Banana, chocolate and star anise muffins (Photo: Emma Boyd)

Recipe: Banana, chocolate and star anise muffins

Spice up the classic banana muffin with a subtle touch of star anise.

These muffins came about one rainy Saturday when the cupboards were bare and there was nothing much left in the fruit bowl aside from some very sad-looking bananas. Fortunately we know sad bananas result in the best kind of baking so we decided we’d turn them into banana and chocolate muffins. Not only was the fruit bowl in need of replenishing, so too was our ordinarily reliable chocolate stash. But what was left in the bottom of our old gold tin was a star anise-flavoured chocolate from Wellington Chocolate Factory. Sacrilege to use it in baking, I know, but we were desperate. And lo and behold it resulted in the tastiest of flavour combinations and so without further ado I present you with the recipe. Can be doubled to make a good supply of lunchbox treats. 


Makes 12

  • 300g (2 cups) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 star anise, ground in a mortar and pestle
  • 75g (¼ cup) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 large very ripe bananas (the riper the better)
  • ⅓ cup yoghurt (substitute with milk if you have none)
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • ½ cup olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases or squares of baking paper. Put the flour, baking powder, chocolate, star anise and sugar into a bowl and whisk together. 

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and then mash in the bananas before adding the yoghurt, milk, olive oil and vanilla and whisking again to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 

Spoon out into the lined muffin tin and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container or freeze.

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