Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Banoffee cupcakes

I have a confession.

I am not a huge fan of the cupcake.

I'm not quite sure how to explain myself. I like the look of them. I like the cute-ness factor. But I just can't help feeling a little... cheated... by a cupcake. I'm more of a big cake sort of girl. I prefer a slice. Also, much as I love buttercream, I just can't quite cope with the amount that is smeared atop a hummingbird bakery-style cupcake. It looks promising, but I usually end up feeling rather sick.

However, these completely divine banoffee cupcakes have stolen their way into my heart. They are very seriously good. The combination of banana and fudge chunks within and caramel-flavoured buttercream and dulche de leche on top is simply too good to resist (though I do find myself wondering how good this would be in large cake format). In my quest to conquer my cupcake antipathy I've tried a lot of cupcakes but these really do take the number one spot for my 'best-ever-cupcake'.

I was drawn to these beauties via the nice lady from the Baking Mad website. For those who haven't discovered this excellent site, I suggest you go take a look. The site belongs to Allinson flour, it would seem but in a rather subtle sort of way. Silver Spoon and Billingtons sugar are also affiliated and the products are loosely promoted here. But mainly it is a superb archive of recipes, baking tips, competitions as well as being home to a baking blog.

I was asked to try out the banoffee cupcake recipe and sent a box of baking goodies to help me along: Allinson flour, Billingtons sugars and Silver Spoon cake decorating goodies. Having waited all week for my bananas to reach sufficient ripeness, I attempted the cakes on Saturday evening with a couple of visiting friends. Glasses of fizz in hands, we got busy following the detailed instructions on the site. A nice feature of the recipes is the ability to click each stage as you go along so that you can easily find your place. Handy.

Mixing the cake batter was very straightforward and we all got rather over-excited about the fudge chunks. Upon tasting the Silver Spoon fudge chunks, Claire and Joni (of lamb tagine fame) decided to carry out a taste test and declared the fudge chunks 'a little soapy'. We were a tad worried about this but were reassured upon tasting the cakes - they seemed to have semi-melted into fudgy deliciousness. I look forward to using the remaining chunks in cookies or blondies in the near future.

The recipe states that it makes 12 cupcakes. I suspect this is 12 super-sized ones as I managed to make 24 reasonable sized cakes from the batter (slight problem as the husband is away and 24 cupcakes is a lot for one girl to get through!). The buttercream icing is made with natural icing sugar so has a lovely caramel flavour and colour - I'd not used this before but it is a good discovery. We were momentarily flummoxed with the icing as there was no direction about adding milk and we couldn't get it to mix - hopefully this will be changed on the website. One other slight problem we had was that the icing started to 'melt' somewhat and didn't hold its shape too well. This could be because our kitchen is quite warm due to the Aga. However, we persevered - one of us piped the icing whilst the others added the chocolate decorations and pieces of dried banana. I got quite excited by the heart-shaped decorations, it being Valentine's Day and all.

Anyway, the recipe can be found here. I suggest you try it. Totally delicious. I might even have one now. For breakfast...


bellini valli said...

It is easy to see why these would be one of your favourites. They may even be good for you with less icing and banana throughout.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Oh, HALLO! Wow, I've seen a few banoffee cupcakes in my time, but I don't think I've seen any so instantly tempting as these... They just oooooze banoffee!

Lucy said...

I love banoffee dishes so much - always irresistible. Love these cupcakes - so pretty!

Beth (Jam and Clotted Cream) said...

These look fab - I love banoffee pie - so I'm sure I would love these too

Mia's Bakehouse said...

Ooo i've been wanting to make banoffee cupcakes for a while, and these look like seriously cute ones! I'll have to try them out.

Jacqueline said...

Those look amazing. I so want to reach in and grab one! I too am not a great cupcake fan. I am always attracted to them, but I think that is because of the frosting and pretty colours. Always slightly disappointed. Want one of these though!

C said...

They look delicious!

I know what you mean about cupcakes though - although I post quite a lot of them, I'm more a fan of a slice of cake than a cupcake. Especially if it's a nice big, thick slice of cake! I think it comes down to not me not really liking buttercream frosting all that much. Yours really look great though!