This is a BONUS MS-Cupcake for September. On the 15th, we made Zucchini Spice Cupcakes. Betty, from eat my cupcake, our host of the monthly MS Cupcake Club, challenged us to make another --- banana-Pecan Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream, can be found on page 41 in Cupcakes. I always have ripened bananas on-hand so i figured, why not? What I didn't have were pecans so I used walnuts. My house smelled wonderful as these were baking. I halved the recipe and had 14 cupcakes after exactly 20 minutes. Fresh out of the oven, these were very good.
The Caramel Buttercream for this cupcake was the Swiss Meringue type which is very rich, smooth, light & fluffy icing which is also not as sweet as regular buttercream which as we all know is, butter + powdered sugar. I actually dont mind making or eating regular buttercream because I find SMB laborious. For as long as I've been baking, I've only made it once. So why do it again? EVERYONE swears by it! Some say this is their GO-TO frosting. So, I took another stab at it.
I've made caramel a few times and this was PERFECT.
The next step was to cook the egg whites & sugar using the double boiler method until the sugar dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees). Then beat the egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes. Next was to add the butter and this was where it all went wrong --- a COMPLETE curdled mess!
I have no idea how or when or why this happened but this was gross. I just trashed it. If someone knows why this happened and how I can prevent this from happening to me again, DO TELL, PLEASE!
I was bringing these cupcakes to a gathering so I had about an hour before I had to leave. I didnt think there was going to be enough time to wait for butter to come to room temp. for buttercream so I just took one cup of heavy cream, added one tablespoon of powdered sugar and made whipped cream. Nothing curdled!
These were good but they tasted more like a banana bread than a cupcake (and I've made banana cupcakes before). I really liked the whipped cream but I'll definitely take another crack at SMB one day.