The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Our Cooking Project #7: Choco-Banana Muffins (feat. Zak!)

My son is not yet 2, but not long ago I entertained the idea of doing a cooking project with him, for no reason other than that it would be fun. Of course, I had misgivings about this idea, wondering if it would be a recipe for disaster instead of a fun-in-the-kitchen activity, and whether or not a 21 month-old toddler is a little too young to be helping out in the kitchen. With that in mind, I set up a few things to keep any disaster at bay, such as selecting a simple recipe, pre-measuring out all the ingredients, and enlisting my husband's assistance with the activity. In addition, for practical (and safety) purposes, because our Tokyo kitchen is too small for more than one person to be in it, the main part of the 'cooking' was done in the dining/lounge area. Hubby also sensibly kept the boy in nothing but his nappy, and we utilised both the dining table and high chair.

Muffins are really easy to execute and quite fool-proof, and we enjoyed making Choco-Banana Muffins (adapted from a previous banana muffin recipe). My boy has allergies to soy, nuts (including coconut) and sesame, so I kept the ingredient list fairly simple but it was delicious anyway. (Take note that this is a healthy muffin recipe intended to be healthy enough for toddlers, so it's not as sweet and fatty as muffins usually are.) When we first started our cooking projects idea, we'd initially intended it to be a couple thing; however, we are more than happy to include our son in future projects, because he makes the photos a little more pleasing to the eye!

Choco-Banana Muffin


2 cups (250g) flour (I used 50-50 wholemeal and plain)
3 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup (50g) sugar
1 cup bananas (about 2 large or 3 medium sized bananas), mashed
3/4 cup (150mL) milk
2 eggs
50g butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 180degC.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into a mixing bowl.
3. Add the sugar to the flour mix, and stir to combine.

Mixing the dry ingredients:

4. Mix the wet ingredients (mashed bananas, milk, eggs and butter) together.
5. Combine wet and dry mixtures until just blended (avoid over-mixing otherwise you'll have tough-textured muffins).

Combining the wet and dry ingredients:

6. Pour the mixture into a 12-muffin tray, filling each muffin cup only 2/3 full.
7. Place the muffin tray in preheated oven, and bake for 15-20mins or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into a muffin.

Best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, and okay for freezing too.

Zak demonstrating one of the many ways to enjoy the muffin:

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