Sunday, 26 January 2014

Banana Crumb Muffins

These banana muffins came to life via a much needed clean out of my freezer. The bunch of nearly black bananas had been taking up my important ice cream space for too long and it was time for them to go. Banana muffins, a much favoured baked good of my husband, seemed a good plan. I had a look at an all time favourite recipe website ( and found these Banana Crumb Muffins which had over 8000 reviews (phew!) most of them glowing. They looked easy and I had all the ingredients on hand which isn't always usual. They were a huge hit and Blair loved them. He took half a dozen to work to share and reported back that they went down well. I took the rest to work and they seemed well received too. The only problem with this recipe is that the streusel topping is only crunchy for the first day, then it softens significantly. They're still delicious but textually it's quite different after the first day.  

Banana Crumb Muffins - a recipe by but tweaked (of course) by me

You will need:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 mashed bananas (I used 4)
3/4 cup sugar (recipe says white but I used brown for extra flavour)
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract (I added this to the recipe)
1 tsp cinnamon (I added this to the recipe)
1 tsp allspice (I added this to the recipe)
1 tsp nutmeg (I added this to the recipe)
1/3 cup melted butter (reviews says to use 1/3 cup oil instead for better texture, which I did)


1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 - 3 tbsp rolled oats (the original recipe doesn't call for this but I added it and liked it)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (recipe calls for 1/8 tsp but I increased)
1 tsp ground nutmeg (an addition by me)
1 tbsp butter

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Line 12 muffin tins with liners or grease well.

2. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients.

3. In another bowl beat together the mashed banana, sugar, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and melted butter or oil.

4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Spoon into the prepared cases or tins.

5. In a small bowl mix together the sugar, flour, oats (if using) and spices. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the muffins.

6. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Best Pad Thai in Wellington?

A challenge of sorts if you will- where do you think the best Pad Thai in Wellington can be found?

My vote goes to somewhere fairly obscure and unusual but boy do they do a great Pad Thai; Khmer Satay Noodle House in The Reading Cinemas Complex on Courtenay Place. It is an exceptional Pad Thai. Generously proportioned, spicy, sweet, sour and crunchy from the smattering of crushed peanuts.  Everything a good Pad Thai should be. Also, exceptionally good value at $12.90. I fondly remember when I was first year at uni and it was $7.00. Times have changed since 2003. 

Thai Red Curry Fish

Everyone knows they need to eat more fish. I'm pretty awful at getting enough (any) fish into my diet. So I made a herculean effort and purchased some terakihi whilst it was on special and decided to jazz it up with some Thai flavours. 

Thai Red Curry Fish - a recipe by me

You will need:

Fish fillets
Red curry paste
Coconut cream/milk
Thai herbs such as thai basil, lemon grass, coriander 

1. Take out some baking paper or tin foil and place the fish on it. Make sure you have enough to make a parcel that the fish can steam in.  

2. Smear a good tablespoon of the curry paste directly onto the fish fillets 

3. Tear or chop up the thai herbs you're using and place directly onto the fillets.

4. Drizzle the coconut cream or milk over, just enough to make a little bath for the fish to steam in. 

5. Wrap your little parcels up and bake in the oven until done. This is dependent on your oven and other things like the thickness of your fish. Mine took about 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius on fan bake.

I served the fish with my fragrant rice which was perfect.

Banoffee Pie

A strong, strong desire for banoffee pie led me to make this delicious desert a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately we didn't think through that we didn't have anyone else to eat it. I had to take drastic action 3 days later after I consumed it for both breakfast and pudding and concluded that it might be sensible to put the remainder in the bin. There was still half left and my pants already felt tighter than they should've. So note to self - next time, halve the recipe if just making it for self and husband. Or better still, invite family and friends round to come and help eat it!!

Banoffee Pie: a recipe by me

A packet of gingernuts - smash them up. Probably best done in a food processor but I loved hitting them with a wooden spoon. Very therapeutic. 
100gm butter, melted
A can of condensed milk caramel (I bought mine as caramel but you can boil a can of condensed milk for 2 - 3 hours to create your own caramel)
A few bananas, sliced (TIP: squeeze lemon juice over the slices so they don't turn brown as quickly)
Whipped cream

1. Smash your gingernuts up in your desired fashion. I should've made mine finer but it still worked a bit chunky. 

2. Add the melted butter to the crumbs and mix. Press into your desired serving vessel and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour. 

3. Spoon over the caramel.

4. Add the sliced bananas, as artfully or not as you like. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top if using.

5. Whip the cream and plop on top of the bananas. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.