Monday, April 29, 2013

Banana Split Cupcakes

Difficult: No
Time consuming: this was a 2 day cupcake for me, but no individual part took too long

Whenever given the option at an ice cream shop, I almost always opt for something predominantly chocolate.  Or covered in fudge.  Or blended with chocolate milk and more chocolate fudge.  I rarely ever go for a fruity flavor.  Unless is Graeter's Black Raspberry Chip, but that's about the only exception.

But when I saw these Banana Split Cupcakes on Annie's Eats, I knew I had to make them (and then donate them to the Lent fish fry as a courtesy to my waistline).  The banana cake is so moist and is the perfect vehicle for the strawberry and pineapple filling.  Topped with a whipped cream frosting, ganache, sprinkles, and a cherry, and that's as close to an ice cream banana split as you're gonna get.

The recipe yielded 33 cupcakes for me, but I only wanted to bring 24 cupcakes to church, since my husband really like the cake and wanted to take it plain as "muffins" to work for breakfast.

The Recipe:
yields 33 cupcakes


Banana cupcake
2½ cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon. salt
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups sugar
6 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk (If you don't have buttermilk on hand, use: 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a glass measuring cup, then filled to the 1 cup line with milk, +2 tablespoons milk)
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana (for me, this was from 3½ bananas)

 Strawberry Pineapple Filling
10 ounces of diced, hulled strawberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, thaw first)
1½ tablespoons powdered sugar
8 ounces canned, crushed pineapple (fresh would be better if you have it, but canned is fine)

Whipped Cream Frosting
12 ounces heavy cream
1½ teaspoons gelatin, + 6 teaspoons cold water
3/8 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ganache Topping**
 6 ounces chocolate (I used milk chocolate chips, but bittersweet chips or chopped bar chocolate is fine too)
2 ounces heavy cream
1 teaspoon corn syrup

*Note: the ganache I used had equal parts cream to chocolate (6 ounces cream, 6 ounces chocolate), but I found that it never really "set up" - even after cooling to room temperature, then an hour in the freezer, which made a kind of runny mess on my cupcakes.  So the ingredients above reflect ganache for a "hard glaze."  Also, the ganache I had made way too much, so hopefully I've adjusted the ingredients enough so that you can top the cupcakes (if not, let me know in the comments and I can try to fix it)

marashino cherries
rainbow jimmies


Make the cupcakes
1.   Line cupake pan with liners, set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs 1 at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl between every egg or 2.  Mix in the mashed bananas.

3.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the stand mixer, and mix until just incorporated.  Then add half of the buttermilk.  Mix.  Then another 1/3 of the flour mixture, mix.  Then the rest of the buttermilk, mix.  Finally, add the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

4.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full, pop into the oven, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees, and bake for 20 minutes.  The cupcakes should spring back lightly when touched, and a toothpick inserted should come out with only a few moist crumbs.  Let cool a few minute in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the filling
5. Macerate the chopped strawberries with the powdered sugar for at least a half hour.  Strain berries from liquidStrain pineapple from juices.  Set both aside.

Make the frosting
6.  Combine the gelatin and water in a small, microwave safe bowl.  Set aside for 3 minutes...

7.  In the meantime, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream and powedered sugar to soft peaks (do not over beat, you will end up with butter!)

8.  Back to the gelatin - microwave for 30 seconds so that it's completely liquidy and all the gelatin dissolved.  Let cool (but don't let it become solid).  With the mixer running on low, add the liquid gelatin to the cream, increase mixer speed, and beat until stiff peaks form.  Mix in vanilla.

Make the ganache
9.  Put the chocolate in a small bowl, set aside.

10.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it simmers, then pour over chocolate.  Let sit for a few minutes, then whisk to combine.  Add corn syrup, whisk to combine, and let sit so that it's cool but not too thick.

Assemble the cupcakes
9. Core out the middle of the cupcakes (using a cupcake plunge or the cone method), save the cake scraps.  Fill the cupcakes with scant a teaspoon of each strawberry and pineapple, then top with a portion of the cake from the core.

10.  Pipe the whipped topping on the cake (I used a large Wilton round tip).  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Top with a spoonful of ganache.  Before the ganache sets, sprinkle with jimmies and garnish with a marashino cherry.

Cupcake recipe adapted from Annie's Eats
Ganache info from The Kitchn

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