Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Banana Caramel Cream Pie Cupcakes

As I often always do as Friday approaches, I start daydreaming about what I might bake that weekend.  Sometimes I plan my baking weeks in advance, and other times I change my mind three or four times before I settle on an idea, often to change it again when I get to the store and browse all the ingredients.

I simply have too many recipes in my head to ever be able to make them all.  If only I could get paid to create recipes, style photo shoots with vintage items I find at flea markets and antique stores and photograph all the pretty baked goods.  That's my absolute dream job right there.

As it is, though, all of you - not to mention my coworkers - get to benefit from my (currently) unpaid time and creativity.  Someday, though, maybe my dream will come true...

Speaking of vintage finds, I'm so in love with this little orange nutmeg tin and these rusted measuring cups.  I found them a few weeks ago at the Paris Street Flea Market in Denver on the first opening day.  And they were so worth my having to park a mile away to get there.

So as that particular weekend drew near, I said to Jamie, "How does a banana caramel cream pie cupcake sound?"

Without hesitation, he replied, "You had me until you said 'cupcake'."  He loves his pie.

But I just knew these cupcakes would be amazing and that he'd come around when he saw how beautiful I envisioned them to be.  And of course, tasted one.

And they didn't disappoint in the slightest.

One Year AgoIrish Whiskey Espresso Brownies
Two Years AgoPopcorn Peanut Cookies with Red Grapefruit Soda
Three Years AgoChocolate Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding

Baker's Note:
The whipped cream "frosting" is light and delicious, and stable as long as it's whipped stiffly enough and kept refrigerated.  It will soften and deflate a little if the cupcakes are left out of the refrigerator for too long.  If refrigeration isn't possible, fluffy buttercream frosting would also be fantastic on these!

If you have time to bake small, homemade cookies for these, go for it!  If not, there are any number of cookies to choose from at the store.  'Nilla Wafers are boring and predictable, although inexpensive, and shortbread or specialty cookies can be pricey.  A bag of small iced oatmeal cookies was only a few dollars, and a much more interesting choice than the wafer cookies.

Banana Caramel Cream Pie Cupcakes

banana custard:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
banana cupcakes:
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
whipped cream topping:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Dulce de Leche
  • coarse salt
  • small cookies

To make the custard, combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth and pour into a saucepan.  Over medium heat, bring the custard to a boil while whisking constantly, until very thick.  Remove from the heat, cover with plastic and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350.  combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the wet ingredients and mix for two minutes until well combined.  Divide the batter between 30 cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack, covered with a clean kitchen towel.

For the whipped cream, pour the cream into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip the cream, gradually adding the powdered sugar, vanilla and nutmeg, until very thick and stiff.  Refrigerate until needed.

To assemble the cupcakes, use a cupcake corer to remove the center of each cupcake.  Fill with the chilled custard.  Pipe the whipped cream on top, drizzle with the Dulce de Leche (it's extremely thick - too thick to "drizzle" - so I squeezed it through a piping bag), sprinkle with a little salt and top with a cookie.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yields 30 cupcakes

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen