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Monday, April 4, 2011

Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache and Chocolate and Peanut Butter Frosting

When I was a little girl I used to love eating bananas with peanut butter on them and I would strategically place chocolate chips perfectly apart on the peanut butter to have a great trio of flavors. When my friend Natasha was talking about cupcakes today at work, I just had to come home and try this trio of flavors in a cupcake. I actually like the result. The banana cake is moist. The peanuts around the edge give it that little bit of crunch it needs. The chocolate ganache is heavenly, of course and the swirled frosting tastes great together. So off to work I go tomorrow with a dozen cupcakes and I'm sure nobody will mind ;)

*Yes the camera is STILL being repaired and that's why these pictures look like two different kinds of cupcake. Same cupcakes, different light in the lens I guess :)

*This last picture was halfway through the process when the cupcakes were just covered in ganache and had the crunchy peanuts around the edges.

Make banana cupcakes. Cool completely. Dip tops in chocolate ganache. Spoon more on if needed. Sprinkle peanuts around the outside edge only. Make the chocolate frosting and the peanut butter frosting and place in the same decorator bag. Swirl frosting into the center of each cupcake.

BANANA CUPCAKES
1/2 lb butter, (2 sticks), softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe banana
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp milk or cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350. In mixer, blend together butter and sugar until fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add eggs and beat well. Add bananas and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the already mixed ingredients and mix until thoroughly blended. Add the milk and the vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Fill cupcake  liners 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake, comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream 

In a heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips with cream over low heat. Remove from the heat. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally. Cool completely or until thickened some.  Spread ganache with a spatula if necessary to evenly coat, working quickly before it thickens. Chill until ganache is set. 

PEANUTS 


Chop salted cocktail peanuts finely and sprinkle around edges of cupcake. 


PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
half of 1/3 cup milk (sorry I wasn't sure on fractions how to half 1/3)

In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Beat in slowly, half the powdered sugar.  Mix in half of the amount of milk. Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar and then slowly beat in the rest of  the milk and beat until frosting reaches desired consistency.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

3 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/8 cup cocoa powder (you can just measure this by using half of a 3/4 cup)
1/6 cup milk ( you can just measure this by using half of a 1/3 cup)

Cream butter and vanilla together with mixer. In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add the dry ingredients to the mixed butter mixture until thoroughly mixed. Slowly add the milk and mix until you have the desired consistency of your frosting. You might not use all the milk!

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