A Squared: Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

Food bloggers must have a lot of overripe bananas in their kitchens these days. Right around the time that I made these muffins, 2 or 3 of the food bloggers that I follow were posting their own versions of a chocolate banana muffin recipe. Hope you haven't seen enough of them yet because these deep dark chocolatey version is the perfect was to use up that pile of bananas that are currently browning on your kitchen counter.


One of the best things about this recipe-- besides the fact that these muffins are moist and full of chocolate flavor-- is that it utilizes mostly pantry staple ingredients. So as long as you overestimated how many bananas you needed at the store last weekend, you likely already have everything you need for these muffins in your kitchen. The real secret ingredients here are the Special Dark Cocoa Powder and the instant espresso powder. The cocoa powder has a deeper richer flavor than traditional cocoa powder. And the espresso doesn't make the muffins taste like coffee, but just enhances the chocolate flavor. It's a great secret ingredient for any brownie or chocolate cake recipe!


The bananas add much needed moisture and also a hint of banana flavor to these muffins, so you really do need to appreciate that chocolate banana flavor combination to like them. Not a fan? Try this Mocha Zucchini Cake-- it's a lightened up chocolate cake recipe using zucchini, which has no effect on the flavor, but keeps the cake super soft and moist. Or are you more of a banana muffin purist? This is my favorite banana bread recipe (c/o Flour Bakery in Boston).

Ingredients:

  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • ⅓ cup oil *Canola, vegetable, or melted coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dark cocoa powder *I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin or line with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, mash bananas until smooth with only a few small chunks. Stir in oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until fully combined.

In a separate medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add to banana mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips (and optional walnuts).

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan-- about 1/4 cup of batter per muffin.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes about 16 muffins.


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