Cardamom and Banana Muffins
There's a French idiom "après l'effort, le réconfort", which roughly translates to "after all that effort, sit back and relax". My husband's teenage sisters Lya and Mimi took this idiom to heart, culinarily-speaking, by baking mini-muffins after a hard three-hour workout. What can I say, they were hungry for sweets. The girls decided to flavor them with freshly crushed cardamom and ripe bananas and baked them in a mini muffin pan. The illusion of saving calories by eating multiple mini treats instead of one big one made them feel good.
I love cardamom. It’s a common flavor in Indian cuisine; in addition to its potency, it's very versatile. You can easily make a fragrant gravy or flavor your favorite dessert, all with the same ingredient. What’s not to love?
Yields: 36 mini-cupcakes4 green cardamom pods
2 ripe bananas
juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon buttermilk (or milk)
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1-½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
For the cardamom powder: Remove the pods from the shells. In a mortar and pestle, grind the cardamom seeds. Crush all the nits and gather the cardamom powder.
For the banana purée: Mash the bananas with the back of a fork. Drizzle with lemon juice. You could also place the bananas in a food processor and blend until coarsely puréed. Add the buttermilk and ground cardamom.
For the dry ingredients: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift the dry ingredients.
Making the banana muffin batter:
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and banana mixture. Mix until well combined, then add the dry ingredients. Stir until well incorporated.
Line 3 12-hole mini muffin pans with mini cupcake liners (or grease each cavity with a bit of oil). Fill the molds with the mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
Plastic wrap the trays and place in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes (or until you're ready to bake).
Bake the muffins for 10 minutes at 375°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
A knife or a toothpick inserted into a muffin should come out clean. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely.
You can bake the mini cupcakes in a bigger cake pan but I find them more appealing as bite size treats for a tea party. I used 3 12-hole mini muffin pans.Published By: on August 2, 2013.