Am I the only one who's sick of the whole blending-of-names thing? Bennifer? Blah. Brangelina? Gag. Thanks to them, I can never date a fella named Ross (Gross!), a dude called Brody (Grody!), or any Hispanic studs known as Jaime (Grimy!).
When it's applied to food, though, I don't mind the name-blending so much. Case in point: Banoffee pie. Part banana, part toffee, and total treat, this creation never fails to satisfy. As I'm currently in full-blown cupcake mode, I used the banoffee pie as inspiration for my latest batch. Banana cupcakes formed the base, a glob of dulce de leche was squished into the middle to form the filling, and smooth, rich caramel buttercream topped things off. I also sprinkled toffee bits over the frosting, just because I could.
The resulting cupcakes are magnificent--subtly sweet from the banana and blatantly sweet from all the dulce de leche. Yeah, banoffee has a nice ring to it. Grody? Not so much...
By the way, I'll bet most of you have read about The Fairy Hobmother at some point. Guess what--she dropped in on me after I left a comment on this post. If you leave a comment here, you may be next!
(makes 28 cupcakes)
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
4 very ripe large bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dulce de leche
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup dulce de leche
toffee bits, for garnish
To make the cupcakes, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.
Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the banana mixture and ending with dry, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
Once cool, carve out a cone from the top of each cupcake; fill the hole with dulce de leche.
To make the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy. Add vanilla and dulce de leche, and beat until frosting is smooth. Pipe onto cupcakes and sprinkle with toffee bits.