Going Bananas Cupcakes

Going Bananas Cupcakes: Banana cupcake with chocolate ganache filling, peanut butter icing, chocolate drizzle, and a banana chip on top.

Mood: For when you’re stressed out, feeling silly, or a little bit crazier than normal, and life is making you go bananas!going bananas (21)

Wow, it’s been almost exactly a year since I’ve last posted on this blog! That is ridiculous and unacceptable. I have baked since then, I guess I just got too lazy to post on the internet! Well that shall soon change. I have a few recipes that I can post from the last year, stay tuned.

So what inspired this long overdue return to the blogosphere? You see, I was chatting with a friend of mine and a new idea was born. An idea for a bakery which has cupcakes based on your mood. If you’re having a crappy day, you probably want to console yourself with baked goods, but do you want a cheery, fluffy, pink cupcake? NO! You want a cupcake that matches the darkness of your insides. So naturally you would come to “Eat Your Feelings Bakery” and buy a “Darker than Your Soul Chocolate cupcake” (Recipe coming soon!).

Consequently, for the last little bit I’ve been brainstorming different cupcakes that are inspired by moods. This cupcake is the first- “Going Bananas,” a banana cupcake with chocolate ganache filling, peanut butter butter cream icing, chocolate drizzle, and a banana chip for garnish. This cupcake is for when you feel like you’re going a little bit crazy, maybe you’re super stressed, maybe you just feel a little silly that day. Whatever is making you feel bananas, this cupcake is for you!

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Possible variation- if you’re lazy and don’t feel like cutting little cones out of every cupcake, which is probably a reasonable use of your time, just skip the ganache and throw some chocolate chips in the batter.

Instructions

First prepare the ganache I always forget to do this ahead of time then have to wait an unneccessary amount of time for it to cool down. You think I’d learn. So for the ganache, take the 1/4 cup of heavy cream and bring it to a boil on the stove. As soon as it starts boiling, pour it over your 3/8 cup of chocolate chips. Wait a minute, then stir until smooth. Let cool for 2 hours at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Get out 2 mixing bowls. First, mix the 1 c. flour, 1/2 T baking powder, and pinch of salt in the smaller bowl (if one is smaller). Use the bigger bowl for the wet ingredients because you’ll be adding everything to them. I always forget this and end up juggling my bowls or dirtying more than necessary. Anyway, then beat together the 5 T. of butter and 1 cup of sugar for a few minutes, until light and fluffy. Continue beating, and add the eggs one at a time. Lastly add the mashed banana. Alternate adding the flour mixture and butter milk to the batter, starting ending with the flour (I usually do flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour).

Spoon the batter into lined muffin tins. Because I am a beautiful genius, I checked if we had cupcake liners but not how many we had. We had 3. So I improvised with some parchment paper- if you wish to do this method, just take parchment paper, cut into roughly 5 inch squares, and push down into the cupcake tin. It’s hard to make it stay down and parchment paper is not the most cooperative, so I would suggest using cupcake liners.

The cupcakes, ready to go in the oven and be baked!

The cupcakes, ready to go in the oven and be baked!

Bake for 20-22 minutes at 350, until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Cupcakes! All done baking. Mine did not rise very much, not quite sure why. I may need to add more baking powder next time. Still delicious though!

After your cupcakes are done, let them cool. While they’re cooling, make the icing. Blend 1 cup peanut butter and 5 tablespoons butter until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes or so, scraping down the sides as necessary. When smooth, add the 1 cup confectioner’s sugar gradually, along with the 1 1/2 t. of vanilla extract. Once that is all combined, add the 4 T of heavy cream, and voila! You have the most delicious icing known to mankind. Seriously so good.

The icing. Yes that is a finger indent where I scooped out some icing. Nobody's perfect.

The icing. Yes that is a finger indent where I scooped out some icing. Nobody’s perfect.

Now comes the fun part- putting it all together! Best. So we’re going to fill the cupcakes using the cut out method. Cut out a little cone from the top of a cupcake by inserting a knife by the edge at an angle, and slowly cutting around in a circle.

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This is how you cut the cone out.

