Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Banana Congraduation Cupcakes

Reader Beware: I'm in a whimsical mood and anything could happen in this post.

Like that. Now you know.

This week I've been in a very layer cake mood. I started a cake decorating class on Monday, and I can't wait to try out some of the tricks I've already learned. How-ev-er... I still haven't bought the equipment that would allow me to trick out my layer cake.

So instead of making a banana layer cake for my upcoming graduation party, I fell right back into my oh-so-comfortable rut and made banana cupcakes.

I followed the Banana Cake Cockaigne recipe from the newest edition of The Joy of Cooking. (If anyone knows how to properly pronounce that last word, I would love for you to spell it phonetically in a comment!)

Anyway, the dry:

2 1/4 c sifted cake flour (I didn't have CF so I probably botched this bit. I won't give you my awkward substitution.)
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

The mushy:

1 c lightly mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
1/4 c plain yogurt or buttermilk (I used 1 T buttermilk powder in the dry and 1/4 water here.)
1 t vanilla

The beaten:

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
When creamy, gradually add and beat 1 c + 2 T sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Then beat in 2 eggs, one at a time.
Finally, add the dry and mushy in alternating parts, beginning and ending with the dry.

Hear this: this batter is tasty! I love batters but every once in a while a batter comes along and knocks me off my feet (that's right, I'm wooed by batters) and this is one of them.

I got some batter on my nose. Whimsically.

Back to business, Rombauer, Rombauer-Becker, and Becker suggest putting the batter into two 9"x2" round cake pans and baking at 350 for about 30 minutes. I decided to go for cupcakes, naturally. It didn't make many. I got 18 from the batter.

The cake tester came out clean at 17 minutes but I probably could have taken them out at 15 or 16.

After letting them cool a bit, I cut holes in the banana cupcakes. These weren't big holes and they probably only went halfway down the cake.

I filled the cakes with chocolate ganache, and iced them with Marshmallow Frosting. I really, really, really didn't want to cook an icing yesterday, so I hunted around until I found a recipe that used fluff. :) Sneaky...

The recipe is very simple. I used the Fluffy White Icing as a jumping point.

Beat until creamy:
1/2 c. shortening
1 tsp. flavoring (I used vanilla)

Add and beat until creamy again:
1 c. marshmallow fluff

Alternate until you achieve desired consistency:
2 c. confectioner's sugar
3-4 tsp. milk

Voila! No cook, super good Marshmallow Frosting.

After I piped the icing on top of the ganache-filled cupcakes, my mother and I had an Aha! moment and decided to make flags to jazz up these congraduation cupcakes. My mother insisted the flags have my face on them. Ew.

But I will agree that the overall effect is cute. Very "college of our hearts, always," if you know what I mean. The other side of the flag has a picture of the football announcement board with my name on it.

The cupcake is so unassuming with the flag, isn't it?

So simple and basic and wait...

filled with ganache!

This cupcake is pretty tasty. The banana flavor isn't overpowered by the chocolate and marshmallow, so that made me happy. The cake wasn't as moist as I would like it to be, but my mom didn't think that was a problem. I give them 3.5 out of 5 tassels.


How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Holla @ Tones vanilla extract!!! :P

Evan said...
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Evan said...

I was waiting for the graduation bit of the cupcakes, and the flags don't disappoint. Class-ay.

Evan said...
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Kate said...

Oh, I miss your cupcakes! That looks delicious, and I'm not even a huge fan of bananas.

kmari03 said...

The banana man creeps me out. The rest is suitably whimsical.

Amber said...

ooooh sneaky ganache. love it. So excited to hear you're taking the class; are you making all sorts of cake friends? lol.

Anonymous said...

Looks good to me :) - gotta love a filled cupcake!

A Slice of Concentrated Love said...

This reminds me of a dessert my aunt used to make on the grill: bananas cut length ways, stuffed with hershey bars and marshmallows, wrap it all up in some tin foil and throw on the grill for a couple minutes. It is so good.

Hilary said...

Hehe. You and your banana man are both the coolest. And those cupcakes look amazing.

Amanda said...

HTEAC: Gotta love bulk buying!

Evan: Isn't it great what someone can do with a ridiculous amount of time?

Kate: The cupcakes miss you too!

Kira: How can anyone not love the banana man? I had to do some serious balancing to keep those eggs suspended mid-air!

Amber: That's the plan. Hopefully you'll have the option of the most gaudy Wilton buttercream roses all over your wedding cupcakes! Haha... :) Just kidding... don't fire me yet.

RedDeer: And I do!

Slice: I have never heard of that but it sounds great. Grilled bananas, ay?

Hilary: Yay for banana man love! I thought he was a total hit. :)

Casey's Wifey said...

AMANDA! When are you gonna come over and bake with me/mourn the loss of Bea Arthur with some Golden Girls? Have you found your DVD's yet? I wanna make some cupcakes with you! Your choice...but I wanna try out frosting cupcakes like you did these banana ones with my new pampered chef "Easy Accent Decorator". I wanna know if it works, and I figure since you're the pro you should try it first. PS: I'm sad you're taking a cake decorating class without me! Where is it at?

Liesl said...

Thanks for checking out my blog! :o) These cupcakes look delicious! One of my three loves in life (not including my husband...shhh don't tell hehe)...bananas, peanut butter and smores!! :o) The cupcake with the ganache looks devine!

Casey's Wifey said...

No response to my comment? pretty please?

Amanda said...

Haha... sorry, Casey's Wifey! I thought I responded to your question on FB but I guess I didn't. :)

Let's definitely have a GG reunion. And I'm taking the class at Michael's. I wish you were taking it too! It's so much fun and really funny when we all get decorating and critiquing ourselves. I highly recommend taking Course I, then we could catch up on other courses. :)

Me! said...

too cute! i love bananas and chocolate!

Amber said...

What an awesome idea..bananas, chocolate, marshmallow...cake! Gotta try these! They look so delicious! Thanks!