I'm super weird about bananas. I hate the way they taste and the smell makes me gag. No joke. Whenever I get the slightest whiff of them, my gag reflex kicks in on over drive and I start dry heaving (the ripened ones are the worst because they have a stronger, more repulsive scent). It's a weird involuntary reflex that I can't control- it just happens.
It's so embarrassing when you're in the middle of the grocery store and you accidentally walk by the bananas: instant dry heaving. You look like a cat trying to cough up a mean hairball. People think you're crazy. Or they wanna run over and give you the Heimlich.
Once this became common knowledge at school, I got teased big time for it. People wouldn't let me live it down. I was constantly running down the hall or out of the classroom, out of fear of having a banana stuffed in my face. People used to run after me with them, taunting me, threatening to peel one in front of me. Some would purposefully sit next to me and pull out a banana, non-nonchalantly, and place it next to me in the middle of class, so that I couldn't run out. Sometimes, when I least expected it, a banana peel would get shoved in my face, and before I even knew what was happening, I would be doubled over, and gagging like crazy. Then the whole class would laugh at me. It was all a rather traumatic experience! Kids in grad school can be so mean!
Anyway, the weirder thing is that I love bananas when it's an ingredient in something. For instance, I love strawberry banana smoothies and at times, I even crave banana bread. I could have it everyday and not get sick of it. I think it's because once the banana is mixed in with something, you can't smell it anymore...and it's the smell that makes me gag. Yeah, I'm a strange one. =)
I was super excited when I saw Giada's recipe for Banana Muffins. It's topped with a creamy mascarpone frosting and walnuts! Yum! I just had to try them.
Ok, one tiiiny problem: it calls for four ripened bananas AND to make matters worse, you have to mash them. Can you imagine me having to sit there for ten minutes, mashing up all those repulsively smelling ripe bananas? I was doomed. I thought about giving up...
...but at the last minute, I had a great idea! I'll just hold my breath, shove them into a food processor and pulse the hell out of them. It worked out great! You'll need three bowls: (1) dry ingredients mixture, (2) the wet ingredients mixture, and (3) the mashed bananas (or in my case, pureed).
Mix the banana mixture with the wet ingredients first. Again, I held my breath and did this quickly. Once you mix it together, you can't really smell the bananas anymore! yay!
Next, fold in the dry ingredients...
...until smooth and blended.
...until smooth and blended.
The recipe called for regular walnuts, but I got some candied ones instead! Trust me, these are ten times better!
Place on a wire rack to cool before adding the frosting.
Aren't they pretty? I added one walnut each for a cute garnish...
...but this is really how I like to eat them!
These were fantastic, even without the frosting! They were super moist and delicious...some of the best banana bread I've had. Go Giada! There's a reason why this recipe got rated five stars, out of 324 reviews! Give these a try, even if you hate bananas, like I do. =)
Giada's Banana Muffins With Mascarpone Frosting
Click HERE for the recipe.