Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Banana Cupcakes 3 Ways

I definitely didn't want to make my trip to visit Cailin in Miami empty handed... I mean, not only is she one of my best friends, but she was the one that I made my very first cake for! I went back and forth about what I wanted to bake and then it came to me one afternoon as I realized I still had 3 lovely bananas waiting in the freezer for me, just begging me to be a part of something yummy. I also thought it would be a great opportunity to try out a few new icings I've been wanting to make...soo the end result?? Banana Cupcakes 3 Ways.

The recipe I used actually comes from one of the most amazing cupcake books: Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Honestly, if you ever want to make a fun cupcake or just look at some fun things you can do with them, this is the book to have.. they do some amazing things with cupcakes and offer step by step directions to make the creations using simple ingredients in very creative ways. My mom got me the book this year for Christmas and I was excited to actually get to use a part of it finally. Along with all their fun creations, they offer the recipes for their Favorite Homemade Cupcakes and some icings as well. For these cupcakes, I made my own icings.

Banana Cupcakes
courtesy of Hello Cupcakes! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

Makes 18 standard cupcakes
Oven: 350 Time: 15-20 min

1 2/3 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 medium ripe bananas
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 stick butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
In another bowl, mash bananas and buttermilk.
In yet ANOTHER bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.
(Make sure the bowl you use for this mix is the largest- If you're using a Kitchen Aid mixer, beat the butter, sugar and eggs in there and add the other bowls ingredients to it)
Once the butter sugar and eggs are beat, add the flour mixture alternatively with the banana mixture in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in vanilla.

Spoon batter into paper lined muffin tin and pop into the oven!

While the cupcakes were baking I got to making my 3 different icings. I went with a Honey-Cinnamon Buttercream, Chocolate Ganache and Peanut Butter Buttercream. Since I was using three different icings I made pretty small batches... icing is something that is hard to mess up and it's really all about getting the right consistency which can always be adjusted by adding more sugar or adding more butter or liquid depending on what needs to be done. If you ever have any questions PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE email me, I'll be happy to try and help :)! The following recipes will be for about 1/4 of a full recipe...that means they can easily be doubled if you were using only one of the icings. A conversion and general rules for icing is up on the Tips & Tricks!!

Honey-Cinnamon Buttercream
4 TBS butter
2 TBS crisco
1 TBS cinnamon
1 TBS Honey
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar*
1/2 TBS water (just to get the right consistency)

Cream butter, crisco, cinnamon and honey. Mix in powdered sugar.
Feel free to add more cinnamon or honey depending on your tastes.
*I'm guesstimating on the sugar because I was using a 1/3 cup.. I just added 1/3 cup of powdered sugar until I got the right consistency.

Chocolate Ganache
This recipe makes about 1 cup of ganache.
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 TBS butter
1/2 bag chocolate chips

Place chocolate and butter in a bowl. In a small saucepan, heat cream to just a boil. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate and butter and stir until smooth. Let sit and cool for a few minutes before use.

Peanut Butter Buttercream
4 TBS butter
2 TBS crisco
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar*
1/2 TBS water (give or take)

Beat butter, crisco and peanut butter. Mix in powdered sugar. Add water if necessary.
*Again, I added the sugar by 1/3 cup increments... use your best judgement when making your icing!

Well, now that the cupcakes are iced and the kitchen is clean, I've got to finish packing and get ready for some fun in the sun... I'll let you know what the consensus is regarding the favorite combo :) MIAMI HERE I COME!!