Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dark chocolate strawberry banana bread muffins

dark chocolate strawberry banana bread muffins

Arguments about whether a plant is a fruit or a vegetable (or legume or whatever) are largely akin to arguments about whether or not something is actually ironic: most of the parties involved come across as pretentious know-it-all assholes, and no one really knows what they’re talking about.

oatmeal writes about irony but you should not debate it
Don't stop, Mr. Oatmeal. source


And in the end, nobody learns anything and everyone hates each other. It is a very sad affair overall, which is why it is much better to settle such arguments by, you know, Googling stuff.

So for today’s recipe, I set out to discover what, exactly, was in this muffin.

I’ll start with strawberries. You may have heard that strawberries are not actually berries. You may have seen those clichéd comments along the lines of “my life is ruined” or “everything I know is a lie” or “mind = blown” (as if reading snippets of information on the Internet is some transcendent sexual experience). More importantly, no one really gives a shit whether or not a strawberry is a literal berry because they taste good and frankly, that little tidbit of information will get you nowhere in life. Unless you happen to want a job at Google.

common interview questions at Google
Because nobody likes a chap who can't organize his shirts. source

According to all-knowing Wikipedia, strawberries are—wait for it—not botanical berries (meaning they are produced from a single ovary), but accessory fruits (which are derived from some sort of other tissue I think?). I don’t know enough about biology to refute this, but it seems the “seeds” on the exterior of a strawberry are actually individual plant ovaries, each containing a seed. So technically strawberries are also aggregate fruits, which contain seeds from multiple ovaries.

large bright red juicy strawberry with visible ovaries
Wait WTF? source

artistic interpretation of structure of the ovaries
Yeah, there is no similarity here. Calling bullshit. source

The next fruit-like piece of flesh to examine in this muffin is the banana. This, as it happens, is a berry, rendering redundant “banana berry”-flavored products everywhere.

redundantly titled banana berry smoothie
Hahahahahaha. source

Indeed, Wikipedia reassures us that bananas are known as “leathery berries” and dutifully lists America’s favorite yellow fruit in the article on berries. So there’s that. If you don’t want to believe Wikipedia, go right ahead.

And as it happens, just below bananas on this list is coffee—does that make coffee fruit juice?

person drinks both coffee and orange juice for breakfast
Look at this fucking hedonist, drinking two cups of juice for breakfast. source

So at least there is one berry in these here muffins. But what about chocolate? Isn’t that, you know, salad, as a particularly gag-worthy Facebook meme would have you know?

Facebook meme about chocolate comes from cocoa, which comes out of a tree. That makes it a plant. Therefore, chocolate counts as salad. The end. WTF
Funny as duck, you say? source

I won’t deny that chocolate is a plant-derived product, but seriously. That’s about as accurate as saying maple syrup is sort of like kale juice.

Okay, I’m a bitter bitch. Whatever. Point is, cocoa beans are seeds. More precisely, they are the beans (which are large, fleshy seeds) of Theobroma cacao. Chocolate, however, is a highly processed piece of sugary fat that barely contains any of the original bean—especially since manufacturers take every opportunity to cut the cocoa content of their chocolate bars, a fact which is often lost on Murica’s sugar-addled palate.

Therefore cocoa beans are not berries, or fruit for that matter, but seeds. The inedible pods are the fruits. And until humans evolve to be able to digest cocoa pods, chocolate will not be salad.

It made sense in my head, I swear.

So enough of this pointless intellectual grandstanding. What have I made for you today? What delicious culinary delight have I reserved for the end of this post?

intellectual grandstanding over so make banana dark chocolate chunk strawberry muffins
Now that is some sexy salad.

Banana muffins. With strawberries. And dark chocolate chunks. Praise the heavens, y’all, because these muffins are a goddamn miracle.

Not only that, they’re seasonal. That’s even more of a miracle, seeing as I’ve been intent on delivering you totally non-seasonal concoctions in recent weeks.  I mean, woah.

Here is the recipe.
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Dark chocolate chunk strawberry banana bread muffins

Makes about 12 to 14 muffins

Adapted from Recipe Boy

Ingredients

133 grams • all-purpose flour • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon

120 grams • white whole wheat flour • 1 cup

3 grams • baking soda • ¾ teaspoon

3 grams • salt • ½ teaspoon

200 grams • granulated sugar • 1 cup

56 grams • Earth Balance, softened (try substituting some or all with coconut oil) • ¼ cup

208 grams • silken tofu, blended until smooth • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon

337 grams • ripe bananas, mashed • 1 ½ cups

4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon

168 grams • nondairy dark chocolate chunks or chips • 1 cup

116 grams • strawberries, chopped • 1 cup

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease about twelve muffin tins and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine 8 grams / 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour with chopped strawberries and set aside. Combine the rest of the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Place Earth Balance and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until completely combined and somewhat fluffy. Add mashed bananas, blended silken tofu, and vanilla and mix once more. With mixer on low, add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in strawberries and chocolate chunks. Try not to eat all of the chocolate chunks, preferably harder than I did.

