Monday, August 18, 2014

Chocolate Banana Walnut Cupcakes

Has it really been more than a year since I posted on this blog? Woops.. 

A lot has happened. I moved from lovely California to beautiful North Carolina for an intensely accelerated 16 month nursing program and it's been a crazy transition. The stress is real. And talk about culture shock.. But I've adjusted and even got through the hardest semester of the program (thank god!!). I've barely had time to bake let alone have any free time for myself, but I'm halfway through my short but super relaxing two-week break, which gives me time to enjoy what I love to do... BAKE! 

So, I had some nasty a** bananas in the fridge. They were squishy, their skins even sinking into my fridge rack. It was gross. But I hate to waste food, so I found a yummy cupcake recipe and figured out a topping that would remind me of summer sundaes. I figured it was appropriate with this crazy humid summer that NC is famous for. Just kidding, what am I saying? NC weather is straight up bipolar. It'll be sunny, hot, humid in one moment and then in the next, it'll be raining and storming. hard. Then 20 minutes later, it'll be sunny again. I don't understand. 

Okay, I got sidetracked. Here's the recipe!

For the cupcakes: 
(Taken from bakingbites)

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup very ripe, medium bananas, mashed (I used 3)
1 cup buttermilk

1 cup walnuts (chopped)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • In a bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  • In another bowl, beat the butter until it's not lumpy. I whip the butter with my KitchenAid mixer and stop it every couple times to scrape the sides of the bowl. This helps from having lumpy butter/batter, especially if the butter isn't quite at room temperature when you start beating. I'm just picky with lumpy batter. 
  • Add the sugar into the butter and beat until it's light. 
  • Beat eggs one at a time.
  • Beat in the vanilla and mashed bananas. 
  • Add half of the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Scrape sides of the bowl as well. 
  • Mix in the buttermilk.
  • Mix in the last half of the flour mixture until incorporated. 
  • Fold in the chopped walnuts.
  • Pour batter into each cupcake liner. I use an ice cream scoop for even scoops. 
  • Bake for 15-18 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean after inserting into a baking cupcake. 

For the chocolate ganache:

8 oz. whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
10 oz. 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips

  • Place all the chips in a medium/large bowl.
  • Bring the whipping cream and butter to a boil. Keep stirring or the whipping cream may burn. 
  • Once in a rolling boil, remove the cream from heat and pour onto the chocolate chips. 
  • Let it settle for a couple minutes.
  • Mix with a whisk until the chocolate and cream incorporate together and become glossy and shiny. 
  • Dip cupcakes into the ganache. If you have sprinkles on hand, dump some sprinkles into a bowl or plate and dip the cupcakes. 

Now add a scoop of ice cream on top of the cupcakes! Just kidding. Only if you want to.