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.
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.