Recipe: Banana Nutella Muffins

I’m pretty sure this was one of the first recipes I posted on this blog – it was my study-snack of choice during my first year of university (and I’m pretty sure it was what originally bribed Libby to be friends with me!). Banana and Nutella is a flavour combo that will never, ever get old and it’s a personal favourite of mine.

I’ve tweaked my original recipe slightly here, reducing the sugar

Moist banana muffins, made a tad sturdier than a standard banana bread with the addition of oats. A generous amount of Nutella swirled through. Hazelnuts sprinkled on top for crunch (and to add Instagram-appeal, let’s not lie). There is simply nothing better than these – and they are so, so easy! Okay, so spooning nutella onto banana slices and transporting to mouth is *slightly* easier, but trust me on this. You will be thankful for the tiny bit of extra effort you put in when you first bite into one of these. Particularly if it’s still warm from the oven…

Recipe (makes 12, I scaled down for these photos)

  • 200g plain flour
  • 30g oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 110g butter, melted
  • 3 large very ripe/brown bananas
  • 3-4 tbsp Nutella
  • 2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts

In one bowl combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar. In another combine the eggs, melted (then cooled) butter, and bananas (mashed until slightly lumpy). Add the dry mix to the wet mix and quickly stir through – you want it to be just combined, though a few lumps are absolutely fine.

Divide most of the mixture between 12 muffin holes (lined with cases) – each one should be about two-thirds full. Melt the nutella slightly, either in a microwave or in a small bowl suspended in a larger bowl of warm water. Blob a teaspoon of nutella into each muffin, hen top each equally with the remaining batter. Swirl the muffin/nutella together slightly using a cocktail stick, then bake at 180C for around 20 minutes. Try to let them cool before eating – or at very least be careful not to burn your fingers…

Perhaps the best thing about this recipe is the smell whilst these muffins are baking. The flat smelled irresistible! That smell of banana bread baking (which is quite possibly the best baking smell ever anyway) with a hint of nutella filled both our flat, and the communal hallway. Sorry neighbours!

What’s your favourite muffin flavour combo? 

Recipe: Nutella-Stuffed Cookie Dough Cake

Yep. I’ll say it once more. Nutella-Stuffed Cookie Dough Cake. Doesn’t that sound like the stuff of dreams?!

 photo Giant Nutella Cookie_zpsir8no8wr.pngOne of my weaknesses is Nutella. There’s something so comforting about a spoon slowly melting into a bowl of creamy porridge or over a stack of pancakes. But it has to be proper Nutella. Over the past few years I’ve tried to (mainly) stick to cheaper supermarket varieties for budget reasons. I’ve been lucky enough to receive some Jim Jams low refined-sugar hazelnut spread. For me, nothing has come close to actual Nutella. Sure, other brands are nice enough, but they’re never quite right. They melt too thinly, don’t have a balanced a flavour, aren’t creamy enough. The biggest decider for me? Whether I can eat it by the spoon, straight out of the jar. Don’t judge…

 photo Nutella Stuffed Giant Cookie 6_zpsewsz05zy.jpg photo Nutella Stuffed Giant Cookie 8_zpsgvukjpit.jpgI’m not the only one with such a weakness for Nutella; my younger sister loves it too. And because excellent GCSE results deserve baked goods, I created this gooey, oozy, chocolatey treat a few weeks back. A Nutella-Stuffed Cookie Dough Cake. She’s not a fan of cake so I know she was worried when I said I was baking her a well-done treat, but I reckon I got this pretty much spot on. I got told I could make it again, so I must have done something right?!

Slightly reminiscent of Pizza Hut’s Cookie Dough Desert, this is crispy, chewy cookie on the outside. Gooey and molten cookie dough inner. A layer of sticky, warm Nutella to sandwich together. A sprinkling of sea salt to keep it from being too sickly. A handful of chocolate chips, because you can never have enough chocolate. We ate it on its own, but I can imagine it would be perfect with some cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

 photo Nutella Stuffed Giant Cookie 1_zpsmb9ukqcy.jpg photo Nutella Stuffed Giant Cookie 5_zps8r0kcqzs.jpgIngredients

  • 110g salted butter
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 125g plain flour
  • ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g pack chocolate chips – I used milk, but I reckon dark would work better
  • 4 tablespoons of Nutella, warmed slightly so it’s not too solid
  • ½tsp flaked sea salt

Beat the butter in a large bowl until softened, then beat in both of the sugars. Beating the butter singularly first helped to combine the mixture, I also find it reduces the chance of the batter splitting. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until just combined. Stir through the flour and bicarb (you may want to mix them together first) but don’t overmix. Finally stir through around half of the chocolate chips.

