Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

Today I am going to post my husband’s favourite muffin/cupcake recipe. I always bake something for him on the weekend and this recipe is the one that he asks for. I found this recipe in my sister-in-law’s book called ‘The Golden book of chocolate’. Since then, I have made them many times.

CHOCOLATE BANANA CUPCAKES

Chocolate Banana cupcake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (150g) wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup (150g) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5 (375°F).
  2. Arrange 20 baking cups on baking sheets.
  3. Mix both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition.
  6. With mixer at low speed, beat in the bananas, followed by the mixed dry ingredients, alternating with the milk.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts by hand.
  8. Scoop the batter into the cups, filling each about two-thirds full.
  9. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, 20-25 min.
  10. Cool the cupcakes on wire rack.

Makes: about 20 cupcakes

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

CLARISSA

Moqueca Capixaba

Moqueca Capixaba

Moqueca is one of the many traditional dishes from Brazil. I love it! It’s fresh, light, not many ingredients and easy to make. Basically it is a fish stew. Moqueca capixaba is the moqueca made on the State of Espírito Santo, where I used to live. The Moqueca capixaba is different from the other moquecas made in another parts of Brazil. The ingredients used to make it are olive oil (not palm oil), onions, garlic, tomatoes, coriander and ‘colorau’ (this is a red powder made from the urucum seeds used do give colour to dishes in Brazil), coconut milk is never used.

Clay Pot

To cook we use a traditional clay pot/pan, made also in my State, which is famous for the ‘Paneleiras’ ( women who made the clay pots by hand). I haven’t brought a clay pot from Brazil yet (yes, I know!), but I found this one here in Melbourne, made in Colombia. It’s not the same but work well.

Moqueca can be made with fish or others seafood such as prawns, crab, lobster, soft-shell crab, mussels, blue swimmer crab, or a mix of fish and seafood. Also, very good indeed, the version using bananas.

MOQUECA É CAPIXABA, O RESTO E PEIXADA! This is a famous phrase in Brazil and means that moqueca is the one made in the State of Espírito Santo (people from there are called capixaba), the rest is just a fish stew.

MOQUECA CAPIXABA

Ingredients

1- Onion, 2- Tomatoes, 3- Lemon, 4- Coriander, 5- Garlic, 6- Colorau, 7- Banana, 8- Fish

I make in Australia a adapted version of the moqueca. If you don’t have a clay pot and you don’t want to purchase one, you can make in your normal pan (just let you know that the taste from the clay pot is special). In this recipe I used the ‘colorau’ because I brought from Brazil in my last trip but I usually substitute it with tomato paste (still really good, adding some colour and making the sauce less watery).

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg white fish fillets (firm fish) – I tried with lots of different fish, but the ones that I liked the most are snapper and flathead tails.
  • 6 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1  brown onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch coriander, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon of colorau
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste ( as a substitute to using the colorau)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more to drizzle
  • You can add some prawns as well, it’s delicious.

Directions:

  1. Wash the fish, put in a bowl and add the lemon juice and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
  2.  in a bowl, mix the tomatoes, onion, coriander together.
  3. On the pan, medium heat, put 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add garlic and a bit of tomato, onion and coriander mixture and 1 teaspoon colorau or 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. This is to make a base for the fish.
  4. Arrange the fish on top of the base, add the prawns on that stage if you want. Cover with the remaining mixture, sprinkle with salt and colorau (or the other tablespoon of tomato paste), drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Cook in medium heat for approximately 20 to 25 min or until fish is cooked.

Seves 4-5

– Serve with steamed rice

– If you like chilli, I always make a fresh chilli chopped on olive oil and lemon to eat with it.

– The clay pots retain heat for long time, so will continue cooking the food with the heat off. So, be careful not to overcooked the fish or seafood.

BANANA SIDE DISH FOR MOQUECA (OPTIONAL BUT WONDERFUL ADDITION)

To make the banana side dish I also had to make some changes. I could not find here the type of banana we use in Brazil. It’s called “banana da terra” also known in other countries as Plantain. This kind of banana only can be eaten cooked. I use normal bananas instead. This is a delicious dish. Many people might be thinking that is a bit strange but the combination of the sweetness of the banana with the acid tomatoes and the saltiness of the dish work really well together.

Banana

Moqueca Banana

Ingredients:

  • 4 bananas, chopped in diagonal, approximately 3 to 4 cm
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 brown onion chopped
  • 1/3 cup coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon colorau or 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt to seasoning

Directions:

  1. Place the olive oil, garlic, colorau or tomato paste on the pan, in medium heat, until fragrant.
  2. Make layers with the banana, the mix of tomato, onion and coriander, sprinkling with salt.
  3. Cook for 15 to 20 min in medium heat.
  4. Serve with Moqueca and rice.

Serves 4

Enjoy it!

CLARISSA

Avocado

When I came to Australia I found it a bit strange to see avocado in salads, toast, and as a part of a savoury dish. Of course I had tried guacamole before in Mexican restaurants but for me that was the only savoury dish made with avocado. In Brazil, we mainly use avocado to make desserts, smoothies or eat it fresh sprinkled with sugar. The Avocado smoothie recipe below is so creamy and delicious – quite filling too. We also use avocados for face masks and hair treatment. There are many types of avocados, in Brazil they are bigger than in Australia and the skin is green and shinny. Avocado is a wonderful fruit, rich in vitamins A and E, helps lower cholesterol, powerful antioxidants and good for hair and skin.

There is an avocado tree in my Grandma’s house and I remember when I was a kid we use to drink a lot of avocado smoothies. My favourite thing was to put the smoothie a little bit in the freezer and the texture was almost like an ice-cream. My dad loves avocado with sugar for breakfast!

Have fun with avocado and try the smoothie recipe below!

AVOCADO SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

  • 1  ripe avocado
  • 400ml of low fat milk or water (I prefer milk)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (if you don’t have lime, you can use lemon)

Directions: 

  1. Cut the avocado into two halves, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.
  3. If you think is too thick, you can add a little bit more milk/water.

Serves 2

GUACAMOLE

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 jalapeño chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped (optional if you don’t like it spicy)
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coriander chopped
  • salt and ground black pepper
Directions:
  1. Cut the avocado into two halves, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh in a bowl.
  2. Mash the avocado with a fork or use a potato masher. I personally don’t like to blend it as I like the texture when is just mashed.
  3. Add the lime juice, tomatoes, chillies, onion and coriander. Stir all together gently.  When I can not find jalapeños chillies I use the bird-eye chilli.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste
  5. Serve with corn chips, on toast or as salad.

Serves 6

TIP:
  • TO KEEP THE COLOUR OF THE AVOCADO AND STOP IT FROM GETTING BLACK PUT SOME LEMON JUICE ON TOP. IF YOU HAVE LEFTOVERS, KEEP THE STONE ON AND WRAP IN FOIL BEFORE PUTTING IN THE FRIDGE. IF YOU MAKE  A GUACAMOLE, KEEP A STONE INSIDE THE BOWL UNTIL THE TIME TO SERVE TO PREVENT THE CHANGE IN COLOUR (My husband didn’t believe me at first but it really does work!).
Next post – Moqueca Capixaba Recipe (Brazilian seafood dish)
ENJOY,
CLARISSA