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Earl Grey Chocolate Lavender Banana Muffins with Caramel Gloss

  I've just finished up the latest series of the Great British Bake Off and having watched the last episode today after getting virtually no sleep last night, I gotta say--I bawled like a baby. Every single one of them was so endearing to me and even though I was vying for someone else most of the time (don't worry, no spoilers here!), the winner really did earn their spot. God I love that show.

  It was only fitting that I had a proper cup of Early Grey tea to cry into, along with 3 or 4 (who's counting?) of these decadent little muffins. They're an easy enough treat in themselves, but with a little extra finesse when it comes to flavoring and glossing. Yep, not glazing, glossing. I made that up for these specifically because all I wanted was the barest sheen of dark, dark caramel.

  Paul Hollywood keeps talking about flavors, so I obviously couldn't make just muffins.

 The batter for this starts off strong by steeping some coconut milk (or cow's, your preference) with lavender for about 10 minutes. Then in go the Earl Grey tea bags for about 5 minutes, then you cool it all down before adding to your banana muffin batter. I recommend preparing the caramel while these bake so you can get the right consistency to gloss these muffins (i.e. it needs to cool a bit, caramel is hot!). 

  These are some slightly more involved muffins, so feel free to cut out the caramel gloss if you're not feeling too ambitious, these are still delicious without it!

  So, grab yourself a cuppa and a muffin and have a smashing week <3

Earl Grey Chocolate Lavender Banana Muffins with Caramel Gloss
Yield: a dozen muffins

For the muffins:
  • 3/4 cup coconut or cow's milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried culinary lavender
  • 3 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large bananas, either roasted or extremely ripe
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped (or dark chocolate chips) 

For the gloss:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. coconut or cow's milk

In a small saucepan, heat milk and lavender over high heat until it just begins to bubble. Reduce heat to the lowest you can and allow to gently simmer/steam for 10-15 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve to remove lavender and place the milk back into the pan. Heat again until just bubbling then remove pan from heat and add tea bags. Allow to steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing excess liquid back into the pan. Return pan to medium heat, add butter and heat until butter is melted. Allow tea mixture to cool to room temperature. 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper or foil muffin liners. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Remove bananas from peels and place in a small bowl. Mash bananas well, leaving very few chunks. Add tea mixture and egg. Whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Mix in chocolate chunks. Portion batter into prepared muffin tins, filling a little over 3/4 full. 

Bake 25 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until a toothpick comes out clean. While the muffins bake, prepare your caramel gloss.

In a medium saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat, swirling the pan every so often to make sure that the sugar is melting evenly, until the sugar is a deep golden brown color. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter until melted. Whisking constantly--gradually add the milk. Pour the caramel into a heat proof container to cool down to room temperature.

Transfer muffins to a wire rack set over a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool. Poke a few holes in the muffins with a toothpick/skewer/small blade (this lets the caramel seep in a bit), and begin to spoon about 1 teaspoon or so of the caramel mixture onto the muffins, spreading it as you go.

Consume as you so desire!

Sources: adapted from The Whole Bite and Food Faith Fitness