Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Raspberry and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cupcakes

Due to the the new sports institute in town finally being ready to open, the fiancé will no longer be being sent off to other places for work with erratic shift patterns and will be settling in to a set schedule.  Unfortunately, this schedule has him working mainly in the evenings or late afternoon, which means he will no longer be able to make his weekly jaunt to Dundee (though hopefully they'll still be able to run their game over the Internet and he might be able to go up on the occasional Saturday).  Last night was meant to be his last night so I was determined to dish out one last batch of cakes to take with him.  Turns out his shifts are still going to be erratic for the next couple of weeks so he will at least be able to go next week.  After that it's all a bit nebulous really.

As has been the case lately, I did not think about what I wanted to do until after I'd gotten the weekly shop.  I really need to stop doing that.  My base idea came about on Saturday when the fiance had popped out to town and I was flicking through an old issue of one of my cake magazines.  The cakes that caught my eye were banana and chocolate fudge.  I was dubious about the fudge but decided that since I'd wanted to try baking with banana for ages why not do it now?  Besides, the local shop was bound to have bananas.  After some thinking I was originally planning to pair it with toffee and make banoffee cakes, but then discovered that I did not have any condensed milk in my cupboard like I thought I did.  I also knew that was something the local shop didn't sell.  So I had to rethink.  Then I remembered way back in February when I was looking for ideas for Valentine's Day that I had seen a recipe for a banana bread loaf that had raspberries and chocolate chips in it too.  I'd made a note to try doing it at some point since I know the fiancé loves banana bread and he also likes raspberries.  Plus I had a bag of frozen raspberries in the freezer, which was handy since the shop doesn't sell them either.  I thought a raspberry buttercream would make a nice finish and it was a great excuse to make more buttercream with jelly powder.

When I explained my idea to fiancé he pulled a bit of a face.  See, he's a little adverse to change.  If he really likes something, he's reluctant to alter it in any way.  That's not to say he doesn't like trying new things, he does.  He's just less keen on changing an established thing.  I pointed out though that part of the reason I make cakes for him to take is to experiment so I get to go wild with what I make.  He also didn't have any suggestions for what I could do instead.  So banana bread cupcakes it was!

Since I was working off a recipe for a loaf, I wasn't entirely sure how many cakes I would get.  My guess was 12 because there were two eggs but obviously the banana adds extra moisture and there was a lot of flour and turns out I got 18 instead.  Ah well, one can never have too much cake.  I was bound to find someone else to foist them off on since my carry case can't hold more than 14 at most.  I really need to get a bigger one sometime in the future.  I also had to alter the cooking time, since obviously smaller cakes take less time to cook.  Part of me is really glad I've gotten the hang of this.  I barely have to rely on recipe book times any more, which is great when something doesn't end up taking the time it should to bake for some reason.  Everything I bake out of Cake Days for example often needs about 5 minutes longer in my oven even though it's the right temperature (according to the oven thermometer).

I was really quite pleased with these when they were finished.  I've had a few bakes recently that feel sub par.  Plus there's been a complete disaster in trying to make baked doughnuts again.  Since they never made it to the blog you can probably guess they were bad.  Oh well, got to keep trying there.  But these were good!  I was happy.

Due to the face he'd given me when I mentioned the idea to him, I watched anxiously when the fiancé took his first bite.  It feels like ages since I heard that really satisfied 'Mmmmmm!' noise (but that's more likely to be down to not having baked a lot recently).  He approved, though he did say he could take or leave the chocolate chips.  Banana and raspberry goes really nicely together though apparently, and once again the jelly powder enhanced buttercream went down a treat!  His friends really enjoyed them too and actually jumped the fiancé when he arrived with them and ate some before dinner (according to him: they might just have been starving?).  So hurrah!  I'll definitely be baking with banana again in future.  I still want to make banoffee cupcakes.

Recipe - makes 18

Cakes - adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
  • 280g/10oz plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 170g/6oz caster sugar
  • 55g/2oz butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3-4 medium sized bananas
  • 80ml/3fl.oz low fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g/3.5oz milk chocolate chips
  • 115g/4oz raspberries (you can use frozen ones that have been thawed)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line 18 holes of two 12 hole muffin tins with muffin cases.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  3. In a separate, larger bowl beat together the butter and sugar until it is smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in after each addition until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Mash the bananas into a pulp with a fork and then add to the batter, along with the yoghurt and vanilla extract.  Beat until well incorporated.
  6. Fold in the flour mix into the rest of the batter until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  8. Halve the raspberries and toss them in a little bit of plain flour (if you're using thawed and they a bit mushy, don't worry too much.  Just dry them off as much as you can and don't bother trying to cut them.  That's what I did).  Add them to the batter and carefully mix them into the batter until they are fairly evenly distributed.
  9. Spoon the batter into the cases, filling about three quarters full.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes until risen and the tops are springy.  A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
  11. Allow to sit in their tins for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Raspberry Buttercream:
  • 225g/8oz butter
  • 450g/1lb icing sugar
  • 1 x 23g packet of raspberry jelly powder
  • 1-2 bananas
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
  3. Mix in the raspberry jelly powder fully incorporated.
  4. Slice the bananas into 18 slices and use a pastry brush to cover each side in lemon juice to stop them browning.
  5. Put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe a swirl on top of each cake.
  6. Push a slice of banana into each buttercream swirl. 

No comments:

Post a Comment