Add half of the cookie dough to a 20cm dish lined with baking paper – make sure the dish is relatively deep as I found mine rose rather more than I expected! Spoon over the nutella (having it melted slightly makes this a lot easier) and spread over the cookie dough base. Scatter with a little sea salt. Top with the remaining dough, scatter over the rest of the chocolate chips and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes at 180C, then cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes more. I found this timing gave me the perfect gooey cookie, but cook for longer if you fancy a harder, more fully-baked cookie ‘pizza.’ To reheat the next day, cover with foil and pop in the oven (120C) for around 10-15 minutes. This remelts the nutella, increases the gooeyness and makes it just as good as the first day. Dangerous I know!

 photo Nutella Stuffed Giant Cookie 11_zpsehx6epo1.jpg photo Nutella Stuffed Giant Cookie 9_zpsizj51sdt.jpgAnd though this is pretty much perfect as it is, I’m tempted to try a peanut butter version soon. Or a smores cookie dough cake, complete with melted marshmallows…

Are you a Nutella fan? What’s your favourite way to eat it – in a baked good, on toast or just by the spoonful…?

Recipe: American Pancake Stack for One

I loveeeeee pancakes. Seriously, I cannot get enough of them. My mum used to make pancakes most weekends when we were growing up (my favourite topping was lemon and sugar, ate outside for reasons discussed here), and now my boyfriend alternates between cooking me a fry-up and his amazing crepes on visit weekends. I know, I’m such a lucky girl! It does mean though that on weekends where I’m all alone, I miss my pancake fix. Not anymore!

 photo de5357a6-bb3a-48bf-9f69-e207f98b1676_zpsed8bf7e6.jpgI’ve managed to come up with a recipe for fluffy, light, flavoursome American pancakes, in just the right serving for a (greedy) single person. So many of the recipes I found serve two, and I’m not quite that greedy. This recipe makes around 8 small pancakes – trust me they are quite small, this isn’t just a giant plate!

 photo 40f03523-8767-48e8-aa70-41782be62b93_zps88b15dcf.jpgFor the photos here I’ve made a nutella stack – sandwiching each pancake with a splodge of nutella. The effect was chocolatey and stodgy – just what I needed whilst recovering from the flu and moping about after visiting my girls in Canterbury the day before. I’ve had these drizzled with honey too, and they were just as delicious. Keep an eye out for a fruity version soon too!

 photo fd6728a4-43ef-4980-adc9-668c141b6adb_zps9e7d94fb.jpgNow, I make this recipe by eye, straight into the jug (anything to reduce washing up!) so here we go; Grab a 1/2 pint jug, crack and beat an egg. Top up with milk to between 150 and 200ml. Whisk in 2.5 tablespoons of plain flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. You want a really thick, but still pourable, batter – add more milk/flour as necessary. Some recipes add a little sugar to the batter, or some melted butter. I’d rather save the calories for the topping.

 photo 131f9657-6c70-4ca3-843c-2e2c68e2bff3_zps14a20859.jpg photo c73ba5b1-77c1-4be8-8e15-844ffe6c89a0_zps6e4aa037.jpgMelt a teeny bit of butter in a frying pan, and pour in a small amount of batter. It spreads surprisingly far for being so thick! Fry over a relaitvely high heat until the upside is lightly bubbling, and no longer gooey looking – but don’t let the underside burn! Flip over and continue cooking for a few seconds, until both sides are golden. Transfer to a plate, and keep warm in a low oven.

 photo d1e02152-c100-4478-8fb1-e5824c326568_zps5a9c6af9.jpgIf you’re making a nutella stack, spread each pancake with a little nutella before popping in the oven.

 photo 40f03523-8767-48e8-aa70-41782be62b93_zps88b15dcf.jpgThere you have it – the perfect American pancakes for one. I’m itching to try these with maple syrup and bacon, but I reckon that will have to wait for a date brunch!

So, do you like pancakes? More importantly, what’s your topping of choice?!