New York's Bouchon Bakery has a really special little place in my heart. Even in my high school days, I was constantly there, enjoying their baked goods (the gigantic pistachio macaron is my favorite) & deliciously strong coffee. This bakery is always my first and last stop during my New York visits, and I am almost always bringing back a bag full of treats for my friends. So when Thomas Keller released his Bouchon Bakery Cookbook with Executive Pastry Chef Sebastien Rouxel, I was thrilled. All of my favorite treats in one book!
I bought it as a birthday gift for my boyfriend last November. But let's be honest, I basically half-gifted it to myself. So far, we've enjoyed the oatmeal raisin cookies, shortbread cookies, double chocolate chunk & chip cookies, TKOs (Thomas Keller Oreos), bacon cheddar scones, and the Multigrain seed bread.
I had no intention of tackling a recipe from this book this week (I'm still trying to catch up on sleep from last week...), but the brown bananas sitting in my kitchen begged to differ. So, I scratched plans for basic banana bread and decided to go with Bouchon Bakery's Banana Muffins with a streusel topping. I had almost everything that the recipe called for, so I decided to substitute the few ingredients I could and save myself a trip to the grocery store. I used chopped pecans instead of walnuts, vanilla extract instead of vanilla paste, and sour cream instead of creme fraiche.
Adapted from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook:
1 1/4 cups + 1 tablespoon (168 g) cake flour
3/4 teaspoon (3.6 g) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (2.4 g) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon (4.4 g) kosher salt
4.2 ounces (120 grams) unsalted butter at room temp [1 stick of butter + change]
3/4 cup (144 g) lightly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (80 g) eggs
1 1/8 teaspoons (7 g) vanilla extract
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons (24 g) creme fraiche
1 cup mashed bananas (approx 2 bananas)
Note: the recipe calls to use a mixer, but I had no issues doing it all by hand.
Sift cake flour, baking soda, baking powder together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk in Kosher salt. Cream the butter to the consistency of mayonnaise (should be fairly easy at room temperature). Add sugar and mix until fluffy, scraping down the sides as you go. Add eggs and vanilla extract until just combined.
Add dry ingredients in 2 batches until just combined. Add the creme fraiche & mashed banana to the mixture until evenly distributed in the batter. Transfer the batter into an airtight container. Refrigerate overnight (up to 36 hrs).
Note: When I told the bf that I was going to make banana muffins over dinner, he told me to 'read the entire recipe carefully' beforehand. I did not. Therefore, I did not know that the batter needed to be chilled overnight. And was so so so sad that I would not be munching on something sweet after dinner...
if you own a scale, definitely break it out for super exact measurements
PECAN STREUSEL TOPPING
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons (100 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (100 g) pecans (finely chopped)
1/8 teaspoon (0.4 g) kosher salt
3.5 ounces (100 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces.
Combine all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add the butter, incorporating well until there are no more large chunks. Transfer mixture to a covered container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line large 6-cup muffin pan with muffin papers and spray with nonstick spray. Spoon batter evenly into cups, stopping about 1/2 inch short from the top. Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of the streusel topping on top of the batter. Or, even more if you're feeling generous ;)
Place pan into oven & lower the temp to 325 degrees. Bake for 35-38 minutes, until golden brown. Insert a toothpick or skewer into one of the muffins - if it comes out clean, you're done! In first read through, I also ignored the lowering-heat part of the recipe... Don't do that, unless you want them to be a teensy bit dark on the bottom....
Delicious Sour cream/creme fraiche + not too many bananas = perfectly moist and fluffy muffins. Not the banana-overkill dense muffins I'm used to. Takes a little bit of planning ahead (oops), but so worth it!
Store in a covered container. Should last for up to 3 days in room temperature or up to a week in the freezer.