Divide batter between about twelve muffin tins. You may want to make two extra muffins so the muffins aren’t too big. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for ten minutes before transferring muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Munch.
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If you had checked out the source on Recipe Boy, you would have noticed that the original recipe was in loaf form. I changed to muffins for two reasons: 1) I wanted to show off my sexy square muffin tins, and 2) I am too impatient to wait a whole goddamn hour for my banana bread. Baby June wants her strawberry chocolate banana bread NOW. As such, I put the batter in muffin tins and decreased the baking time to about 25 minutes. No big deal. If I was feeling even more impatient, I would have baked them in mini muffin tins for a mere ten minutes. Consider yourself lucky. 

nice big and fluffy dark chocolate chunk banana strawberry muffins
Yeah I think this size is about right.

So that, simply put, is how you adapt a loaf recipe for muffins. Super easy. Don’t tell anyone, or they might stop thinking I am some sort of baking genius. Apparently this is a deep, dark secret that requires a lot of skill and expertise and it is only June who can carry out such witchcraft.

dark chocolate chunk strawberry banana bread muffins with strawberries as garnish so pretty
Notice the such profesh garnish.

Also, don’t tell my brother that there is tofu in these bitches. Poor kid has no idea.

dark chocolate chunk strawberry banana bread muffins on a plate
Haha I suckered you into eating fermented soybeans gotchaaaa!

I mean, it’s protein, right? So healthy. Wow.

Practically a salad.

strawberry dark chocolate banana bread muffins
You're not cute, Baby June.

22 comments:

  1. Fruit salad surrounded by PASTRY! With no way out of it, it's a delicious prision, of which many a fruit/berry/thing has been consuuumed, dang - I'm jealous, because these looks delicious :D I love the square muffin tins by the way, s'like lots of mini cakes!

    I remember once when I made my banana bread, and added some strawberries to it, it tasted wonderful, but my then-flatmate told me that it looked like a carcass (thanks buddy!). These however, thankfull doesn't looks like that, and neither does Recipe Boy's - score!

    Tricking your brother into eating healthy tofu - how dare you disguise it and torture him so?! Seriously though, if he finds out and refuses to eat them next time, just send a couple my way! x

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    1. Yeah I was thinking of telling him just so there would be more for me! :D But I let him pass this time. And it's funny you say that about putting berries in banana bread, because once I chopped up plums and put them in banana bread and I observed that the fruit looked like a tumor of some sort. :D Lesson learned: make sure to chop up fruit very small. :) Thanks for reading!

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  2. These are gorgeous June! Love the square muffin pan, I would make muffins in this just because of the shape. Great post as usual, you are always the deep thinker. Love it!!

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    1. Thank you! I got the square pan for Christmas last year, it was intended for making brownies so you could get both the crust and the filling in each piece. A genius invention, in my book. :)

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  3. What?! Cocoa isn't a vegetable? Kidding. I know it can be confusing for some what makes something a vegetable or a fruit.
    Either way these muffins are a fantastic combination of delicious flavors.

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    1. Yes indeed! Thanks for reading! :)

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  4. Love your final picture - gorgeous! And ... bananas are berries? Fascinating stuff! Thanks for this! :-)

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    1. Thank you! Glad you like the picture! :)

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  5. Wonderful muffins. They must taste heavenly. I love that last shot.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Thank you! They do taste heavenly. :)

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  6. Thanks for the botanical lesson! Who knew bananas were berries? Your muffins look terrific...and I love your tin :)

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    1. Thanks! Those tins are my favorite. :)

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  7. Love their shape! I'm pretty sure I'd love the taste, too ;)

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  8. I love this post. And I really want that square muffin tin!

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    1. Thank you! I highly recommend the muffin tin. :)

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  9. Hmmm, how interesting! I had no idea about the strawberries "not being a berry". Guess I'm not keeping up with the latest internet hype.

    The recipe looks delicious- thanks for sharing - I love chocolate and strawberries!

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    1. Sorry I didn't mean it that way, I just read too many "articles" (Buzzfeed Cracked etc.) :) But I'm glad you like it!

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  10. chocolate and strawberries are almost a classic couple. I hope Mr. Banana doesn't feel like a 3rd wheel, who is looking for the 4th wheel to go to town. I have seen the square muffin pans in the store, but this is the first time I have seen a muffin baked in one. I do like the mini loaf look. Pretty sweet.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you like it. :)

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  11. Is that Earth Balance a vegan form of butter or margarine I never heard of it before.

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    1. Correct, it is vegan butter! You can usually use coconut oil or another brand of margarine in its place. Thanks for asking!

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