September 6, 2011

roasting in more ways than one

We seem to be experiencing one last push of summer's heat here in good ol' southwestern Virginia, and I'll gladly take it, as I'm not quite ready for a complete cool-down yet.


I ask you, though--what rational person cranks up her oven to full force when it's 90 degrees outside and already 85 degrees in her kitchen? Well, I never said I was a rational person, particularly when it comes to food. I decided I wanted to make roasted banana cupcakes, so I did.

I've never roasted bananas before, and to be honest, I couldn't tell that doing so made the flavor any different. It was fun to blacken the peels, though, and I liked how the innards became all pressurized and liquefied. It's the little things.


Although I didn't set out to do so, it seems I'm baking through Martha's book of cupcake recipes. So far, I've not been let down. I didn't use her honey-cinnamon frosting (contain your shock--I put my cinnamon in the batter), but instead opted to go with my latest obsession, a cream cheese frosting flavored with coffee and rum. Random? Yes. Delicious? Absolutely. I guess it's a bit like an addict's dream--caffeine and alcohol!

Roasted Grace's Roasted Banana Cupcakes
(based on a recipe from this book)
3 ripe bananas
2 cups cake flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To roast the bananners, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place 3 whole unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. The peels will darken and become very, very taut. Remove from oven and allow to cool before peeling.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Line a regular muffin tin or two with 16 paper liners. Sift together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add roasted bananas and beat to combine. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of sour cream. Beat until just combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks; fold one-third of the whites into the batter to lighten. Gently fold in remaining whites in two batches.
Divide the batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4+ cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon rum
4 to 6 tablespoons strong coffee

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until well-blended. Beat in the powdered sugar. Beat in the rum and then add the coffee a bit at a time, until the right consistency is obtained.

49 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Roasting fruits add more flavors to desserts. Those cupcakes must be just divine and so fragrant!

Cheers,

Rosa

shaz said...

I'll turn the oven on no matter the weather if there are cupcakes at the end of it! Alcohol and caffeine..oh my. Looks scrumptious Grace. Like the facebook page too :) Just noticed it.

bellini said...

I would imagine that if you don't have any "past their prime" bananas around roasting them would give you the same intense flavour.It was 31 Celcius and I was baking cookies:D

Becki's Whole Life said...

The roasted bananas in this sound great! Like this recipe and I am a big fan of banana recipes with sour cream. Your frosting is a great combo of flavors. I wholly agree - caffeine and alcohol is an addict's dream:-) Too funny - Yum!!

Sue/the view from great island said...

It sounds like you had a fun food chemistry experience with the bananas. These cupcakes are perfect little gems. The cream cheese recipe sounds really tasty, and I'm going to slap my hand away from the vanilla next time I make frosting and try it.

Joanne said...

I'm always turning my oven on in obscenely hot weather...it makes no sense, but it makes me happy. These cupcakes look delicious! I'm kind of shocked that you didn't put cinnamon in the frosting...but it does sound delicious nonetheless!

Angie's Recipes said...

Those cupcakes sound and look really delectable with roasted bananas!

TKW said...

Coffee, rum and banana? What's not to love?

Foodycat said...

I had to put on knee length boots today - summer has definitely left London!

I don't know if you have had bannoffee pie? A pie crust filled with dulce de leche, topped with sliced bananas and whipped cream... Anyway, my favourite version of it has some coffee in the cream. I now think some rum as well would be perfect!

Hungry Dog said...

These look very pretty, and I am dying at the sound of that frosting --coffee and rum is downright brilliant!

Enjoy the warmth...we've got our heater on here in San Francisco.

Foodhoe said...

Never roasted banana but sounds fantastic, you are so dedicated to be baking in the heat...

Mimi said...

Banana cupcakes serve as the perfect spoon for that delicious frosting.
Mimi

vanillasugarblog said...

not ready for fall or anything cold like at all.
we just got summer and now its gone.
didn't we just have 9 months of winter? hello?
pass me some cupcakes?

girls who like to gorge said...

That cupcake looks divine! Enjoy the hot weather while you can, it's freeeezing over here in England! xx

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Mmm roasting the banana must concentrate the flavor so incredibly -- I gotta try this!

Melanie said...

That frosting swirl looks positively perfect! And I've also been known to crank up the oven when my house is sweltering, too. Glad I'm not the only crazie out there.

