Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pretty Girl Makes Cupcakes

Hi everyone. Good news, I’m neither dead, nor retired from blogging. It’s just been a busy few months, and I haven’t had the time / energy to do much baking, and even less to do posting. Since my last post I’ve graduated from law school (hooray), started studying for the bar exam (boooo), and have started packing for a move to DC at the end of the summer. All in all, a busy time. Because of the bar don't expect many, or even any, new posts for awhile, but I thought I'd try for at least this one update.

This weekend though, I was fortunate enough to have a pretty girl help me make cupcakes (hence the title of the post). Hattie (the aforementioned pretty girl) and I made Chocolate-Banana-Peanut butter cupcakes for a Fourth of July party. These aren’t exactly new for me, as I’ve done a pretty fair number of chocolate peanut butter desserts, but I thought the addition of banana made these excellent. The cake is my basic chocolate, filled with a chocolate banana ganache, and frosted with a peanut butter frosting. The combination was excellent, if I can say so, and the banana really came through as a flavor in the ganache, even though you wouldn't suspect it (it just has the texture and appearance of regular whipped ganache).

Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes ~26

2 sticks unsalted butter
½ cup cocoa-powder
¾ cup water
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
½ cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 T vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 t cinnamon
¼ tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

2. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over low heat. Add in the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Then add the water and mix until smooth again. Remove from heat

3. One at a time mix in the sugar, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla

4. Sift the dry ingredients over the wet, and whisk until well combined.

5. Fill cupcakes using a ¼ cup measure. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let them cool thoroughly before frosting.

Chocolate-banana ganache

8 oz. dark chocolate
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup banana puree

1. Chop the chocolate, and place it in a heat proof bowl.

2. Bring the cream to a simmer, pour over the chocolate, allow to sit for a minute, then stir until fully combined.

3. Stir in the banana puree. Allow to cool until set.

4. Pour cooled ganache into the bowl of a mixer, beat with whisk attachment until light in color and fluffy

Peanut Butter frosting

1 cup peanut butter
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups whipped cream (from about 1 cup cream)
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup banana puree

1. Beat together the peanut butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar until smooth.

2. Add the whipped cream and beat to combine. Beat in the banana puree.


Use the cone method to fill the cupcakes with the whipped ganache. Top with the peanut butter frosting.