Chocolate Raspberry Banana Muffins

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Well, it is no secret that I love chocolate and as of lately I have been on a chocolate baking binge. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a variety of desserts but chocolate is by far my favorite. It seems like ever since I was a little girl I’ve had a sweet tooth and a huge love for dessert. I think this is partially what inspired me to start baking. I wanted to know how to make the things that I love so much.

A couple days ago I bought ripe bananas at the grocery store with the intention of baking banana nut bread. BUT as I was looking at different recipes on Pintrest, I decided that I wanted to also include chocolate chips that I had in my pantry, and then I remembered I had a package of raspberries in the fridge, so I had to include those too! Suddenly most of the recipes that were popping up on Pintrest were for chocolate banana bread with raspberries and chocolate chip. I was thinking to myself – what did I get myself into? I usually prefer fewer ingredients, simple but bold flavors, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try chocolate raspberry banana muffins out and see how they tasted. Even though I was unsure about chocolate banana bread, I figured – why not.

Other than loving baking because of my initial curiosity with desserts, baking also makes me feel like I am doing right. It gives me this rewarding feeling and pleasure that I might make someone else happy with this dish or recipe. Food is a huge part of my culture (I’m Pacific Islander and Chinese) and I have a lot of family/friends who share the same pleasure and love for a great food, from appetizers to desserts! It is an awesome feeling knowing that someone appreciates the time and effort you put into making something. I get a similar satisfaction when blogging. All the research and recipe testing that goes into the perfect combination of ingredients and flavors, plus the photo editing and then drafting the content. Blogging is a lot of work, on top of actually doing what you are blogging about! However the feeling I get, once I share one of my post on Pintrest or Instagram, this feeling of happiness comes over me and I feel good about myself. That is why I continue to bake and blog because it inspires me and if it also inspires others too, that’s wonderful.

Currently, I’m in the process of deciding an official name that fits this blog. I have come up with so many options but nothing rings true to me. I am also in search of a graphic designer/blog designer to create a original template for me. So there are some changes coming to BrianaVeniana.com, including a name change (pretty sure, but not officially). Also, I am realizing more and more that perusing something that makes me happy is far more important that anything else. Happiness is key and success is subjective. Everyone has their own definition of success, and what makes life great to me is accomplishing goals that I set for myself. Creating this blog, and consistently updating it is one of my goals. Writing great content and producing professional photos is also on my list. Slowly but surely, I am getting there. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in how far you have to go, than looking at how far you’ve come… can’t remember who the author of this quote was.

Anyways that is enough of my ramblings, without further a due here is the recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Banana Muffins that came out pretty spectacular. Based on reviews from my sisters the muffins are not too chocolate-y and you only taste a hint of the banana. The raspberries are really the start of the show, and the chocolate chips pretty much melt into the batter. Next time I may try dark chocolate chips instead of semi sweet. This batter will come out thick and lumpy, so don’t expect a liquid like batter. Also, I bought another pack of raspberries from the store, so I could garnish the muffins with them but ended up putting 1 or 2 raspberries on top of the muffins once they were in the muffin pan.

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Chocolate Raspberry Banana Muffins

Baking Temp: 350

Baking Time: 20-25 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup all purpose flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 1/3 cup bananas (mashed)

1 cup raspberries

¾ cup chocolate chips (semi sweet or dark chocolate)

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a large bowl whisk together flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set bowl aside.

In a separate bowl mix together the mashed bananas, vegetable oil and egg.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together. Mix together until all ingredients are combined, remember that the batter will be lumpy and this is okay.

Fold in the chocolate chips and the raspberries. Do not over mix the batter or else muffins will come out tough.

Pour batter into muffin pan ¾ of the way full, then bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy with people you love.

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Single Layer Chocolate Cake

 

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I was with my grandmother a few days ago and we decided to do a little baking. I wanted to see how she made  chocolate cake because I was thinking about baking a birthday cake for a friend for the weekend coming up. My grandmother is a regular baker so she had all of the ingredients needed for a little mid day baking action. This cake is light and fluffy, and I think would go nicely with a strawberry jam filling, since we didn’t have any fresh jam, we made a cream cheese frosting, so delicious!

 

Single Layer Chocolate Cake

350 degrees, 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 ½ stick unsalted butter (room temperature)

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ cup all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup butter cream

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Instructions:

In medium size mixing bowl combine cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Then add each egg one at a time while mixing, add vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture, until all ingredients are mixed together. Pour batter into greased 8 inch round pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 sticks butter

4 ounces cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

Put all three ingredients in mixing bowl and turn on mixture until becomes frosting. If more frosting is needed, add more powdered sugar ½ cup at a time.

Dreamy & Delicious Nutella Rolls

Dough w Sugar Spice

Oh My Goodness! If only you could smell the scent that is coming out of my oven right now. Some of you may know but I have been on a cinnamon roll baking binge lately. I finally feel like i have gotten the dough recipe down, the recipe I love and that is also vegan, is from Minimalistbaker.com if you are interested. Yes that is right, vegan dough, no eggs, no milk, in replacement of eggs, the recipe uses almond milk and vegan butter, Earth Balance. I recently ventured outside of cinnamon rolls because my sister was going on a post graduation road trip from California to North Carolina with a group of her college buddies. So what better way to send them off than with a belly full of Nutella Cinnamon Rolls. The dough recipe is still the same as my previous recipe for cinnamon rolls, but I will briefly go over it here.

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What You’ll Need for the DOUGH:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

3 tablespoons of butter

3 cups of all purpose flour

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 packet instant active yeast

1/4 tablespoon of salt

FILLING:

1/3 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of brown sugar

2 table spoons of cinnamon

4 tablespoons of Nutella

2 tablespoons of butter

Instructions:

After you melt butter and almond milk in a saucepan without brining it to a boil, let cool down to the temp of bath water. Pour mixture in big mixing bowl and add in packet of instant yeast. Let the yeast active for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes is up, add in 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/4 tablespoon of salt. Mix together. Then 1/2 a cup at a time, add in the all purpose flour. After you’ve added all 3 cups of flour, begin to knead for 1 minute. Also, if my dough is not sticky enough I will add a little bit of water into the bowl. Knead your dough into a ball and then let sit at room temp for 1 hour to let the dough rise. After dough has risen, it should look like Step 1 in the picture below.

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Then roll out your dough into a round edged rectangle, which you see in the image labeled Step 2. Then melt your 2 remaining tablespoons of butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Brush melted butter onto dough lightly, do not soak the dough. Then add in the 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, which you see in Step 3. Then melt 4 tablespoons of Nutella in microwave for 30 seconds (can use less if you don’t want your rolls too chocolate-y) shown in Step 4. Then roll your dough from the side closest to you, until it become a log looking roll of dough. Cut dough 1 or 1 1/2 inch thick, and place in a pre-coated baking pan. I use Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray. Then using the remaining melted butter, coat the top of the rolls. Bake for 25-30 minutes, and then let cool. If you’d like you can serve the rolls warm, or let them cool completely and ice them with a mix of powdered sugar and almond milk. If you frost them too soon, which I have done, the powdered sugar will melt on top the rolls. It is still delicious, just not as pretty and presentable. Enjoy!

Nutella Rolls Before Baking