Banana caramel cupcakes
( SERVES 10 )
Photo by Sophie Barclay
|1 tsp||Baking powder|
|¾ cup||Sugar, (Trade aid)|
|3 cups||Bananas, mashed|
|1 tsp||Baking soda|
Cream cheese icing
For the cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 160C. Spray one muffin tins with cooking spray or lightly rub with butter or oil.
- Sieve flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter on low speed until light and creamy. Slowly add sugar and continue to beat on low speed until light in colour and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and making sure to incorporate each egg before adding the next. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- With the mixer on low speed add the banana. Dissolve soda in hot milk.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three equal batches alternating with the milk. Begin and end with the flour. Lastly add walnuts.
- Divide mixture evenly between the prepared muffin tins and bake for 20- 25 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
- Let the cakes cool completely in the tins. When cool, turn out by inverting the tins, then turn the cakes upright Cover tightly and store in a cool place for up to 3 days. The banana flavour gets better with age at room temperature. This cake is best not stored in the refrigerator.
NOTE: To avoid flour collecting in the crevasses of the walnuts keep them separate otherwise white flour patches appear throughout the cake. Fold them into the wet mix at the end just before you put it into the mix.
Making the caramel
- Put the sugar in a sauecepan and just cover with water to achieve a wet sand consistency.
- Bring to the boil. Do not stir the sugar water mixture. Using a wet pastry brush, clean the sides of the saucepan to remove any stray sugar crystals. Continue to boil until the colour changes to amber. At this point, quickly remove from heat.
- In a small saucepan heat cream to boiling point. Gradually add this to the caramelized sugar, stirring all the time to achieve a smooth consistency. This may take a while, but will eventually combine.
NOTE: Timing is paramount with caramel. Both the cream and the sugar need to be really hot when they are combined.
Making the cream cheese icing
- Thoroughly cream butter in mixer on fast speed, continuously scraping down the sides of the bowl. To the creamed butter, add cubed cream cheese that has been squeezed through your fingers. Continue beating on fast speed until there are no lumps, again scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the mixer onto slow speed before adding the sieved icing sugar. When fully integrated turn up the speed & continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and has no lumps Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Assembling the cake
- Use a serrated knife to slice the domed portion off the top of each cake to make the tops flat.
- Spread 3 Tbsp of caramel over one cake layer, then spread a thin layer of mascarpone (approx 1/4 cup) over the caramel.
- Place the second cake on top. Spread with a thick layer of cream cheese icing. Drizzle with extra caramel and decorate with chopped walnuts or banana chips.
- Serve the cake at room temperature. If wanting to assemble the day before omit the mascarpone.