Monday, 15 April 2013

41st Birthday Cupcakes: Isa & Terry's Banana Split Cupcakes

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Thunder ~ Higher Ground
Bowes & Morley ~ Sick & Tired
Idil Biret ~ Chopin: Nocturne #1 in B Flat Minor
TOFG ~ The Night That Davey Caught The Train
Patti Smith ~ When Doves Cry
Chris Cornell ~ Can't Change Me
The Pretenders ~ Talk of the Town
Terra Naomi ~ Umbrella
Kid Rock ~ American Bad Ass
Joe Nichols ~ I'll Wait For You
Soundgarden ~ Room A Thousand Years Wide
Natalie Clein ~ Brahms: Cello Sonata#2 Adagio Affetuoso
The Cranberries ~ Show Me
Little Angels ~ I Ain't Gonna Cry

Yesterday...*sighs* I reached the grand age of 41. Where did this last year go...doesn't seem five minutes since I was trying my best to live in denial. However I am always aware of a simple quote I read around that time...

Yep..humbled me greatly, then and now. And even when I am going slightly hinkey about stepping into my early forties (note...early! I am grateful that no matter how hard this year has been..I have had another year. And at times it's been doubtful. So all happy here.

After all the celebrations last year I wanted a quiet birthday this time. As my birthday is on a Sunday this year, we decided to have a casual birthday lunch with my Mum, sister and little ones on the Saturday...a slightly more fun family day with cupcakes....and happy cupcakes at that. Then on Sunday we are met up with our friends for a lunch at a bar called Goucho's. I'll report back on that later next week. And again...followed by birthday cupcakes. lol.

My choice..well I say mine..with a little help from my Banana Split Cupcakes. Once again the recipe is the creation of Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero's and from their awesome cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. My copy of their book is barely in one piece now and has so much tape in it holding pages

'We' chose them because our inner child (something that happens a lot when my sister and I get together..despite our 11 year age difference lol) called out to them. I remembered going to a nice (not greasy spoon style..yuck) cafĂ© when I was a kid and sharing a banana split with my Mum. Happy times.

So once ML got home last night the cupcake production line started. Apparently making them was great you got to swirl stuff into the batter. lol. And I thought my inner child was

Decadent close
The cupcakes were very good and despite looking terribly sweet..they weren't as sweet as imagined. The cake was very tasty and the hits of pineapple, banana and dark chocolate were sublime. Then the topping was a heady hit of childhood memories as you waded through the cream, cherry, nuts, chocolate drizzle and sprinkles. OK so there was clearly a way of eating these cupcakes. Take off the bottom part of the cake and enjoy the subtle textures and flavours...then dive into the top of the cake with the toppings and cling on and enjoy the sugar rush ride. lol. Great fun....and exactly what was needed. Thank you once again to ML for making yet another wonderful birthday creation.

ML said this is the arty shot!
Isa & Terry's Banana Split Cupcakes Makes 12

1/2 cup of pineapple preserves
1/2 cup of very ripe bananas, mashed well
1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of canola/sunflower oil
2/3 cup of rice milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (we didn't use any..)
1/4 cup of finely chopped dark chocolate

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting..
Quick Melty Ganache
(recipes below)
fresh sliced bananas if serving immediately or
banana chips
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
chocolate or rainbow sprinkles
6 candied cherries, cut in half optional

Preheat the oven to 350'F and line a muffin tin with liners.

Stir pineapple preserves in a small pan over a low heat till melted and they pour easily when scooped with a spoon. Set to one side.

Push the bananas through a sieve or blender to remove all the big lumps. It should be fairly smooth.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, rice milk, vanilla and almond extract and mashed banana. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and fold in the wet ingredients..mixing to just combine. Do not overmix..small lumps are OK.

Fill liners two thirds full. Top the batter of each cupcake with 1 tsp of preserve and 1 tsp chopped chocolate. With a small knife, carefully stir two or three times to stir in the preserves and chocolate. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes till a knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup of nonhydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup of nonhydrogenated margarine
3 1/2 cups of icing sugar, sifted if lumpy
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup soya milk

Beat the shortening and margarine until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 minutes more. Add the vanilla and soya milk and beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy. Store in the refrigerator until ready to top the cupcakes.

Quick Melting Ganache

3 tbsp soya milk
1/3 cup of dark choc chips

Heat soya milk over a medium heat until just about to simmer. Remove from the heat, add chocolate chips and stir till the chocolate has melted and soya milk is combined. Set aside and leave to cool for 10 minutes. With a spatula spoon, scoop into a prepared pastry bag or plastic bag with the corner cut off, or drizzle haphazardly with a fork. This ganache will set when fully cool.

To assemble:

Top cooled cupcakes with vegan buttercream icing that is piped through a large icing bag with a large star nozzle. Drizzle with quick melting ganache and then scatter with nuts, banana and a cherry. Keep until ready to serve.

Enjoy! And as always many thanks to the vegan guru's that are Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week is a splendid one...filled with Happy.