Monday, October 6, 2008

Rainy Saturday...Perfect for Baking

This Saturday has been a typical early fall day, cool with sunshine and rain interspersed throughout. The cool weather always gets me in the mood for baking. I had two rotting bananas sitting on my counter and knew I needed to do something with them. I wanted to something a little different than the usual banana bread, and ended up finding a recipe for coconut banana muffins in a Gourmet magazine. My mom has always sworn by Gourmet recipes, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I convinced Malia to do a little baking at her place.

Well it turns out Malia didn't have any muffin tins at her place, so we improvised with a round cake pan. I was going to add toasted almonds to the batter, but ended up knocking the plate of almonds onto the floor (I can be so clumsy). I think the almond mishap was meant to be, because the cake turned out wonderfully, with a really moist crumb. This batter was definitely sweet enough to make into a cake, but not cloyingly so. This could easily be turned in a delicious layer cake with some coconut cream cheese frosting.

The picture doesn't do this cake justice. Also we forgot to take one before we'd cut into it and made a mess. But like Dionne Warwick (on Paula's Party) always says, "The ugliest ones taste the best."

Here's the recipe:

Banana Coconut Muffins
Gourmet 2004

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (3/4 cup)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Special equipment: a muffin tin with 8 (1/2-cup) muffin cups; paper liners (JAM Note: Used an 8 in round pan instead)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and 1/2 cup coconut in a large bowl until combined well, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened. Pour batter among lined muffin cups (JAM Note: or cake pan) and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool slightly.

JAM Note: The cake was cooked through after 25 minutes, but could have used a couple more minutes in the oven to toast the coconut a little more.

Overall, a solid 2 out of 3 JAMS.

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