Monday, January 27, 2014

Banana-Caramel cupcakes recipe




As I mentioned in last night's blog, over the weekend I made some delicious cupcakes. Now, I absolutely love to cook. I love creating new recipes and throwing a bunch of ingredients into a pan and seeing what happens. But when it comes to baking, I have always steered clear. Maybe it's the way that you have to measure everything exactly, or how easy it is to completely destroy the entire recipe by leaving it in the over for like 5 seconds too long, but baking has always scared the crap outta me. Until recently, the most complex thing I have ever baked was a boxed cake or some chocolate chip cookies. So I decided what better time to learn how to bake than right now? A few weeks ago I tried to make a gooey butter cake, but I was less than impressed with the end result. The cupcakes, however, came out pretty damn good if you ask me!! Since I most certainly did not think of the recipe myself, I will share it with you here and also give all of the credit to Chelsey Bogaards @ Tastebook.com. (Recipe Here). I am not a huge fan of butter cream icing, so I made a caramel cream cheese frosting instead, and it came out so good!!


Servings:Makes 15 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
Caramel (You can also use store bought caramel ice cream topping)
  • 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Caramel Buttercream
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of the prepared caramel

Directions

Cupcakes
  • 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  • 2 Whisk together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, slat, and cinnamon.
  • 3 In another bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  • 4 With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with banana mixture, and beating until just combined after each. Stir in butterscotch chips.
  • 5 Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Caramel
Combine sugar and water in a heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear. Stop stirring, and cook until syrup comes to a boil. Continue to boil, gently swirling pan occasionally to color evenly, until mixture is very dark amber. Remove from heat; add cream in a steady stream (the mixture will spatter), stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth and combined. Let cool.

 
Caramel Buttercream
  • 1 With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until pale and fluffy. In the heatproof bowl of a standing electric mixer, combine 1/4 cup sugar and the egg whites. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water; whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
  • 2 Attach bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, mix until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue whisking until egg mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 5-10 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add beaten butter, a couple of tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
  • 3 Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, very slowly pour in caramel; beat a couple of minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl, and continue to beat until caramel is fully incorporated.
Putting It All Together
Frost cupcakes by using a small offset spatula to spread the butter cream or fill a pastry bag (fitted with the tip of your choice) with the cream and pipe on. Drizzle with additional caramel (you should have some leftover). Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving


(The recipe that I used for the caramel cream cheese frosting can be found here.)

So I was able to get 20 cupcakes out of the recipe instead of 15. Also, I only had to bake them for 15 minutes and they came out perfect. Finally, if you don't want to try your hand at homemade caramel, the store bought kind works just as well. I made the homemade caramel one night this week and while it was good, it still needs some tweaking.




Enjoy!!