It’s funny how tastes change. When I was younger, I never really considered myself to be a picky eater, but looking back now I can see that actually, I must have been a bit of a pain for my dad to feed!
The list of vegetables I liked was a short one – broccoli was my favourite, I liked peppers, and would eat cabbage with a roast at a push, but that was kind of it. ‘Traditional’ British veg like carrots, peas, green beans and parsnips were despised, and more ‘exotic’ vegetables like squash, aubergine, kale and sweet potatoes never made an appearance in my house.
I hated all beans (probably because everyone seems to think a child’s meal isn’t complete without baked beans sloshed on all over it, and as far as I’m concerned the sauce baked beans comes in is the work of the devil), pulses were never on the menu, and to be honest if I had been a vegetarian then I think I would have been a severely under-nourished one!
Now, near enough any vegetable you put in front of me I will eat, I love using beans in everything from chilli to burgers, and there’s nothing I love more than experimenting with new ingredients.
My feelings when it comes to sweet foods are kind of similar and I’m definitely branching out with flavours I used to hate. I’ve always found caramel too sickly sweet to really enjoy, but the discovery of salted caramel has completely changed my mind – now I can’t get enough of it.
I never used to understand why anyone liked peanut butter, but this could well be because I never had it paired with chocolate or banana and, although I still wouldn’t want it in a sandwich, I love using it in baking.
Anyway, the point of this all is that peanut butter, banana and caramel is most definitely not a combination I would have been keen to try a few years ago, but now I can’t think of three better friends to be baked into a muffin.
I needed to bake something fairly quick and simple using ingredients I had on hand, so I loosely based these on a recipe for peanut butter banana cupcakes but made a simple glaze instead of fancy icing, and made the caramel filling from some Cadbury’s eclairs leftover from a tin of Miniature Heroes.
I actually didn’t get to eat one of the finished muffins, as by the time I returned from a weekend away the pony had devoured them, but I did sample each of the components as I was making them and I’m pretty confident it’s a winning recipe – I’ll just have to make another batch to prove it…
Peanut butter banana muffins with salted caramel filling (loosely adapted from Perfect Cupcakes, Cookies and Muffins)
For the muffins:
- 90g light brown sugar
- 70g peanut butter
- 1 medium egg
- 1 medium banana (90g), mashed
- 90g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
For the filling:
- 10 individual Cadbury’s eclairs, or other caramel sweet (about 100g at a guess)
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- sea salt flakes to taste
For the glaze:
- 25g peanut butter
- 20g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
Beat the peanut butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add in the egg and mashed banana and beat until well combined. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in lightly, then dive the mixture between 6 medium muffin cases. Bake at 200 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 170 and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until the muffins are risen and golden, and a skewer comes out clean.
When cool, use an apple corer to cut the tops out of each muffin. Melt the caramels with the milk, stirring until smooth, then add in a pinch of sea salt flakes – taste and add extra if you like. Spoon the caramel into the centres of the muffins, then replace the tops you took out.
Make the glaze by heating the peanut butter and icing sugar in the microwave, then adding the milk slowly until it reaches a pourable consistency. Pour and spread over the tops of the muffins – if it drips down the side I think it looks pretty, so don’t worry about being too neat!
These are especially good served warm as the caramel is extra gooey. Enjoy!