Saturday, March 30, 2013

Banana cupcake with salted caramel cream cheese frosting

"Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well".  - Mark Twain

Oscar Wilde said the same thing. 

Truth be told, deadlines are my worst enemies. It dawned on me that if I was born in the era of Twain and Wilde, I would probably fall deep into the slumps of mediocrity. 

Since it's still the start of the year (yeah right, it's April), it's not too late to exercise my resolutions. It's now or never. So here it is, my first post.

A couple of weeks ago, there were a lot of things going on in Auckland. Fashion week, Market day, St Paddy's. I was inspired to do something creative myself.

Green peony! Come on then, give us a twirl!

I just got into this gumpaste thing. After countless reruns of youtube videos, I managed to wing this.

I was so excited to make this, I actually forgot about the cupcakes it should be on. Doink.

Thanks to two last (very) overripe bananas in the fridge, I thought banana cupcakes!

Banana Cupcakes
from Dough Puncher
oven: 180C

6 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon allspice
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup mashed banana (about 1 1/2 medium bananas)
1/3 cup sour cream or vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons milk

1) Line a muffin pan with paper liners - for about 12 cupcakes. Preheat oven to 180C. 

2) Beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.

3) Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, allspice, and salt. Add gradually to the butter mixture. Add the mashed banana, sour cream (or yogurt), and milk. Mix until everything is combined (don't over-mix). 

4) Divide batter amongst 12 lined muffin cups, bake for 15-18 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. 

Nothing's sexier than the thought of gooey salted caramel. 

Esp when paired with bananas. (Suzanne Vega's Caramel playing in the background)

Okay, you might not want to tell my boyfriend that.

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe from My Invisible Crown - I personally prefer frostings that are not too sweet. This recipe was used as a filling for her chocolate roulade (yum) but I find that this concoction goes well with cupcakes as well.

Part 1 Sauce

1 cup white granulated sugar
6 tbs water
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 heavy cream
1/2 of an 8oz bar cream cheese
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1) Add water to a deep sauce pot

2) Place sugar in the middle of the pot

3) Turn on heat to medium low and stir gently just until the sugar has dissolved

4) Turn on heat to medium high and watch very closely from this point on making sure not to stir again

5) Swirl the pan lightly at intervals if needed

6) Watch the liquid go from clear to a light, golden colour and then eventually to dark amber

7) Once the liquid begins to smoke lightly, count to 30 and turn of the heat. (It takes only one second for this to burn, so mind your counts between 20-30. Take it off the heat if it starts to smoke heavily)

8) Whisk in the cream, butter, and cream cheese until melted. Be very careful. Mixture will foam up violently and is very hot. Wear an oven mitt to protect your hand while whisking.

9) Add salt and taste and vanilla if desired.

Part 2 Frosting

2 1/2 8oz bars cream cheese, softened
1/2 confectioners sugar
1 stick of butter
2 1/2 cups salted caramel sauce (Part 1)

1) Mix butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer

2) Add sugar and caramel sauce

3) Frost! and top with flower!