Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bananas Foster Cupcakes

Looking for something to do with browning bananas? Well look no further! How about some bananas foster cupcakes! I still remember when I first had a caramelized grilled banana slice. I was in elementary school at a girl scout meeting after school and we were making snacks for the whole troop. I was being picked up early that day by my father (I think it was my birthday) but the grilled bananas were taking far longer than expected and I almost didn't get any when they rushed a few slices on a paper plate for me and I got to try the sticky snack. My taste buds went crazy! I had never really liked bananas except in banana bread and in their all natural state before this point (and to this day I still don't) but when I saw the sticky concoction placed delicately on top of a mound of icing, it all came back to me, and I decided I had to take a stab at 'em.

I had never heard of bananas foster before until sifting through cupcake recipes and came across this one at Cupcake Rehab. Of course, I was still curious about what a bananas foster really was. Turns out it originates from the famous New Orleans restaurant called Brennan's, and was created by Paul Blangé. The owner, Edward Brennan, became quite good friends with a man named Stephen Foster after they worked on the crime commission together and Foster became a regular at Brennan's. Some interesting history there for ya. The famous desert is normally made by caramelizing bananas in a mixture of rum, banana liquor, butter, brown sugar, and spices in a pan and when tilting the pan down, the alcohol catches fire. The banana's are then placed atop vanilla ice cream. I tried the recipe with and without rum (I didn't have any banana liquor, but I did have left over rum from the hot buttered rum cupcakes) and there is a slight flavor difference but not enough to make a special trip just to get rum.

So this week I kind of went on a baking frenzy. With bananas. Probably because here in Ellensburg we got hit with a HUGE snow storm and it has been snowing all week long. So instead of freezing my butt off outside, I decided to bake. Alot. I mean staying inside with a warm oven sounds much more appealing then freezing and having a runny nose, at least in my eyes. So I whipped out my handy dandy Betty Crocker Cookbook to make some banana bread. Betty usually knows best right?

And of course, in the spirit of 52 weeks of baking, I made a banana bread like cupcake (because if I'm going to make a banana cupcake, I'm going to use bananas. NOT banana flavoring.) adapted from Brown Eyed Baker topped with an evaporated milk frosting adapted from Cupcake Rehab and my own version of bananas foster on top. Now I know the evaporated milk frosting sounds a little, well, weird. When I first read this, I was dumb founded. I couldn't fathom how this could be appealing in any way. Boy was I wrong. The frosting is a vanilla like frosting, but with a sort of ice cream flavor to it. This frosting pairs perfectly atop the banana cupcake, which is like a banana bread bud lighter, fluffier, and slightly sweeter.

Bananas Foster Cupcakes
This recipe makes 24 cupcakes
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1¾ cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups pureed bananas
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a stand mixer or bowl cream the butter and shortening together, then beat in the sugar and vanilla until fully combined. With the mixer on low, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape the bowl to make sure all ingredients get combined and add the pureed bananas and buttermilk. I pureed the bananas so the cupcakes wouldn't have chunks and the flavor would be more even.
  3. Next, add in the flour slowly with the mixer on, making sure to get out all of the lumps. Add in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt and fully combine.
  4. Fill the cupcakes 3/4 of the way full (I used a large cookie scoop so all cupcakes would be even) and bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes sit in the pan for 10 minutes (realize they will cook slightly more while sitting in the pan) then let them fully cool on a wire rack before frosting.
Evaporated Milk Frosting
  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 - 8 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 10 tablespoons evaporated milk
cream the butter in a stand mixer or in a bowl with an electric mixer. Beat in the vanilla extract until fully combined. With the mixer on, alternatively add the powdered sugar and evaporated milk and continue to beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Caramelized Bananas
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 bananas
  • 1-2 tablespoons rum
  1. In a pan melt the butter over medium low heat.
  2. in a small bowl combine the cinnamon and brown sugar.
  3. Slice the bananas and dip into the cinnamon sugar mixture then place in the butter and cook until slightly browned and softened then flip and add the rum. The second side cooks slightly faster. Place the bananas on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper on top of a plate and let fully cool before toping the cupcakes.

For these cupcakes, I used a dark pan and a light pan. The cupcakes in the dark pan came out with slightly burned bottoms while the cupcakes in the light pan came out with just a slightly darker shade of brown then the rest of the cupcake (NOT BURNED though!) 

1 comment:

  1. I love that photo of the 1980s Betty Crocker cookbook!