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Look! A hole in which we can put delicious chocolate filling.

Now to fill the hole. Get your ganache and spoon an amount into the hole. I like to fill it right up to the top- who cares if the cone doesn’t fit back in perfectly? You’re covering the top with icing. No one can see it. Make it messy! So after filling, set the cone back on top- don’t push down too hard so the chocolate goes everywhere except for inside the hole. That would be ridiculous. Let it pop up a bit.

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Fill er up!

Mmmm chocolate oozing out the sides. So good.

Mmmm chocolate oozing out the sides. So good.

Now for the icing! Put some of that delicious peanut buttery goodness into a piping bag with a star tip. Or, if you’re cheap and unfancy a plastic bag with a hole cut out the tip works in a pinch. Or use a knife and spread it, no judgement. Just put the icing on the cupcake! If you’re like me, you’re afraid to pipe on too much icing in case you run out for the last few, and then have leftover icing. What does one do with leftover icing? Not sure. So just go nuts and don’t have leftover!

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Ready to pipe!

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All iced up.

And lastly, the finishing touches. Chocolate drizzle. I had a ridiculous amount of leftover ganache (I posted the ingredients for half of the amount I made) so I just microwaved a little bit of the leftover and drizzled it over with a spoon. If you don’t have leftover ganache or didn’t do the ganache, melt some chocolate in the microwave or on the stove and drizzle. Lastly, add a banana chip to each to remind you that these are indeed banana peanut buttery chocolate deliciousness, and you’re done! Going Bananas for these cupcakes 😉

So delicious. I think I'm going to declare this mission successful.

So delicious. I think I’m going to declare this mission successful.

Ingredients (Makes 12 cupcakes)

Cake Batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter milk (substitute: put 1/2 T of vinegar n the measuring cup and fill it up the rest of the way with the milk, stir around a bit. Buttermilk!)
  • 2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 1/2 cup)

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/8 cup chocolate chips

12 dried banana chips for garnish

Brief Instructions:

First prepare the ganache- boil 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream on the stove in a small pot. When it boils, pour it over the 3/8 cup of chocolate chips. Wait a minute for the chocolate to melt, then stir until smooth. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Get out 2 mixing bowls. In the smaller one, combine 1 cup of flour, 1/2 T baking powder, and pinch of salt. In the other bowl, use a mixer to whip up the 5 T of butter and 1 cup of sugar until fluffy, a few minutes. When fluffy, add 2 eggs one at a time. Then add the 2 mashed bananas and mix more. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating steps, beginning and ending with the flour. Fill lined cupcake pan, distributing the batter between 12 cupcakes. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting, whip together 1 cup peanut butter and 5 T butter until smooth and fluffy, approx 3 minutes. Then add the 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar gradually, along with the 1 1/2 t of vanilla extract. Lastly, add the 4 T of heavy cream.

Cut a cone into the top of each cupcake. Fill the hole with the ganache and put the cone back in the top of the cupcake. Pipe icing. Take leftover ganache or some melted chocolate and drizzle over the cupcakes. Add a banana chip to each for garnish. The end!

For storage (if any cupcakes make it there), I usually store in the fridge just cause, but let them warm to room temperature before eating, otherwise the texture of the icing is like butter and no one wants to eat a stick of butter.


Cupcake recipe was adapted from Annies Eats and the frosting from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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Delicious Chocolate Banana Brownies with Caramel Sauce

Well, still in Peru, and Victoria and I decided to make brownies. While we were baking, I got the amazing idea to add bananas and top with caramel sauce. It was delicious, best decision ever. Well, except for the sauce… we to make a caramel sauce, but as you’ll see in the pictures, it didn’t quite work out. I think I over cooked it; it became all grainy and hard. The recipe (found here http://thelevelheadedchef.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/caramel-sauce-without-heavy-cream/) said to just boil sugar with milk and butter, but I think next time I’d rather do the kind of sauce where you cook the sugar separately to make the caramel first, and then add the cream and butter.  But anywho. Super delicious and fudgey brownies.

