Thursday, August 12, 2010
Banana Caramel with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream Cupcakes
This is a delicious way to use your ripped bananas. The vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream is absolutely out of this world!
- For the Cupcakes:
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 tspn. baking soda
3/4 tspn. baking powder
3/4 tspn. salt
1 tspn. ground cinnamon
6 ounces (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
4 very ripe large bananas, mashed (about 2 cups), plus sliced bananas for garnish
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tspn. pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
- For the Swiss Vanilla Meringue Buttercream
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tspn. pure vanilla extract
- For the caramel
1 cup plus 2 Tbspn. sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbspn. light corn syrup
To prepare the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. In the meantime, cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Reduce speed to low. Mix the bananas, buttermilk and vanilla (as wet ingredients) in a measuring cup. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Stir pecans into batter. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins for five minutes, then transfer to wire racks.
To prepare the caramel. Bring 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar, the corn syrup and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Wash sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook, undisturbed, until caramel is dark amber. remove from heat, and slowly add cream, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let cool.
To prepare the frosting. Place egg whites and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160ºF on a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Switch to paddle attachment, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.
Assembling the cupcakes. Pipe the icing over the cupcakes and drizzle them with the caramel (I put mine inside of a squeezing bottle). Top with sliced bananas as garnish.
Source: Recipe Adapted from "Marta Stewart's website".