A mom's journal of the sweet things in her life...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Modern Baker Challenge: Cocoa Banana Muffins

Earlier in the week, my mother-in-law dropped off a bunch of ripe bananas that she didn't want to leave rotting in her kitchen while they were on holidays. How is that for serendipity? I was actually awaiting the opportunity to bake the Cocoa Banana Muffins for The Modern Baker Challenge, and I suddenly had the the means to do so! I love when that stuff happens! So this morning, as soon as my kids were fed and everyone was happily busy, I dove in.

I was really glad that the recipe didn't just say "3 medium bananas". I hate that! How do you know if your idea of a medium sized banana is the same as the author's? Instead it says "3 medium bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork to make 1 1/2 cups".  Thank you!  Because in the end, I used 4 1/2 bananas.  Apparently mine were not medium at all - they were small.  Good to know. 
I read on someone else's blog that they wished they'd pulled theirs out at 27 minutes instead of the allotted 30. (Sorry, can't remember where I read it!) Anyway, I set my timer to 27 minutes and checked them. They were perfect.  I'm so glad I read that - whoever you are - thank you! You saved my muffins from becoming dry.

These muffins were so delicious. They had a tender crumb, they were moist, and they had just the right balance of banana and chocolate flavor. The recipe makes 16 muffins, there are only 3 left on my counter. What does that say?! 
I'm so glad I joined in on the fun with The Modern Baker Challenge.  I'm not just the proud owner of the great new book "The Modern Baker" by Nick Malgieri but I also have some incentive to actually use it without the pressure or stress of deadlines. I own a lot of great books, my husband would say too many. When I told my friend I'd added to the collection she asked me, "Where are you going to put it? I've seen your cupboard. It's full." She's right. The answer to that question is that it has never been put away. Ever. It sits out on my island so that I don't forget about it. It calls out my name, enticing me with it's beautiful pictures and really easy to follow directions. I like a challenge, but I'm also a fan of simple. Simplicity is my friend these days. Why do something in 5 steps if you can do it in 3? Or less?
As I mentioned before, we are not publishing the recipes on our blogs. As much as I support that out of respect for the author, I'm totally bummed about it today. I really want to share this recipe! So instead, I took a lot of pictures, I couldn't help myself.

I have a lot more recipes to tackle in the 'Quick Breads' section of this book, but I am now more eager than ever. I have to admit that I am a little nervous about the Bread section. I find anything with yeast daunting. So much room for failure. However, if that section is anything like the Quick Breads, I may just be alright. This book is definitely user-friendly. 


  1. Mmmm wow these look gorgeous! A perfect way to use up ripe bananas!

  2. Great job. Your muffins look perfect!

    I'm excited to get to the breads. The way NM explains things, I'll bet they will be easy to follow.

  3. what a perfect muffin.....two great flavours!!

  4. These look great.. besides being behind on Daring bakers..i am behind on our modern baking! I have some kind of black sesame bread this month! :) can't wait to see what you post! :)

  5. Hi! Stopping by via Modern Baker Challenge. I am a new member and have only baked one recipe so far. These look delicious. I am looking forward to the bread section. :)


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