This recipe adapted from http://www.annies-eats.com/2009/08/05/chewy-fudgy-triple-chocolate-brownies/

banana brownies (31)First off, melt the chocolate in a double boiler with some butter. We took a large pot, simmered some water, and then set a smaller pot inside. You can also just melt it on low heat on the stove, or even the microwave if you microwave on low and stir often.

banana brownies (22)Banana time! Mask the banana up well. We had fairly yellow bananas, so it’s not too mushy. You can totally use old bananas, like you would for banana bread.

banana brownies (30)Then mix the banana with the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt.

banana brownies (1)Add the chocolate and stir until incorporated. Then stir in the flour until well combined. Pour it into a pan and bake for 35-40 min at 350 F.

banana brownies (11)Mmmm yummy brownies! They look tasty! But wait, there’s more!

Below is my failed attempt at caramel sauce. Take this as an example of what not to do.

banana brownies (3)For this recipe, you put 1/4 c milk, 4 T butter, and 1/2 cup sugar in a pot. Then boil it vigorously for 3-4 minutes.

banana brownies (9)Look it’s boiling!

banana brownies (14)This is where it started to get weird. I thought it didn’t look dark enough, so I kept boiling it. Then it got kind of watery, and too thick.

banana brownies (15)Aaaaand when it cooled this happened. Caramel chunks. Not burned, but definitely now what was supposed to happen.

banana brownies (20)We still decided to try to use the caramel sauce anyway, so we heated it back up and added some milk. It just got hard again on top of the brownie, but didn’t taste entirely bad. maybe could have made caramel chips to put inside the brownie? Not sure. Below is a different caramel recipe that I would recommend using; I’ve used it before for a Banana Cream Pie and it worked splendidly. Or you can try this recipe that I botched. Maybe you will fare better.

Ingredients:

  • 11 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 8 tbsp. butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour

Caramel sauce

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8 inch baking pan and set aside.

Using a double boiler, or a smaller pan set in a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, mashed bananas, and salt; whisk until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated. Then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and spread evenly with a spatula. bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick in the centre comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs on it (everyone loves  gooey brownie!). Should be about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for a bit.

Sauce:

While the brownies are cooking, time to prepare the caramel sauce! First stir the sugar, corn syrup, and water together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil without stirring, and cook, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down the sides with a wet pastry brush until sugar is deep amber in colour, 6-8 minutes. Remove caramel from heat, whisk in heavy cream, butter, and salt (it’ll bubble, that’s normal). Let cool for 5 minutes, then whisk in vanilla. Let it cool. This can be made a bit ahead of time and reheated to put on the brownies.

Voila! Hopefully your caramel sauce turns out better than mine! You’ll never make brownies without bananas again.

Other variations to try:

Peanut butter swirl brownies: After the batter is all prepared and ready to go in the pan, take some peanut butter and place a few globs on top of the batter. Then take a butter knife and swirl the peanut butter through the brownies.

Chunky brownies: Add a cup of your favourite candy chips, whether butterscotch, chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, whatever. Be creative. You can throw some nuts in too if you desire.

Banana Muffins!

Got rotten bananas? Don’t be sad- Make some muffins! What better idea is there? http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/banana-muffins-ii/Detail.aspx

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (Emily: I used all whole wheat flour. Worked fine :D)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large bananas, mashed (EMILY’S HINT: if you’re freezing bananas, peel them BEFORE you freeze them. It makes life easier, trust me. Otherwise only half the peel comes off. And that’s not pleasant)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (We substituted 1/4 cup of brown sugar, so 1/2 c white and 1/4 c brown, cause brown is healthier or something I dunno, worked well)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  •  OPTIONAL (Emily’s additions): 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. Combine bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter in a large bowl. Fold in flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven. Bake mini muffins for 10 to 15 minutes, and large muffins for 25 to 30 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped
Emily’s notes: Very easy muffins, worked really well, the tops came out kinda flat and we’re not sure what exactly happened, but they were quite tasty. I personally only like chocolate chips, but we put some nuts in Heathers’, so just do what you want, improvise a little. That’s what makes baking fun!