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Banana bread muffins are a simple no frills classic bake. My banana ganache muffins take these to the next level: a super easy banana muffin recipe, filled with a decadent banana ganache. Top it all off with a broiled coconut frosting, these are a decadent twist on the traditional treat.
Banana Muffins - Easy No Frills One-Bowl Recipe
My banana muffins are a simple adaptation of my classic banana bread recipe.
The main change for these muffins is leaving out the spice. For this recipe, I recommend banana bread without cinnamon (or other spices). This helps to give the spotlight to the banana ganache and coconut icing.
What is Ganache?
Ganache is simply a mix of cream and chocolate. Conventionally, ganache is equal parts heavy cream and chocolate. This will produce a mixture that will be smooth, easy to pour, but sets firm.
By using different ratios of the chocolate and cream, you can reach different consistencies of ganache. It can be useful to use a thinner ganache if you are trying to achieve a drip on a cake, or a thicker ganache if you are making truffles.
The most basic flavours of ganache relate to the chocolate. You can easily use dark, milk or white chocolate to make ganache.
Beyond the chocolate, there are various options for flavouring your final product. It is possible to create infusions like tea into the cream, add extracts, booze, zest or nut pastes. Truly the opportunities to experiment are endless!
Making Banana Ganache
For my banana ganache, the key flavouring is directly from a ripe banana (and a touch of rum, since, why not!?).
This recipe is loosely adapted from a recipe by Guittard for a banana rum bonbon.
For this ganache, opt for white chocolate, to not overpower the banana. The ratio of cream to chocolate is relatively low. This is because the white chocolate does not set as firmly as darker chocolates. The addition of the banana and rum also add to the liquid content in the mix. As this is a filling for muffins, it is less important for the ganache to firmly set.
Easy Steps for Banana Ganache
The process is very straightforward:
- Heat the cream and vanilla in a saucepan until simmering.
- Add the mashed banana and rum to this as it continues to simmer.
- Once the mixture boils, pour this over chopped white chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
- Wait 5 minutes before stirring.
The mixture will likely appear a bit lumpy. This is because the banana is mashed and not finely puréed. Strain this through a sieve to remove any bits for a smooth and silky white chocolate banana ganache.
The process for filling a muffin is exactly the same as filling a cupcake. Some tips:
- Use a piping nozzle as a stencil and guide for cutting a circle in the top of the cake.
- Create the hole by either twisting the piping nozzle into the cake or tracing with a sharp knife.
- Take care not to cut too deep. You do not want to hollow out the muffin all the way to the bottom!
- Keep the cut outs. These can be useful to use as a cork to keep the filling in and create a level top to the muffin for decoration later. Alternatively, they're a great snack!
- Fill the muffins with the ganache and add replace the cake corks.
Quick Broiled Coconut Frosting
Broiled coconut frosting is a classic on banana cake. When these muffins started to transition from a breakfast to a dessert, I figured a decadent topping was just what they needed!
The recipe for broiled (which simply means oven grilled) coconut frosting is incredibly simple, just using:
- Brown sugar
- Butter, melted
- Flaked coconut
I added a bit of rum to this for these muffins, to compliment the banana rum ganache.
Mix these together in a bowl and you will get a fairly wet cake topping.
As this is traditionally used on sheet cakes, you would normally just dump the topping onto the cake, while it is still in the tray, spread out and broil/grill. For muffins, it is a bit more delicate a process of dolloping on top of the individual cakes.
The amounts in this recipe may provide leftovers, depending on how much you add to the muffins.
Once topped, place in the oven under the broiler/grill for about 5 minutes - watch carefully and remove once they begin to go golden.
Some Alternative Options
These muffins offer a lot of opportunities to change things up. The multiple elements are all possible to substitute if the need arises or if your tastes dictate. So, rather than giving the alternatives for each component, I'll share some ideas to recreate the banana ganache muffins as other bakes
1. Banana Ganache Loaf
Instead of making this recipe as muffins, you could also make this as a loaf. The measurements will make two standard sized loaves of banana bread or one large one.
To incorporate the ganache, this will best be served on the side as a sauce. Alternatively, you could top the loaf with this as a drizzle in place (or on top of) the broiled coconut frosting.
2. Banana Ganache Cake
A sheet cake version of this recipe is achievable using a 9"x13" pan.
The ganache in this case could again be served on the side. Or, you could make cavities in the centre of each expected slice of cake (similar to the way this has been done in the muffins). Fill these hollows with the ganache, re-top with the cake cork and spread the coconut frosting to broil.
Please note that either of these options may result in different cooking times for the banana bread as this will take longer in larger baking tins. Keep an eye on it and remove from the oven once a toothpick comes out clean.
FAQs for Banana Ganache Muffins
These muffins keep well for a few days at room temperature in an airtight container.
Technically yes, however, the different elements will freeze best separately. If you are looking to make this ahead of time, I would recommend freezing them unfilled. The ganache and the muffins can both be defrosted and then assembled nearer the time and the topping is best made (and broiled) fresh.
Not at all - the rum in all parts of this recipe is entirely optional. If you are not using the rum, you may want to replace this with vanilla in the coconut frosting, but otherwise it can be completely left out with no issue.
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
Banana Ganache Muffins with Broiled Coconut Frosting
Ingredients for Banana Muffins
- 2 cups plain (or all-purpose) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup light brown muscovado sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 small ripe bananas
Ingredients for Banana Ganache
- ¾ cup chopped white chocolate
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 tablespoon ripe banana, mashed
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
Ingredients for Broiled Coconut Topping
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ⅔ cup light brown muscovado sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- 1½ cup sweetened flaked coconut or dessicated coconut
- ½ teaspoon rum (optional)
Instructions for the One-Bowl Banana Muffins
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175C/155C Fan) and prepare a muffin tray with grease and flour or muffin cases.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with an electric hand mixer.
- Add the eggs and beat to combine.
- Add the bananas. Beat on low to mash and incorporate these.
- Finally, add the flour, baking soda and salt. Beat until just combined.
- Scoop the mix into a prepared 12-hole muffin tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Take out of the oven and remove onto a wire rack to cool.
Instructions for Banana Ganache
- In a saucepan, heat the cream and vanilla bean paste until almost simmering.
- Add the mashed banana and rum to the cream and bring to a boil.
- Once the cream mixture has boiled, pour this over the chopped white chocolate (in a heat proof bowl). Allow this to set for about 5 minutes and then stir until the chocolate has thoroughly melted.
- To create smooth banana ganache, strain this through a sieve to remove any excess bits of banana.
- Fill the muffins with the ganache (notes on filling these are available in the blog post).
Instructions for the Coconut Topping
- In a small bowl, mix together butter, sugar, milk and rum. Add the coconut and stir to combine.
- Top each muffin with the coconut mixture. You may have extra leftover depending on how much you want to use on each muffin.
- Place the coconut topped muffins on a baking tray under the broiler (or grill) in your oven for about 5 minutes, watching carefully. Broil until lightly golden and remove to cool.