Tag Archives: banana

Banana and Blueberry Cupcakes

21 Mar

You already know how I feel about fruit muffins. Well after the choc-fest of the last few recipes, I decided to go earth-mother with some basic banana and blueberry cupcakes. Just reading the recipe made me feel virtuous. Bananas and blueberries – what could be more earth-friendly (read: tummy-friendly)? The two Bs were going to nurture body and mind. I was merely a cake away from enlightenment and an embroidered peasant skirt.

Ingredients

125g butter

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

1 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup overripe banana (about 1 large banana)

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Method (makes 12):

1. Preheat oven to 180 oC. Grease 12-hole muffin pan.

2. Place butter and milk in small saucepan; stir over low heat until butter melts.

3. Beat eggs in small bowl with electric mixer until thick and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until dissolved between additions; stir in banana. Fold in sifted flour and cooled butter mixture, in two batches. Divide mixture among muffin pan holes.

4. Bake cakes for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven; press frozen blueberries into tops of cakes. Return cakes to oven for a further 15 minutes. Allow cakes to cool on wire rack.

Mashing bananas with a zen-like demeanour.

Melting the butter and extending my mind.

As any fule kno here at Hudson Towers, the big eggs are for cooking with and not for eating. After accidentally replenishing the supply with some medium-sized eggs, I had to distinguish between the two. Writing on the egg was my passive-aggressive* way of telling Pete not to eat it. (*Not very earth-motherly I know. We have our limits.) Also, it reminded me of this:

Q: what’s big and small at the same time?

A: a big egg!

It’s a classic.

Perhaps real devotees would serenely hand-beat the egg whites. Meh.

You’ll be pleased to know the bananas are Fair Trade. They all are at Sainsbury’s. Meanwhile the flour is… who knows? All I know is that it isn’t Gold Flour (see Fig.1)

Fig.1

Does anyone else find his overall demeanour a little bit frightening? “We ought to charge more,” he says onimously. Make you wonder why they don’t. They are a business after all. Are they cutting the flour with talc or something? Whatever the reason, I don’t think I want it any more. Return from whence you came, stunted gremlin-man.

Add the bananas to the mixture.

Give it a gentle mix. Mmm, therapeutic.

Put the cakes into the oven for a brief spell…

… And hey presto, they’re nearly cooked.

The tops are still spongy, which makes them the perfect consistency for adding blueberries.

Blueberries, from where else but Sainsbury’s. They didn’t come cheap, but who can put a price on health? (Well, technically Sainsbury’s I suppose.)

I’m not sure whether these are overloaded or not. You can never have enough blueberries I say.

Occupational hazard

Violet, you’re turning violet!

Actually, this does look a bit like me. Back in my childhood fringe days.

Still, it’s all worth it.

I can assure you that those are blueberries, rather than plump, juicy olives.

The cakes are now fully cooked and the blueberries are soft and juicy. The smell from the oven is bananary (bananarish?).

A dusting of icing sugar is all that’s needed to complete to look.

VERDICT

Taste:

The cakes are very light and airy with a strong taste of banana. The blueberries provide a sharp sweetness to cut through the sponge.

Recipe pros:

Incredibly easy. The blueberry topping adds interest to a simple banana cupcake.

Recipe cons:

The dusting of icing sugar seems to shorten the life-span of the cakes. After storing them overnight (in an airtight tin, no less), they’ve gone a little soft and squishy. Still delicious, but not as attractive. Save the dusting of sugar for when you serve up the individual cakes.


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Banana Muffins with Maple Cream Frosting

1 Feb

I like making muffins using fruit. It means that instead of eating them as a 4pm snack or waiting until pudding, they can also be scoffed at breakfast, (as part of a balanced diet, of course). Unfortunately, I’ve never been one for willpower, so fruit muffins usually become my breakfast, lunch and dinner (and snacks, and puddings, and just-becauses). It’s a double-edged sword this fruit muffin lark.

This recipe is taken from the Australian Women’s Weekly Complete Book of Cupcakes and Baking.

Ingredients:

60 g butter

60g soft cream cheese

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 medium bananas, halved lengthways, sliced thinly

For the frosting

30g butter

80g soft cheese

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

Adjustments:

I replaced maple syrup (expensive) with golden syrup (cheap) and used a little less.

I halved the icing recipe and still had enough to coat the cakes.

Method (makes 12):

1. Preheat oven to 180 oC. Line 12-hole muffin pan with cases.

2. Beat butter, cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in milk, syrup and sifted dry ingredients.; fold in bananas.

3. Drop 1/4 cup of mixture into each case; bake about 30 minutes. Stand cakes in pan for 5 minutes then turn onto wire rack to cool.

4. Make maple cream frosting by beating butter, cream cheese and syrup in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy; beat in sifted icing sugar, in two batches, until combined.

Milibanana

Now first I’m going to need some bananas. Can you help me out David Miliband?

“Sure Hannah – Here you go. You can have mine.”

But David Miliband! This banana is all wrinkled and almost past its best.

“Oh god. Yeah, sorry about that. It’s been a tough few months.”

Not to worry David Miliband, I know you have a kind heart. I wish you’d won the leadership election instead of Ed.

That news seems to please you David Miliband. I’ll just leave you to it. Thanks again.

“No problem. As you can see, I’ve got plenty of things – not least this ice cream – to be getting on with now.” **

Like the inside of a Miliband brother, the banana is soft and packed full of potassium.

We’ll also be needing some cream cheese, but it looks like I’ll have to fetch that myself.

Like _______(*Insert name of politician), this cream cheese is slimy.

Like _________ (*Insert name of political party), these eggs are past their best. (Safety Notice: Not really, the eggs are well within the use-by date.)

I’m also using a whack-load of solden syrup. Now I gave a fairly comprehensive commentary of this golden syrup a couple of posts back, so I’ll say no more about it for now.

Giving it a good old going-over.

Gloopy.

Now time for the bananas.

In they go.

It’s satisfyingly sticky putting the mixture into the cases. Must be all that syrup. #schlurp

Bow down and worship the Sun God banana muffin.

“This shit it bananas,” says Neo.

VERDICT:

Taste:

Delicioso. The banana is sticky yet firm, and the icing on top is really, well, the icing on the cake – so to speak. Although there’s no banana in the icing, it tastes like there is. Result!

Recipe pros:

It’s easy to do, especially considering I substituted golden for maple syrup.

Recipe cons:

The icing doesn’t look as light and bouncy as it does in the pictures. Perhaps I didn’t give it a good enough beating. Should have asked John Prescott.

** For some genuinely insightful political commentary, why not romp across to Pete’s politics blog? You won’t find cake, but you will find a gullet-full of nuanced political analysis. Feed your mind.