Banana? Caramel? It’s the future!
I LOVE banana in cakes. It’s especially good as a substitute for egg in egg-free recipes. The less egg the recipe calls for, the better the recipe will be for using banana as a substitute. See my page ‘Cake Science’ for more info on this. Basically, if a recipe calls for one egg, then half a mashed banana should do the trick. (Unless, of course, you are baking curry pasties or something of that nature!) If a recipe calls for three or four eggs, the banana may not work as well. Remember, if using banana as an egg substitute, you will also require baking powder or/and baking soda to make your recipe light and fluffy.
These little beauties are moist, tasty and sweet. They are a perfect birthday treat. They work beautifully with tinned, ready made caramel or, if you are a stickler for working from scratch, then home-made caramel is the DADDY!
Banana and caramel must have been at the front of the queue for heavenly flavours. The combination is nothing short of more-ish. Which is why, when I asked my mum what birthday cake she wanted and she said ‘Banoffee Pie’, I decided to try and find a good recipe for Banoffee Cupcakes. A) They are more easily transported 200 miles (which is what I travel to see my mom) and B) It was an interesting experiment!
I took the recipe from Cookie Girl’s book ‘Eat Me!’ and adapted it to suit:
I almost kept this recipe a secret as I love it so much – maybe allowing it to become some sort of family heirloom. You know, like when we were children talking about our old relatives;
“D’you remember Secret Aunty Moo, the one that kept a hundred cats and only ate cheese during a waning moon and always made those funny cakes that smelled of lavender? She has the BESTESTEREST EVER banoffee cake recipe. I wish she would give it to us.” (Fat chance! And I don’t do anything by waning moon…such nonsense!)
I soon come to the realisation that as my cats are my only children, I might struggle to foster a love of baking in them… ?! Maybe if I wrote a blog on catching mice, or rat pie, they might be more interested.
So, instead, I give up. I’ll share the recipe here!
110 g/4 oz/1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
110 g/4 oz/1 and 1/4 cups caster sugar
2 large eggs
110 g/4 oz/1 cup self-raising flour (plain flour with 1 tsp baking powder)
1 ripe banana
Slightest scrape from a vanilla pod
For the toffee filling
1 x 397 g/14 oz can condensed milk (or ready-made caramel filling)
For the icing
250g (2 cups) icing sugar, sifted
80g (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I prefer Trex for a good white colour)
15 ml (1 tbsp) whole milk
a couple of drops of vanilla extract
1/4 mashed banana
1/4 tsp white vinegar (you won’t taste it!)
* If you are using condensed milk toffee filling, make the toffee filling first; at least three hours in advance. Place the unopened can of condensed milk in a pan, cover with boiling water and boil for three hours. Keep the pan topped up with boiling water and don’t let it boil dry!
* After three hours, remove the pan from the water and allow the can to cool down. Once it can be handled, open and spoon out the toffee. It can be kept in the fridge for later.
* Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
* Cream the butter and sugar together until it is light, pale and fluffy. Scrape in the vanilla. Add the eggs, mixing them in one by one, then gently fold in the flour. (If the eggs and butter mixture curdle, add 1 tbsp of the flour). Mash the banana and stir gently into the batter.
* Using an ice-cream scoop, spoon the mixture between the paper cases and bake for 15–20 minutes. They are cooked when springy to the touch and slightly coloured on top. Remove from the tin immediately and place on a wire rack to cool.
* When cool, use either an apple corer or the wide circular end of a piping nozzle and sink into the centre of the cakes. Remove the centres using a sharp-ish knife and, using a teaspoon, fill with the toffee.
* Whisk the icing ingredients together. Using a piping bag with a large star nozzle, pipe icing on top of each cake. Around half of the star, pipe mini stars of caramel. Top with a dried banana slice if you wish.