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
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
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.