Most people would call these muffins. Others (ahem, Randall) would call them little plum fairies. I’m more on the side of “delicious accidents that happen from leftovers”. Your choice really for what you go for.
I have this thing about wasting food. I can’t do it. And I can’t stand other people doing it. Which inevitably leads me into situations where I have a massive mound of food and I’m like, oh sh*t. Most catering companies are terrible at this. No one wants to get a reputation for not feeding people enough so that platter that “serves 5-10” will really serve closer to 15 people. Always. And that extra food will most likely get thrown out. Not given to the needy, not composted. Sometimes that’s fair – meat and dairy that have been sitting out for hours aren’t necessarily going to be safe to give someone else. But still, that means most of that food is going to get tossed out. Which sucks.
In my job, we cater a ton of events. Food draws people in, like little fruit flies to honey traps. But if people bail on their RSVPs last-minute (because MBA students? They’re basically college freshmen ?), we end up with a ton of waste. Which leads me to bringing home bag lunches for dinner, or bagels and pastries for breakfasts, or whole fruit that I don’t trust won’t end up straight in the trash. Which brings me to these muffins. I’ve been grabbing bananas almost weekly and throwing them in everything. Bananas foster pancakes, these dark chocolate banana rye muffins, banana bread, banana bread, and you guessed it – more banana bread.
This week, we had lots of plums as well which reminded me of a peach-banana bread I made last year (at work!) to help use up our never-ending stash of overripe fruit. So good! The plum on top takes on a roasted quality which elevates the flavor profile. I also threw some chopped plum pieces into the batter, so you get little plum gems throughout. Pecans add a surprise crunch and keep things interesting. One thing’s for sure – this one’s a keeper!
- 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice blend
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 ripe bananas
- 2 plums, divided
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin tray(s).
- Combine flour, baking soda, Chinese five spice, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl beat sugar and eggs together with a whisk for ~10 minutes, until lightened in color and fluffy. Drizzle in canola oil and combine.
- Mash bananas with a fork until there are no firm chunks remaining. Peel and dice one of the plums. Slice the other plum into wedges - these will go on top of your muffins.
- Add bananas, the diced plum, mascarpone and vanilla to the sugar-egg mixture. Fold in flour mixture and pecans.
- Divide batter into greased muffin cup tins. Top each with a sliced plum wedge. Bake for ~25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.