Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Banoffee Cupcakes

I'm going to share with you one of the loves of my life. For too long, I feel, have I kept this to myself. I have been selfish and arrogant. So today, I'm going to share with you the wonderful banoffee cupcakes. I even coloured the lettering in a sad attempt to impress on you all how wonderful these are.

I got the idea for these while wondering which of my favourite desserts would make good cupcakes. I've since learned that banoffee cupcakes and lemon meringue cupcakes are already popular and that pastry does not work well as a cupcake base, regardless of whether you blind bake it first or not. Although I will get back to you when I've perfected my bakewell tart cupcake.

However, I have thrown together my own recipe for these, pieced together from various other recipes that I've found along the way.

You can put a biscuit base on these - as I did for the first four or five batches - but I've found that this is a bit messy, a bit unnecessary and that people tend to complain about getting crumbs down their clothes. So I now leave out the biscuit base. It's up to you guys and your personal preference.

Banoffee Cupcakes

For the banana cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
3tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarb of soda
pinch of salt
punch of freshly ground nutmeg
2 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup butter or marg, melted
2 eggs, whisked till frothy
1tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk

For the toffee:
Use this stuff. It will change your toffee eating life. You'll never go back. Unless you, like me, have a rubbish co-op near you that doesn't stock it. In which case, you'll need
1/3 cup brown sugar
50g butter
1 395g tin of sweetened condensed milk

For the toppings:
Whipped cream
A flake. Or some other crushed chocolate. You could use chocolate shavings if you wanted to be extra fancy :)

Make the toffee by putting all the ingredients in a pan and cook over a low heat, stirring continuously, until thick. This should take about 10 minutes. Don't let it boil and don't let it stand for any amount of time without stirring or it will stick to the pan and you won't be able to clean it. Ask me how I know this. Go on. Set the toffee aside to cool (don't taste it unless you've cooled it down beforehand. You don't want to skin your tongue or anything) and make the cupcake batter.

Sift all dry ingredients together and add the wet ones in the following order: butter, milk, vanilla, egg, banana. Mix well after each addition. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake for about 15 minutes on about 180'C. A medium heat anyway.

When cakes are done, leave to cool and then cut a cone out of the top of each. Fill this cone shape with toffee. About 10 minutes before you want to serve them, whip the cream until stiff and pipe on top (or if you can't find your beloved 1M piping nozzle like me, just spoon the cream on, spreading it out gently to look pretty). Sprinkle with crushed flake.

And watch as your friends propose, fall at your feet and declare their undying devotion.

You think I'm joking.

I'm not.

I'd make them for the bake swap I'm joining, but I don't think fresh cream travels well *le sigh*

Which reminds me, this is wicked cool. Basically, you sign up and get assigned a partner. You then send your partner a care package containing some homemade baked goods, a recipe card and a little gift. They return the favour. I'm honestly not sure which I'm looking forward to the most - making cakes or cookies and sending them to a stranger or receiving a random package in the mail with yummy treats in. It's only in effect in the UK, but if you live here, get involved! Or set up an American/French/Australian/insert-country-here bake swap. I'm crazy excited about it. And I just can't hide it. :-D

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