More Cupcakes!

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It’s the end of the semester. I have my last final tomorrow, and I should feel so relieved! But I am so sad that this semester is coming to an end. One of my best friends and my sister are graduating, and I’m moving to a new apartment with new roommates.

But change is always scarier when you’re looking it in the face. I know that new exciting things will come, to fill the spaces left by everything that’s ending.

I have been so grateful this semester to be surrounded by such amazing friends. They are all beautiful people, who make me laugh, keep me going while we study, listen to my questions and worries and rants, and share in so many fun memories. Dinner on the roof, dancing (everywhere), weekly Monday dinners, late nights of cookies and cupcakes, and hours together in coffee shops – it all keeps me sane. And happy.

I made these cupcakes for my WONDERFUL friend Alyssa. It was her birthday (plus she just got accepted into the school of education – amazing!). So banana boston cream pie cupcakes were obviously in order.

These are yum. So fun to eat, and so satisfying to make. It takes three steps, but don’t be intimidated. I made the custard the day before, which made the assembly process go a lot more smoothly (just wait to add the banana until right before using).

This vanilla cupcake recipe is awesome. I will definitely use it again in the future – they have great flavor, and the texture is moist and fluffy, but still has a satisfying density. And they bake up with a nice crispy top.

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How do you make them even better? Fill them with creamy custard. Turns out custard is really cool to make. While you’re whisking it on the stove, in a split second it transforms from a liquid into this luscious, creamy, eggy custard! I don’t know the science behind it, but something crazy was happening in there.

I used this “cone method” to fill the cupcakes: Use a small sharp knife to cut a cone out of the top of the cupcake. Fill the cupcake with custard (or whatever you’re working with). Then cut the excess cake off of the cone, and stick the top back over the hole. It’s really simple once you try one or two.

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And then top it all off with chocolate ganache. There are lots of recipes for chocolate ganache out there. I didn’t feel like using a ton of powdered sugar, because I didn’t want to interfere with the chocolate flavor. So I kind of improvised my own recipe, and it turned out great! It’s fun to experiment a little, and I knew I could never go terribly wrong with bittersweet chocolate and whole milk.

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Here’s the recipe, enjoy! Make something sweet for your friend’s birthday. They’ll love it.

Banana Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

This idea came from Cupcakeblog.com, but I changed each of the components except for the custard.

Vanilla buttermilk cupcakes:

Recipe from Shauna at Piece of Cake

Makes about 18 cupcakes

2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, at room temperature

Place an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 cups of 2 muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together, the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and turn the mixer on low. With the mixer running, gradually drop in the butter pieces and mix until the texture is uniform and the bits of butter aren’t discernable, about 2 minutes. (I again, just used a spoon and then my fingers to incorporate the butter.) With the mixer still on low, begin slowly pouring in the wet ingredients. When all the wet ingredients have been added, crank the speed up to medium and mix until the batter is light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes.

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Portion the batter into the muffin tins and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly touched, 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Banana Pastry Cream

Recipe from Cupcakeblog.com

2 cups whole milk

½ cup sugar, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 egg yolks

¼ cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons butter

2 bananas, medium sized

1. Heat milk, ¼ cup of the sugar, the vanilla, and salt in a pan over medium until it reaches a simmer
2. Whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a medium sized bowl until combined.
3. Slowly add ½ cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
4. Add remaining milk mixture slowly while whisking.
5. Transfer back into the pan and heat over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until it thickens. It will thicken all of a sudden, give it a good whisk then take it off the heat.
6. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer, add the butter, and with a paddle attachment beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
7. Transfer to a bowl, cover will plastic wrap touching the cream, and refrigerate until cool, hour or so. This can be made a day in advance.
8. Chop two fresh bananas into small chunks and fold into the pastry cream before using.

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Yes those are a few lumps. I don’t claim to be perfect.

Chocolate Ganache

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
About 1 cup powdered sugar

1. Break chocolate up into pieces and place in heat proof bowl.
2. Heat milk and butter on stove until it just begins to simmer. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for a minute.
3. Whisk together until smooth.
4. Allow to cool, then add powdered sugar until the ganache reaches your desired consistency. If it seems too liquidy, chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

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Assembly:
1. Using a small paring knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with the banana pastry cream.
3. Replace the top of the cone.
4. Spoon some ganache over each cupcake.

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3 thoughts on “More Cupcakes!

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