September 30, 2009

{MSC} BONUS: Banana Walnut Cupcakes

I'm often asked, "How do you find the time to bake the things you do and who in the world eats them all?" During the workweek, I usually premeasure the dry ingredients and make any frosting a day or two before. So it usually takes me less than 1 hour to have 1 dozen cupcakes baked from start to finish. AND, I can still be in bed by 10pm! Who gets to try all these yummy treats? Me. My toddler. Other members of my family, friends and my coworkers. There are always birthday parties to attend to, gatherings to go to, etc.

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.

20 comments:

marthaandme said...

I agree that they were definitely more like muffins - my crew has been eating them for breakfast

Just Anything said...

Looks yummy! K - I think you have to use a electric hand mixer for the caramel buttercream. I tried the big mixer with my first batch and the cream never formed so I ended up tossing it. The second batch (I didn't have a electric hand mixer) so I ended up whisking by hand. That took a long time but the consistency formed so that I could add the caramel later on. Anyway - my husband didn't really care for the topping so I ended up using whipped cream and he didn't like that either. I think he is too used to the store brought frostings....

SUGAR B said...

Curdled? You cooked the eggs! Oh well, I didn't even bother with the caramel frosting. You are a trooper for experimenting on my behalf! ;)

I actually liked these a lot.

Thanks so much for doing the bonus round! You are a baking diva for sure!

lakegirl16 said...

Your cupcakes are so pretty. Love the liners. I thought they were more like muffins than cupcakes.

Snooky doodle said...

these look delicious and I prefer whipped cream to buttercream :)

Lauryn said...

wow, they look beautiful, as does your caramel! Too bad about the curdling...but looks like they came out great with the whipped cream! And I am sure you will find another use for the caramel!!! :)

mike said...

Karen, I thought these were more banan-bread-like - not a cupcake, is what I thought - maybe because of the cake flour... hm? But your frosting looks superb! What a great last-minute sub! The caramel and buttercream were quite fun to make, I thought - nicely done!

Kim said...

They look great. Sorry about the curdled frosting. I have no idea why it would do that. It looks like cottage cheese. I bet the whipped cream was delicious.

Eliana said...

Your finished product looks picture perfect!

Nina said...

oh no! well you should try again sometime!

You should have added your caramel to your whipped cream - that would have tasted amazing! Although I dont know if it would have set.

TeaLady said...

too bad about the frosting, but the caramel turned out beautifully and that is not easy to do.

Beautiful little cupcakes.

Thanks for coming by.

Mary said...

most of the time frosting curdles when the butter is cooler than the meringue, so it clumps together and gets that cottage-cheese appearance. if you just keep beating the frosting for another few minutes, the buttercream will smooth out.

Alyssa said...

I love your paper cups - too cute! And although your frosting curdled.. the whipped topping looks great.

The buttercream is good, but it tastes a lot like butter :) which kind of grosses me out at the same time.. but still good. If that makes any sense.

I also used a hand mixer and the butter sat out overnight so it was definitely at room temp.

Alyssa said...

And I meant the frosting was killer delicious, but equally killer in the making dept.!

pinkstripes said...

I can't believe you guys are doing bonus cupcakes...how do you find time?

they look great!

Monica said...

They turned out beautifully! I'm sorry the Swiss Buttercream didn't work. I was actually surprised that mine worked out. I had more trouble with the darn homemade caramel.

Elizabeth said...

Well, they turned out beautiful in the end, even if the caramel frosting didn't quite work out! Don't you hate when that happens! What beautiful cupcakes you made, so gorgeous!

Tracey said...

Wow, I am so late with my comment but better late than never maybe?? :) So glad you decided to make these too. They look fantastic! Bummer about the curdling but kudos to you for even trying the frosting. I just skipped it and went with cream cheese frosting!

Jennifer said...

GREAT pictures, and I love the pink polka dot cupcake liners! :)

Professor Gal said...

Such sweet little cupcakes!!

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