Nutmeg Nanny said...

I love that you roasted the bananas...yum!

Mini Baker said...

i bet roasting those bananas made you go BANANAS! (in a good way) :)

Neil | Butterfield said...

These do look marvelous.

Marjie said...

Your frosting is too pretty for words. I don't have that kind of patience.

oneordinaryday said...

Love the caramel-y color of roasted bananas. You aren't the only one who will get an idea and do it whatever the heat index. :)

5 Star Foodie said...

The cupcakes with roasted bananas sound terrific, and I love the addition of coffee and rum in the frosting.

Barbara said...

What? Coffee and rum and no cinnamon?? I am in shock.
I roasted bananas recently for the first time...ugly and black, but oh so good!

Faith said...

I really wish I could reach in and grab a couple of these, Grace. They sound fantastic and I really love the idea of roasting bananas!

Emily Malloy said...

Drool.

Lisa-Marie said...

Oh my. This is one for me to make with the kids at work, they love bananas!

Juliana said...

Grace, your banana cupcake looks divine...I have a bunch of banana getting ripe...and I think that will be a great way to use them up...great idea to roast them...
Hope you are having a great week :-)

~~louise~~ said...

Not only can you send those heavenly cupcakes my way, I'll take some of that warm breeze too. I may have to turn my oven on it's so damp and chilly.

Thanks for warming me up Grace, simply gorgeous and I bet scrumptious too!!!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

These look dreamy! I've made a similar cake using banana peels. It sounds more bizarre than it is I promise :P

The Blonde Duck said...

I wish summer would never end!

Robin Sue said...

Coffee and rum cream cheese frosting! Oh my goodness, that is love right there!

Julie M. said...

Those sound great! And just getting to play a bit with fire and food would be enough entertainment for me to try the roasted bananas. yes I'm simple. :)

The Teacher Cooks said...

I've never roasted bananas. Interesting concept, though. Lovely cupcakes!

Gloria said...

A-MA-ZING ! Look nice and beauty Grace, as always!!!

Lori said...

These sound absolutely delicious.

Did you move back home? Did I miss something here. Goodness, I have not been out and about in blogland very much.

cookies and cups said...

I have wondered about roasting the bananas...thanks for doing the leg work!
Also I don't hesitate to bake in the heat either...nothing can keep me from chocolate chip cookies :)

A Plum By Any Other Name said...

I was thinking about putting some bananas on the grill this weekend myself. And know that you are in good company. I am aircondition-free and have been known to bake bread in 80+ degree weather. I'm kind of sad to hear it's only supposed to be in the low 70's here in MA this weekend!

Pam said...

I think we are both a little crazy... I've been roasting things in the oven in this heat too.

I have never thought of roasting bananas - these cupcakes look beautiful and delicious Grace!!!

Leslie said...

Delicious...yes!!!

RChristopher said...

I know how you feel. We’ve been baking in our neck of the woods as well. And somehow firing up the oven in 100+ weather seems crazy. But still, we do it. Your cupcakes look sinfully delicious especially with coffee and rum added to the frosting ;^)!

lisa is cooking said...

I love coffee and banana together! And, you're convincing me I need to get this book.

Von said...

I've never even heard of roasting bananas before- but I can just imagine how fun it would be!!! And these cupcakes sound delicious too- love your interesting flavour combination!!

Carolyn Jung said...

I've done that, too -- cranked up the oven when it's scorching outside. Hey, you gotta bake when the mood hits. ;)

Erica said...

Roasted bananas sound delicious and interesting!I would love to try it with banana bread.

Lisa said...

I'm not a huge banana fan but your observations make roasting them sound like fun. In any case, the cupcakes look gorgeous and that icing sounds fantastic!

Catherine said...

I'm jealous of your hot weather; there are trees blowing onto the roads in Glasgow today!

How amazing does your frosting sound? I bet that would wake you up in the morning! ;)

I'd never thought of roasting a banana before; I'm glad it was an enjoyable time for you hee hee!

The Blonde Duck said...

Happy Monday!

Deborah said...

I have loved that cupcake book, and this looks like yet another winner from it!!

kimberleyblue said...

I've gotta try roasting my bananas before baking with them. What an awesome idea!

Looks like tonight is banana bread night.

The icing sounds incredible...