My mom’s a SAHM (stay-at-home mom), or more commonly and unglamorously known as a housewife. Some of my relatives probably think that my mom had it good, because she never did have to work, but I know that being a housewife ain’t easy. This was even more so because back when I was in primary, my mom would prepare THREE meals a day for me and my two brothers. I would either have milo and biscuits or cereal for breakfast, but my mom would definitely cook lunch and dinner for me, depending on whether I was in the morning or afternoon session. Because my brothers and I commuted to and fro Singapore daily for school, my mom also had the unenviable task of having to pick us up at the Malaysian customs if anyone of us had to ‘stay back’ for enrichment classes. Not only that, my mom also had to fetch us to and fro tuition classes and piano classes. For those of you mothers out there, if you have one kid and think it’s tough, try multiplying it by three. That was what my mom had to do for a really long time before we grew up, because the age difference between myself and my youngest brother is 5 years. In addition to that, our family never had a maid. Yes, I never had the ‘joy’ of having a maid, because my mom would do ALL the housework in the home, and we were only tasked the occasional job of sweeping or mopping the floor during the weekends.
How great is my mom right? I’m glad that all of us have grown up now, because my mom no longer has to pick us up at the Malaysian customs because we can take the bus home ourselves, or drive ourselves home. She is now free to pick up hobbies, and my mom is extremely active in this exercise called the “312”. She joins this active group of aunties and uncles who practise this exercise in the morning and at night. 312 refers to 3 acupuncture points, 1 tummy and 2 feet apparently.
Even now, after entering the workforce, my mom still cooks dinner for me. More often than not, I cannot make it home in time for dinner, but my mom will keep some food for me for me to pack for lunch the next day, so that I still get a taste of homecooking during the working week. This is a good arrangement, because I actually don’t like to eat hawker food because I find them too oily and unhealthy. I can stomach the occasional mee pok, hokkien mee, chicken rice or laksa, but everyday? No thanks. I can also count the number of times I have eaten “economy rice” in hawker centres on 2 hands – probably less than 5 times throughout my entire life, because yes, nothing beats my mom’s dishes! Even on Mother’s Day today, as I am typing this post, my mom is in the kitchen slaving over today’s lunch. Sorry, no fancy restaurant food for us even on Mother’s Day, because mom’s food rocks :]
When I was younger, I used to make homemade cards to show appreciation to my mom on Mother’s Day, but I have stopped some time back, because as you grow older, you somehow feel more awkward about putting your thoughts down onto paper and giving thanks. I guess this awkwardness is a phase of growing up that most people grow through, because now that I’m older, I feel more affectionate towards my mom. So as a tribute to my wonderful mom this Mother’s Day, I’m baking her muffin recipe. I’ve probably mentioned this many times on my blog, but my mom is an amazing baker, and I was very privileged to grow up eating an abundance of cakes and kuihs. Some of my favourite things are these muffins, my mom’s chocolate cake, her chiffon cake and her kuihs, especially her kuih lapis and seri muka. Of course, not forgetting my mom’s paus! I haven’t posted most of these recipes on the blog yet, but I will…soon.
So if you’re reading this Mummy, Happy Mother’s Day! I love you, and you truly are the greatest mom in the world. If I ever do become a mom one day, I would want to bring up my child just like how you did for me =D
Back to my mom’s muffin recipe – the provenance of the recipe is not quite known, because it was handwritten in my mom’s recipe book and tweaked several times with my mom’s comments. It’s not exactly a ‘true muffin’, by which I mean the method of making it is not the simple pour wet ingredients into dry. You can try doing so by substituting the butter with oil, but I prefer the texture from creaming the butter better, as it produces a muffin with finer crumb and moisture. The picture below really does not do the muffin justice. It looks like the muffin has a very bread-like texture, when in reality, it is more like a cake!
- 60g butter
- 30g castor sugar
- 30g brown sugar
- 1 egg (Grade A, or about 65g with shell)
- 30g milk
- 60g all-purpose flour [use 50g instead if making chocolate muffins. Add 10g cocoa powder]
- 60g whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 130g bananas, mashed (1 large banana or 2 small bananas)
- 100g milk or dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips (optional, but recommended)
- 80g chopped walnuts or pecans (optional, but recommended)
- In a mixing bowl, sift the flours, baking powder and baking soda. If making chocolate muffins, sift in the cocoa powder as well.
- In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter for about 1 minute. Add in the sea salt and sugars and continue creaming until the butter becomes light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Continue mixing until the egg is well incorporated into the batter.
- Add in a third of the dry ingredients into the batter. Mix for about 10 seconds, or until most of the dry ingredients are incorporated. It is okay if some flour streaks remain. Add in all the mashed bananas and mix well.
- Add in another third of the dry ingredients and mix for a further 10 seconds. Add in all of the milk and make sure that the milk is fully incorporated before adding the final third of the dry ingredients. Gently mix the dry ingredients into the batter, until no flour streaks remain. If you are adding chocolates or nuts into the batter, fold them in gently.
- Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups. You can add some extra chocolates or nuts to the top of the muffin for aesthetic purposes.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree celsius for about 15-20 minutes. If you are using a fan-forced oven, you should check on your muffins at the 15 minute mark to see if they are browned. Use a cake skewer and if it comes out clean, remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Substitutions: If you want a finer crumbed, moister muffin, I recommend substituting the milk with yogurt or sour cream, if you have them in your fridge. Feel free to substitute the flour with other whole grain flours. I have used millet and rye flours in small proportions and the muffins still taste great. If you are not in a hurry, I highly recommend clarifying the butter to get browned butter. Chill or freeze the browned butter and proceed to use it by creaming it like you would normal butter. The browned butter adds a lovely hazelnut taste to the banana muffin. I prefer using pecans and dark chocolate in my muffins, and I occasionally use a hazelnut chocolate. You can mix in anything you want into these muffins - they are that versatile!
Taste: I have reduced the sugar amounts a little from my mom's recipe, so if you have a sweeter tooth, dial up the sugar amounts by 20%. You can also reduce the sugar amounts by up to 20%, especially if you want more healthy muffins and your bananas are quite sweet.
Texture: I love these banana muffins to bits, because the texture of the muffins are fantastic. If you use whole wheat flour, be prepared for some 'bite' in the muffins, if not, you will get a muffin with fine crumbs, but still retaining that 'muffin-like' texture, if you get what I mean.
Storage: Because there are bananas in the muffins, the muffins do not last more than 2 days at room temperature, especially at our humidity. I would recommend storing them in the fridge in an airtight container. These can keep up to 2 weeks. Just pop the muffin in the microwave for about 20 seconds if you want a warm muffin. If you live in a temperate country, these muffins will last up to 5 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Would I make this again?: Definitely! This is my to-go muffin recipe for banana muffins, as well as any other muffins using a 'fruit puree', such as pumpkin, sweet potato and apple.