10 November 2011

scrumpdelilicious banana and choc chip muffins, springtime and peonies

The peonies are finally in bloom.  It's Spring time here in the southern hemisphere.  Time for peonies, asparagus, new season potatoes and baby ducklings.

And yes - it's spelt 'scrumpdelilicious' and pronounced scrump-dli-licous. :-)

There are many things I like about Spring - peonies, baby ducklings...did I mention asparagus?  But I have to be honest and admit that Spring is actually not my favourite season.  As a child growing up in Singapore, I used to think how lovely Spring was and if I lived in a country that had four seasons, Spring would be my favourite.  However, 15 odd years in New Zealand has proven otherwise.  True that with Spring, comes a riot of colour; flowers and greenery in every hue imaginable and fruits such as strawberries.  But by this time of the year, I'd be sooo hanging out for Summer's warmth and sun, that the rain and wind that's characteristic of Springtime where I live, with temperatures that hover at a couple of degrees warmer than winter just doesn't do much for me.

However, I am thankful for Spring.  Thankful that for around 6 weeks or so, I get to enjoy my favourite flower of all time, thankful that I get to see wee little ducklings paddling behind their mama (near Chaffers Dock and by Te Papa) thankful that I can once again have my morning porridge studded with fresh strawberries.

And to celebrate my getting-back-to-cooking-baking-and-blogging groove, here are some banana and chocolate chip muffins I made a couple of days ago.

Now these are not just your run of the mill banana and choc chip muffins.  This recipe is, in my opinion, the best banana muffin recipe around.  I'm over bready and heavy muffins.  These ones are moist, moreish and surprisingly light.  They are sweet though - more so than most banana muffins.  Certainly not for the faint hearted or those watching the waistline.  The proportion of brown sugar and golden syrup makes them so. But they make such an oh-so-lovely treat!

For the full effect, I recommend eating them warm, not long after they're out of the oven.  If there are any left for later, heat one in the microwave for 10 seconds (a little longer if heating more than one).  Trust me - they taste oodles better, warm.

I found this recipe online on the Search for NZ's Favourite Recipe website (Rach's Heavenly Banana Muffins) and tweaked it a little and added chocolate chips to it.  And you know what else?  This can be a really cheap and economical sweet treat for the kids or visitors.  Look out for the stack of cheaper very ripe bananas at your supermarket and buy whatever brand of chocolate chips your budget allows.  And if you don't have golden syrup, sub it with honey (warm it so that it's slightly runny and easier to measure out).

It's also a breeze to make - a recipe that ticks all the boxes!

Banana Heavenly Muffins 

Dry mix:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wet mix:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
160g butter, melted together with the Golden Syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar (well packed)
2 teaspoons Vanilla Essence
3/4 cup mashed banana
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Prepare muffin tray - I line mine with cupcake/muffin paper cases.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the Dry Mix ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. 
  3. In a smaller bowl, very lightly whisk together the Wet Mix ingredients. 
  4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and lightly stir in the wet mixture until just mixed. Do not over mix – mixture should look lumpy. 
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared paper cases - only 3/4 way full, as the muffins will rise a bit.
  6. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes, until cooked. 
  7. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing them onto a cooling rack to cool completely. 
  8. Makes approximately 12 medium sized muffins.


  1. Happy Spring! Gorgeous pics - and this recipe does sound amazing! Will bookmark to try soon.

  2. Mel - Thanks! It's easy to take good photos on a good Wellington day. :-)

  3. No peonies here in Auckland (not cold enough to plant them) one of the few things I miss about cold weather!

    Great muffins, they look super yum!


  4. Alessandra - Ahhh. Wish I knew that you were missing peonies. Would have brought some up with me for you! They are so delicate, yet so bold. I love them! :-)

  5. They look lovely! And peonies are some of my favourite flowers, I'm loving spring too. Nice to meet you at the weekend :)

  6. Jemma - it was lovely to have met you too. Had such a great time! :)

  7. If I made these for my daughter's birthday party, what kind of icing would you recommend?

    1. Sorry for the late reply! Did you end up making these? I personally like a simple vanilla buttercream icing on this one. or stir through some small broken pieces of choc chips. Some people like a whipped sour cream or lemon cream cheese icing on banana baking. Or simply dust with lots of powdered sugar! :-)


Thanks for leaving me your comments - I love getting them! And I promise I'll reply to all of them. Cheers! :-) x.