Thursday, August 8, 2013

Banana Split Cupcakes

For a while I've been toying with the idea of making ice cream-looking cupcakes and putting them in a pizzelle "waffle" cup. It just so happened that today was the perfect summery day to try it!


If the pizzelles were a little bit larger, I think it would have been easier to get the effect I truly wanted, but what I got was satisfying enough for me! The cups definitely got better as I got more practice and the best part was, I got to eat the defects. ;)


The method I settled on in the end was using a ramekin and setting the pizzelle centered on it. Then I gently and slowly pushed a cupcake into the center to form the shape. If you go too fast, you run the risk of breaking the pizzelle, but at the same time, if you go too slow the pizzelle will start to harden and it will break as well. So basically, you have to move swiftly and gently. I tried putting a pizzelle on the cup of an upside down cupcake pan and then a ramekin over it, but the results didn't conform to the cupcake as much as the other way. If the pizzelles were slightly larger, I think either way would have been just fine.

Example of placing the ramekin (it was a 7 oz one) over the bottom of the cupcake pan...I forgot to take a picture of gently pushing the warm pizzelle with a cupcake into the ramekin, but you get the idea right?



Regardless of whether the pizzelle cup is included, these cupcakes are delicious! They have a banana custard filling and a classic vanilla buttercream frosting. I have never made a buttercream frosting with eggs in it before this and I have to say...it may be my favorite! Yes, I guess it is a little more labor intensive (not a whole lot more) than just letting the mixer beat all your ingredients, but it was definitely worth it!


Banana Split Cupcakes
{recipe from Bakers Royale}
Makes 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup banana puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sprinkles and maraschino cherries (garnish)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, add both flours; whisk to combine. Set aside. In another bowl cream butter on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; set aside. In another bowl, add milk, banana puree and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk mixture. With each addition beat until just incorporated, but do not over mix. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pans for about 15 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire rack prior to frosting.
For the custard filling:

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 bananas
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process to combine. Pour mixture into saucepan over medium heat and cook until mixture starts to bubble, making sure to constantly whisk. Continue to cook the mixture until thickened, about 5-7 minutes, or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. If refrigerated, place plastic wrap against custard to prevent a skin from forming.
For the classic buttercream frosting:

Ingredients
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, diced and softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Bring mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly.
  2. Transfer mixture to stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume.
  3. Add butter one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. The frosting may appear to look separated, but keep mixing- it will come together.
For the chocolate dipping sauce:

Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 5-8 tablespoons water, warm
Directions
  1. Place chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine. Add water one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition, until pouring consistency is reached. Set aside and let sauce cool to warm.
For the pizzelle bowls:
{recipe slightly adapted from allrecipes.com}

Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
Directions
  1. Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in melted butter and anise extract. In a separate bowl combine flour and baking powder. Gradually stir flour mixture into egg mixture. Dough will be sticky.
  2. Preheat your pizzelle iron according to the manufacturer's directions. Drop batter by rounded spoonfuls onto the iron. Close and cook for about 90 seconds, or until steam stops coming out of the iron (mine had a light that came on when they were done). Carefully (and quickly!) remove from iron and then use one of the following two ways too form your bowls (the second way worked best for me):
    • Place pizzelle centered on one of the cups of an upside down cupcake pan and place a ramekin (mine was 7 oz) upside down over it. Be sure to be gentle when pushing the ramekin down...the pizzelles will break if you press too hard.
    • Place pizzelle centered over the opening on a ramekin (7 oz) and use one of the cupcakes to gently press down on the pizzelle.
After a minute or two the pizzelles will have cooled slightly and hardened into a bowl shape. They can be removed from the ramekin or cupcake pan and you can continue to make more pizzelles. The bowls can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature until needed.

Assembly:

Cut a hole in the center of the cupcakes using a knife or a cupcake corer. Fill each cupcake with the custard. Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes in an even thick layer, starting from the outside edge of the cupcake to the center. Place cupcakes in freezer for about 20 minutes so the frosting doesn't melt when they are dipped in the warm sauce. Remove cupcakes from freezer and either dip cupcakes into chocolate sauce or spoon and spread the sauce onto the cupcakes (I spooned mine on) and then rim with sprinkles. Place back in freeze for 5 minutes for the chocolate to set. Remove from freezer and finish piping the frosting on top. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. Place finished cupcakes into pizzelle bowls prior to serving (the bowls will soften if kept in the refrigerator with the cupcakes).




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