Friday, October 30, 2009

Blessed Banana Cupcakes

Yesterday I decided the bunch of bananas in the fruit bowl were too ripe for anything but baking.

I read this recipe online, and then whipped up this variation:


1 cup sugar
2 cups flour

6 overripe Bobby (small) bananas, mashed (which made about 1 cup of mashed banana)
3 mixed range eggs (I recommend using them at room temperature)
1 cap-full vanilla
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Yield: ~15 regular-sized cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Line muffin tray/s with patty cases.
  3. Mix the first list of ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Add all ingredients except baking soda and cinnamon to a separate, medium-sized bowl. Stir together vigorously.
  5. Sprinkle baking soda and cinnamon over (4) and stir through.
  6. Create a well in the large bowl of dry ingredients and fold in (5). Blend until no dry ingredients are visible.
  7. Place approximately two tablespoons of mixture into each patty case.
  8. Place trays in centre of oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (remove earlier if on fan bake). Cupcakes should rise to 2cm or so above muffin well's rim to form peaks.
  9. Scrape out every sliver of batter from the bowl and devour it.
  10. Decide the batter is too delicious to rely on dregs alone and remove one of the trays from the oven to extract a now-warm patty case-full of batter. Eat its contents with a spoon.
  11. Don't apologise for (9-10).
  12. Allow to sit for a few minutes in the tray, then remove cases to cool.
  13. Once cool to the touch, frost or dress as you please (or don't). I did (I went with chocolate icing, with sliced almonds on some and chopped nuts on others...and then a few with icing sugar for good measure).

I believe varying a recipe (without getting overexuberant) is the key to cooking happiness - using what you have on-hand without a trip to the sup' is always more satisfying...and exciting. See, when I went to post this, I vaguely recalled posting a banana cupcake recipe before. Sure enough, I have...and it's different.

Some variations you might try:
  • If you don't have mayo, replace with another egg and more oil.
  • Use brown or raw sugar.
  • Try a spoonful of molasses in place of vanilla.
  • Add some nutmeg instead of or with the cinnamon.
  • Top with a subtle white icing and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Dust with icing sugar for a quick fix - then you can eat them warm.
  • Add buttermilk if you've got it, reduce oil and remove one egg to compensate. Everything is better with buttermilk. Oh, buttermilk.
  • Replace the oil and egg altogether with a cup of mayo (as per my research recipe).
  • Use half a cup wholemeal flour to half a cup white flour, or go all the way - dark and heavy.
  • Skip the patty cases if you don't keep a stash at home...and use your finished "muffins" to bribe another human into washing the trays.
Got some brown bananas? Let me know if you try this one on for size and what variations you sample or invent.

P.S. I gave Esky a little mashed banana - after all, she was looking on from her high chair so sweetly...and I do so like to let her watch me mash the bananas and the smell their aroma. Verdict: She wasn't excited by it, and it spent a lot of time on her lips instead of in her mouth, since she kept poking her tongue in and out.
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