Because I can’t follow a recipe without making substitutions… The original recipe here is for Banana & Oat Bran Muffins from Cornerstones Cupcakes & Muffins. It’s one of those books it’s impossible to keep open without a weight of some sort.
6 Tbsp (90g) butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 (115g) cup mashed ripe banana
3/4 cup (70g) oat bran
1/2 cup (125 ml) buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line standard muffin pan with paper liners or spray with oil.
Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in egg until combined.
Add flour and baking powder and mix. Add buttermilk, oat bran and banana and stir until just combined.
Spoon mixture into prepared muffin pan*.
Bake 20-25 minutes etc.
My version was quite different. I happen to have a lot of strawberries in my fridge right now. They needed to be used, so instead of banana I decided on strawberries. The cookbook only had cupcake recipes for strawberries so I decided to adapt one of the muffins to use strawberries instead. I chopped the strawberries small enough that they released a lot of liquid and were a bit mushy, but I did not mash the berries. Instead of doing half a cup I simply used all the overripe berries I had – chopped it came to about a cup.
If you are a seasoned baker you know that to make a baking soda and buttermilk recipe without buttermilk you need to replace the acidity of the buttermilk somehow. Interestingly, this recipe called for baking powder instead of soda, so no additional acid is required even if you cut out the buttermilk. Despite that I thought the recipe could do with some acid, and, as usual, I had no buttermilk. I decided to replace the buttermilk with something else – half milk and half orange juice (1/4 cup of each). I added the two separately because the idea of mixing them prior to adding them to the batter kind of makes me want to puke even knowing they’d mix in the batter.
Those are the extent of my substitutions. It doesn’t seem like much, but it changed the results considerably (I have actually followed the recipe before… more or less). I was happy with the results. You may need to err on the longer side of the 20-25 minutes (or go over slightly). The recipe says muffins are done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, but I prefer the spring test. Lightly press on the top of a muffin and release – if the top springs back the muffin is done and if not the muffin is not completely cooked.
I love making fruit and bran muffins. While still not the healthiest breakfast in the world I feel better about the added fiber (from the bran) and the added vitamins from the fruit. This recipe is not perfected yet, so if you have any tips feel free to share.