"Muffins are just an excuse to eat cake for breakfast " - I don't know who said this.. really :) I just read it once somewhere :)
So we are back to baking.... After all the heavy duty stuff out of the way some sort of "normalcy" is settling in and I may not really want to or have to say anything today but these muffins needed to get out.....So its only about the muffins today....
Ever since my baby was born my food inspirations mainly come from what I like to feed him. So these delicious looking and tasting (if I can say that myself.. :)) muffins have many hidden ingredients which otherwise won't enter his system. These are mainly made of bananas, ragi flour (millet flour ; nachni flour), wholewheat flour (regular wheat flour), clarified ghee (instead of salted butter), crushed hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Yeah... Ragi muffins!...and they taste great too.. my son happily gobbles up one whole one without any questions.. that's where the chocolate chips help :). His doc still tells me that he needs to weigh a bit more compared to his ever growing height and I'm thinking.. What?? He looks just fine to me! He rarely falls sick, has a good appetite, has amazing energy levels and is such a happy child. I don't want to make him fat unnecessarily!!.. He'll curse me when he enters his teens or much before that nowadays... So anyways.. I am always into mixing various multi grain flours into his chapatis, parathas, quiches.. wherever I can.. and nowadays reluctantly with an extra tiny dollop of ghee. So, I decided to try making these with mixed flours and ghee and it really works! I usually try a small batch first to check the taste and how it is all going to bind together and then go ahead with it. Try and use overripe bananas with the skin turning slightly black. These are really mushy and sweet so you don't have to add a lot of sugar. As for the hazelnuts part, you can easily substitute them with walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pecans.. whatever you may like. I really find it difficult to stick to a particular recipe as I tend to go with the flow and change it every time with whatever is available with me at that point....
Simplistically put, the thing about muffins and cupcakes is that while making muffins, pour the batter till the paper cup is almost full so that they get a good height called the "muffin top" and rise above the paper cups. That's the cute part.. each muffin will rise a bit differently than the other. And since cupcakes are mostly iced/frosted later, pour the batter only till the paper cups are 3/4th full so that they rise just to the level of the cup and the right height can be achieved with the frosting later. And as they say if you throw a cupcake against the wall it will make a small "poof" sound whereas a muffin will make a big "thud".. Now we know...
As a mommy, I find these particularly helpful for a quick breakfast or a snack or especially helpful while travelling. You know what's in them..so you are more than happy to see them being gobbled up. This particular recipe is eggless.. so my vegan friends can be happy..... The little guy anyways has his daily share of scrambled eggs, omelettes and fritattas....so I didn't feel the need to add the eggs here again....
If you are in Mumbai and wondering where I picked up these paper cups from.. They are from Arife which now has opened up at various places across the city. It was my greatest joy when they opened up in my neighbourhood. They keep getting new stock on and off, so pick up if you really like something, they may not have the exact same ones the next time...
Here goes the recipe......
Ingredients (Makes about 4 regular sized muffins):
1 cup ragi flour
1/2 cup wholewheat flour
3 tsp all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 mashed bananas
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
4 tsp sugar
1/4th cup milk
1/4 th chocolate chips
1/4th cup crushed hazelnuts
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.
2. In a mixing bowl mash the bananas.
3. Add sugar, cinnamon, ghee and half of chocolate chips to this mixture.
4. Take a sieve and sift in all the flours and baking powder and baking soda in this mixture.
5. Add the milk and mix the batter well with a hand whisk.
6. Line the cupcake/muffin pan with muffin paper cups.
7. Pour in the batter till nearly full.
8. Top them up with the remaining chocolate chips and crushed hazelnuts.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven till they are done and rest on a wire rack.