Thursday, September 17, 2009

Banana Pecan Mini-Cupcakes

These cupcakes are perfect for when you have a bunch of overripe bananas with no hope of being finished. If you don't have time to make the cupcakes immediately, freeze the bananas with their peel on and save them for later. The caramel buttercream is kind of a pain to make but it is FANTASTIC. You will want to eat it with a spoon! Your efforts will be rewarded, I promise.

Banana Pecan Mini-Cupcakes
Recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
Makes about 72 mini cupcakes depending on your tin size

- 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 1/2 tsps baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 very ripe large bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
- 3/4 buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup pecans (about 4 oz.) toasted in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes and coarsely chopped
- Caramel Buttercream

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Step 2: With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with banana mixture, and beating until just combined after each. Stir in pecans by hand.

Step 3: Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Step 4: To finish, spread (or pipe) cupcakes with buttercream. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.

Caramel Buttercream:
makes about 2 cups (This is a half portion, I felt that the whole 4 cup portion was just too much.)

- 1/2 plus 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/8 cup water
- 1/8 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Step 1: Combine 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar and the water in a heavy saucepan.  Heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear.  Stop stirrring, and cook until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming.  Continue to boil, gently swirling pan occasionally to color evenly, until mixtuer is very dark amber.  Remove from heat; add cream in steady stream (the mixtrue will spatter), stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth and combined.  Let cool.

Step 2: With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until pale and fluffy.  In the heatproof bowl of a standing electric mixer, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the egg whites.  Set bowl over a pan of simmering water; whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).

Step 3:  Attach bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachement.  Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, mix until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.  Continue whisking until egg mixtrue is flufy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium-low.  Add beaten butter, about 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Mix in vanilla.

Step 4:  Switch to the paddle attachment.  With mixer on medium-low speed, very slowly pour in caramel; beat 5 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl, and continue to beat until caramel is fully incorporated.  Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.  Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Finished Product:


1 comment:

  1. Those look sooo good! Great job! I love the caramel frosting with the banana...mmm!