For this week’s baking adventure I wanted to do something creative, something a little challenging if you will. At first I stumbled upon this Better Than Banana Cream Pie Cupcake recipe. It sounded delicious and definitely a little challenging, but I’m not a huge fan of whipped cream (see frosting portion of recipe) and it didn’t quit provide the type of challenge I was looking for. You see, I wanted to learn a new technique. So then I continued researching cupcake recipes while bookmarking the Banana Cream Pie one. I came across one for a Chocolate Chip Cupcake with Chocolate Chip Frosting. This is one I had been eyeing for a few months now, but never actually gave in and made it… Then, it HIT me! One of my dad’s favorite flavors of ice cream is Bruster’s Banana Chocolate Chip… What if I combined the two recipes and then transformed into my own and made a Banana + Chocolate Chip concoction?!… [Spoken in an English accent] BY GEORGE I THINK I’VE GOT IT! This week’s baking adventure then came to life:
BANANA CHOCO CHIP CUPCAKES
I began this recipe just like any other by taking a trip to the grocery and prepping everything before beginning. (This is a great technique so you don’t get half way through and realize you screwed up… STAY TUNED, the Pint-Size Baker = minor FAIL on this adventure)
After prepping the ingredients, including mashing two bananas, I began referencing the Better Than Banana Cream Pie Cupcake recipe for the base of my cupcake.
However, I made a few slight changes:
- Instead of buying light brown sugar, I used the dark brown already on hand.
- Added 1/4 tsp of banana extract
- Substituted 1/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips for walnuts
- Salted butter instead of unsalted (I have NEVER used unsalted butter.)
- Halved the recipe entirely… well almost…
Once the dry ingredients and wet ingredients were combined in their respective bowls I began combining 1/3 at a time… then all of a sudden I felt like I got hit in the head with a ton of bricks and an overwhelmed sense of anger and frustration hit me… I had halved every single ingredient up until the eggs and vanilla. UGH! So either I was going to have to dump the 1/3 of dry and wet ingredients combined out and start over OR I was going to have to figure out how to double the rest of the ingredients and make the normal batch. The latter was my first choice until I realized I had only bought enough bananas to make half a batch…
To the trash can we went! But not before taking a sad face picture:
And back to the drawing board with the wet ingredients and adding another 1/3 of dry ingredients back to its bowl. (This is where my mathematical brain came in great handy!) I must confess though that I was a little (read: a lot) irritated at myself for making such a stupid mistake and thank goodness no one else was around to see how upset at myself I was… However, that was when I turned on some good cooking music (country) and went to town. Eventually the bad mood fell by the wayside, and the baking was back in business!
(Note: This is a thicker than normal batter.)
The cupcake pans were lined and batter filled.
While the cupcakes cooled, it was time to start on the frosting.
Otherwise known as: THE CHALLENGE. This frosting was different from my norm in that it was buttercream made from scratch. I referenced this Basic Buttercream recipe as my base and went to town. If anyone has made buttercream before or anyone does it more than once in a lifetime, I commend you! This was NOT an easy feat. Leave it to me to not read how long you actually have to beat the butter and sugar until it becomes the wonder known as buttercream frosting! But boy is it worth it!
Lessons learned from making buttercream frosting:
- 1980s hand-mixer motors aren’t cut out for 30+ minutes of use. Seriously thought it was going to catch fire.
- Read directions prior to beginning. LUCKILY, I only made half the batch (yes, I remembered to half EVERYTHING this time) so it only took about 25 minutes to get the buttercream frosting just right.
Once the Basic Buttercream Frosting was to the consistency it needed to be, I substituted banana extract for the vanilla and spread on top of the cooled cupcakes. To get a little creative, I made a quick chocolate ganache. (Recipe: melt 1/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/4 c heavy whipping cream in the microwave on high for about 30 seconds. Remove and stir until creamy.) Then poured the ganache on top of the frosted cupcakes and VOILA!
There you have it! Banana Choco Chip Cupcakes! Hope you enjoyed this week’s installment of the Pint-Size Baking Adventures. Be sure to leave any questions below as this recipe was certainly an experiment!