in the past one week saw too many people mushing up bananas into bread and muffins that i thought, hmmm, time for me to start baking as well! So i search online for some recipes as I have never baked myself (of course, i tried my hand at an easy brownie some 2 years ago and my DH made me promise that I will quit baking!) and after an extensive search found this one link from that will just use 2 bananas, exactly two as that is all I have.
        I wanted to make chocolate cupcake for Valentine's day and so had armed myself with a big mixing bowl, two big packages of baking and icing essentials boxes that I had got from a discount store (mind you, I was not planning to shell out hard earned $$$ at state of the art equipment to bake, when I wasn't sure I would love it and continue doing it.) and left it safely in the garage to bring it when and if I baked. I had also got the usual baking powder, baking soda, all purpose flour from a grocery store so that I can bake when I need to. I ended by though, having to go back to the grocery store as I had ended up buying not the usual baking soda but something you keep in the fridge and throw away and I was not planning to puncture holes in this one to use the soda.So went and got myself the baking soda, and some buttermilk in case the recipes called for something of that sort.
        The recipe made 12 muffins and I thought I could live with that. I could eat it, if it came out good, and would trash it if it was horrible. So went ahead and took one 7-cup round pyrex and started mashing up my bananas and when trying to add sugar found that I had only a 1/4" less of sugar than the desired amount. The recipe called for brown sugar and since I had only white sugar substituted that but had only about 3/4th cup and so used that as I reasoned with myself that white sugar was more sugary and hence a 3/4 cup is enough. Then on to butter and I find myself staring at one 1/4 stick of butter and around 2T of butter. I told myself that I dint want to experiment with half butter when I already had done enough with the sugar and decided to take another trip to the grocery store. Did so and came back with confectioners sugar, regular sugar, 2 butter blocks, and another big bag of flour.
        So mashed up the 2 bananas, 2 eggs, 3/4th cup of sugar and got a nice gooey stuff that I was scared to lick. I was supposed to add melted butter. I had left one stick of butter out as I went to grocery store to get it at room temperature but ended up adding that another stick onto the microwave for 30secs to melt. Adding that to the gooey mixture got me into some not-so-good-looking mess(I was sure of that!)as the butter did not blend well and looked like curdled milk that stands out on top of the milk. I just closed my eyes at this point and added some vanilla and very little fresh blueberries - around 10 of them as I dint want to end up wasting blueberries in case the muffin turned out bad. I then found out that the recipe called for a bigger bowl to mix all dry ingredients and realized I had taken the big 7-cup round pyrex for the bananas when according to the recipe it called only for a medium bowl to mix them. Hating myself, I took another 7-cup round pyrex(We need to thank God, don't we for he had foreseen this day and made me get two 7-cup rounds?) bowl and whisked the baking powder, flour and salt (I had no cinnamon powder and so just left it.) Now added the banana mixture onto the baking powder mixture and realized that the contents filled up and I wasn't able to whisk. At this time, I was ready to dump the whole mixture out so just left it around and went ahead and fed my DS with his dinner and played with him and made dinner for all of us and then I had this lightbulb moment when I remembered that not just the icing and baking essentials but I had also bought a big bowl for mixing and there out in a flash I was to the garage with the most prized possession of the day- a VERY large bowl indeed. I transferred all the contents onto this bowl (after I washed it with hot soapy water and towel dried it as it was new.) and whisked them away. Now they all seemed to blend well and I got courageous enough to take a bit and lick it! Yum. Yum it was and I was so happy, and thrilled. Thanked God, that I did not pour the mixture down the drain and so took the muffin tray and lined them up with cupcake liners and added a scoop onto each of the liners using a ice cream scoop. Of course, I wasted one liner and scoop when the scoop managed to fall down a little on the liner and more on the tray! Trashed them both!
        So off went the tray to the preheated oven and I turned on the light and set the timer for 25 minutes. At the 25th minute mark, I put a wooden skewer and found that it came out clean, but the top wasn't browned and I kept it another 5 minutes to brown the top. Also, I dumped the remainder of the mixture onto a small loaf pan because I did not want to waste the oven's heat for another 25 minutes by doing more muffins as I had only that one six-muffin tray. I saw the muffins and the loaf split a bit, but that was okay I re-assured. And after 5 more minutes of browning after the 30 min mark took them out.

Verdict: First the pictures, then the verdict.
 As you can see that I did get the brown effect, though, along with it a taste as if it was a biscuit not a muffin. Although, I am not sure how muffins taste, as I have not tasted that many in my life. My foray into baking is also only because I started eating eggs which is around three years back but the muffin was sweet and good on the inside. Not much sweet perhaps because I ended up with 1/4 cup less sugar than the recipe, but all in all was pleased by the result. Nothing was sticking on the pan or the liner or causing trouble when we ate and neither were there any repercussions in the morning! So i can say it was a successful attempt.

However, on an ending note, I would like to add this: Do not, let me underline to emphasize. Do not take up this task of using up old bananas unless you have ever hungry kids, or you love to bake, or you have all the time in the world! It took me another half an hour to hand-wash(yes! the labels said do not dish wash the pans) the trays and the bowls as my dishwasher was already too full to accommodate another 3 bowls. In the end, it got me into thinking how nice it would have been if I had just tossed them in the trash before another thought had killed that thought as I stretched myself and went to bed!
P.S. Me, DH, and DS all three had a banana muffin/bread breakfast this morning and I am happy I baked. Guess I will continue to bake, after all :)

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