This is a twist on an old favourite. It can be made lactose and dairy free by substituting in a dairy free chocolate and using dairy free baking spread in the topping. Melted coconut oil, blended along with the banana instead of the vegetable oil, is another delicious alternative. Recipe from 'Essential Gluten Free' by Phil Vickery, published by Kyle Books, priced £19.99. Photography by Kate Whitaker
Preheat the oven to 190'c/180'c fan/gas mark 5. Line a muffin tray with paper cases.
Sift the flours together very thoroughly and evenly, or put
into a food-processor and pulse until mixed.
Once the flours are sifted together, add the xanthan gum and baking powder.
Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla into a mixer or use an electric hand whisk and whisk for 2 minutes until thick.
Blend the banana with the oil until you have a thick puree. Stir this into the whisked egg mixture, then add the flour mixture and the grated chocolate. Stir well but don't beat; the mixture will be quite wet and should still look a little lumpy. Transfer the liquid into a jug.
Pour the batter evenly between the muffin cases. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the surface springs back to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the topping: Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat and toast the nuts for a few minutes until brown. Don't let them burn. Leave to cool and then chop.
You can substitute hazelnuts for almonds if you prefer.
In a bowl, whisk together the butter or spread and icing sugar until soft, light and creamy. Add the grated chocolate and mix well.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle with the mixture and pipe swirls over each muffin, then decorate with the banana slices, chopped nuts and cherries.
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