Last week I was fortunate enough to work a couple of days in a beautiful little bakery/cafe run by two very talented and passionate people. One is a barista, interested in serving high quality coffee and the other a pastry chef, well known in this town for his real croissants and rustic bread. As the pastry chef was away for a week, my friend asked if I would like to help him out in the baking side of things while he served up his delicious coffee. I jumped at the chance! Although my baked treats were much simpler than the usual array of breads and pastries, the regular customers were happy enough and in the end it was a fantastic experience. Working on a beautiful big marble bench with endless amounts of muffin tins, friand moulds, huge rolling pins and a 6 shelf oven was an absolute treat for me. My friands have never come out so perfectly golden nor my muffins so high and fluffy. It was a privilege to work in such an honest and creative space and I’m happy I was able to help out a good friend. The 12pm knock-off and cold beers went down a treat as well!
Because I was working in a new space and was unsure of how busy it was going to be I decided to keep it simple and bake things I had made many times before but with a few new twists on flavours. Everything went down a treat and my friends who came to visit were very happy with the bags full of leftover muffins I gave them at the end of the day! I made four flavours of muffins including banana coconut and white chocolate, orange blossom poppyseed and cranberry, berry almond and banana and a savoury type with vintage cheddar sun-dried tomato and basil. There were two types of friands, white peach and vanilla bean and a dark chocolate and wattleseed, both gluten free. I also made my deliciously decadent gluten free triple chocolate brownies and a couple of different types of shortbread; rainbow chocolate and chilli chocolate.
In this post I will share my favourite muffin flavour, the banana, coconut and white chocolate and also the recipe for the gluten free brownies. The friand recipe can by found in another post from a few months ago labelled gluten-free lemon friands. There are instructions in that post on how to change the flavours. Happy baking!
Banana, coconut and white chocolate muffins
125g unsalted butter, melted
165g caster sugar
3 ripe bananas, roughly chopped
1 tsp coconut essence
300g self-raising flour, sifted
45g desiccated coconut
100g white chocolate chopped
Chipped coconut to sprinkle
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius, grease and line a 12 hole muffin tin.
Process butter, caster sugar, banana, eggs and coconut essence in a food processor until smooth. Place flour, coconut and chocolate in a large bowl, then fold in banana mixture. Do not overmix or the muffins will be tough.
Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tray and sprinkle over the chipped coconut. Bake for about 15mins or until muffins are golden and spring back when touched.
Cool in pan for 10 mins and then cool on a wire rack. Or eat one while it’s lovely and warm!
Gluten free Triple Chocolate Brownies
125g butter, chopped
200g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
165g brown sugar
150g gluten free flour, sifted
125g good quality milk chocolate, chopped
125g good quality white chocolate, chopped
Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a square cake tin.
In a medium saucepan gently melt the butter and dark chocolate over a low heat until smooth. Take off the heat and stir in the brown sugar until smooth. Cool for 10 mins.
Beat in the eggs until incorporated. Mix in the sifted flour. Stir through the chopped chocolate.
Spread into cake tin and bake for about half an hour. Cool in tin. Refrigerate before cutting if you want really neat squares. Dust with cocoa or icing sugar.