Monday, October 8, 2012

Banana Chocolate Bit Muffins #MuffinMonday

Some people have an old boy network or even an old girl network.  I have an expat network!  And there is nothing more knowledgeable, helpful or friendly than the expat network.  Our fingers spread wide in every pie, in every town, in all the world.  Are you moving to Houston, London, Paris, Perth, Sydney, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Quito, Austin, Athens, Mexico City, Nashville, Boston, Aberdeen, Lagos, San José, Taipei, Shanghai, Mumbai, Caracas, Copenhagen, Berlin or Stavanger, just to name a few cities?  I know someone there who will help.  Often more than one someone!  Ah, yes, good people.  I can find out where to get decent chocolate chips and Extra Chunky Jif peanut butter in most cities of this world at the drop of a quick email or new Facebook status.  The expat network is also invaluable when you are moving.  When we found out about the transfer to Dubai, the first thing I did was send out a query on housing.  In which areas should I look?  And why?  The responses were immediate and thoughtful, taking into account our empty nest status and Boxer dog who needs a yard.  So, far from being a strange city, Dubai was already well-mapped in our heads before the first appointment was made.  You can’t buy worldwide expertise like that!  The point of all this is that we found a home and from (probably) mid November you will be seeing photos from a whole new kitchen.

Meanwhile, we are still baking muffins in Cairo!  This week’s Muffin Monday choice is from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen but you can also find it online, right here.  I decided to leave off the cocoa powder and add mini baking bits of semi-sweet chocolate.  If you are wondering why I have just brown, yellow, blue and orange, I’ll tell you.  Last December a dear friend generously stepped into the role of Christmas party planner for her son’s fourth grade of about 100 children.  She needed decorations for cupcakes or cookies or something so we sat and picked all the red and green ones out of my bag of baking bits for her project.  Because, when you love someone, you will even give her your imported red and green baking bits.  True story.

1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup or 225g flour (Life is so much easier with a scale!  You should get one.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 very ripe bananas (10 oz or 285g by weight when peeled)
1/2 cup or 125 ml light vegetable oil
2 medium eggs
1/2 cup or 100g packed soft dark brown sugar
1/2 cup plus extra for sprinkling on top or about 100g semi sweet baking bits

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C and grease your muffin tin or line it with paper cups.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together.  Make sure to mash out any lumps of brown sugar.

Mash the bananas with a fork then add in the eggs and the oil.   Mix until thoroughly combined.

Fold your wet ingredients into your dry ones until they are just mixed.

Add in the half cup of chocolate baking bits and fold again gently.

(Small side note:  M&M have stopped making the semi-sweet baking bits so these were actually ordered from NutsOnline in a five-pound bag.  I have started a Facebook campaign to get M&M to reconsider this decision.  If you have a moment, go on over to the Facebook page and follow the link in About to send Mars North America a message on their website.  Thank you!)

Divide the batter between the muffin cups.  Decorate with the remaining baking bits.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Allow to cool slightly in the muffin tin before removing to a wire rack.


And, for those of you who care:  Here is our new house.  Assuming the paperwork goes through without a hitch.


  1. Lovely Home. All the very best for things to turn out the way you wish.
    Great Muffins too

  2. Thanks, Meena. I hope it works out too. I don't take house disappointment very well.

  3. Just what I needed for the bananas that are overripe! Good luck with the house. Actually looks like it might be sitting somewhere in Arizona or New Mexico. LOL! Hope it has a good Beso yard.

  4. OMG, your soon-to-be house is BEAUTIFUL! And what? M&M have stopped making the semi-sweet baking bits? I will definitely visit the FB page!

    Love this recipe! My kids will love the m&m's! :) Thanks for sharing!

  5. Simon and I thought the same thing, Deb. Kind of an adobe look. It has a wonderful big yard for Beso. No pool for me though. The sacrifices I make for that dog!

  6. I was as shocked as you are, Alice. It's been a couple of sad years since they stopped making them. So far my campaign hasn't changed their minds, but I am not giving up. :) Spread the word! Strength in numbers! Thank you for your kind words.

  7. My girls love this recipe. Thanks Stacy. Beautiful home. All the best in your new venture. Sandy X

  8. Thanks, Sandy! You need to come visit!

  9. Jennie @themessybakerblogOctober 8, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I love what you did to this muffin, especially the addition of the chocolate bits. Yum! Happy #MuffinMonday!

  10. Yum! I love chocolate candy cookies and with the addition of bananas this would be right up my alley/.

  11. Thanks, Jennie. Happy #MuffinMonday to you too!

  12. Add baking bits or chocolate chips or even the big M&Ms to anything and they are instantly better! It's an immutable baking rule.

  13. Love your new home, Stacy! Love this recipe too! Praying God's richest blessings on your new pathway there! Love you much. OXOX

  14. Thank you, Karen! Perhaps you will come and visit me there? XOXO

  15. What cute muffins, definitely lights up Mondays I reckon. Congrats on your new home - it's very stylish - love the walls!!

  16. Thank you, Jaime! I've really enjoyed participating in Muffin Mondays.

  17. Congratulations Stacy! I hope you're loving Dubai! I've been there a couple of times and the next time I'm there I'll be sure to visit you.

    I love the chocolate bits on top and your variation sounds yum! :)

  18. Thanks, Anuradha! We will move finally in November and I will be delighted to meet you in person!

  19. These are just darling! I love the changes that you made and that you took out the red and green m&m's for your friend! :-) Nicely done on your new home! I look forward to seeing Dubai through your eyes :-)

  20. Thank you, Lyn! They tasted delicious but, then, you can't go wrong banana and chocolate. I'll try to post a few Dubai photos every now and then once we are there.

  21. Congrats on finding the house! That's a powerful network you have! :) (And what a great friend you are for "donating" all your red and green bits!)

  22. Thanks, Carrie! It is a most powerful! When folks live overseas, away from old friends and family, we become family to each other. And there is almost no stronger bond than family you have deliberately CHOSEN. :)

  23. Thanks, Carrie! It is a most powerful network! When folks live overseas, away from old friends and family, we become family to each other. And there is almost no stronger bond than family you have deliberately CHOSEN. :)


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