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Banana Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Ganache

DSC_7432_2This recipe comes from the September edition of Fine Cooking magazine (my newest food magazine subscription). The recipe was for a browned butter-banana cake with salted dark chocolate ganache. I only changed a couple of things about the recipe, but the major difference was that I decided to turn it into cupcakes. I needed something to bring to a house-warming party, and cupcakes seemed like they would be easier to distribute to people than a cake. I am also the worst ever at icing cakes, and I didn’t feel like pulling out my hair this morning.

These ended up being sort of a muffin-cupcake hybrid. They are more the texture of a banana muffin, but they are cupcakes because of the ganache on top! They remind me of the carrot cupcakes my mom used to make. They are basically carrot muffins, but she puts frosting on top and calls them cupcakes. You really can’t go wrong with that combination because you get the best of both worlds. I actually prefer the texture of a muffin or bread to that of a cupcake so it seems like a genius idea to put frosting on top of a muffin.

It is super hot outside in San Diego today, and I feel like I am falling apart because it is so hot in my house. When I turn the oven on, the entire kitchen heats up so who knows if I actually followed this recipe properly while in a state of delirium. They turned out really delicious though, and the addition of a sprinkling of coarse sea salt on top of the cupcakes is exactly what these needed to cut the sweetness a little. 

NOTE: I would suggest making the ganache first because it takes at least an hour to get hard enough in the fridge.
DSC_7442_2Banana Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Ganache
1 1/2 cup butter
3 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
5 mashed ripe bananas (I always keep a bunch in my freezer and just thaw them)
1 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 large eggs

Cook the 1 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan over medium heat, swirling every few seconds, until melted, and the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn dark brown, about 5 minutes.
DSC_7390_2Scrape the browned butter into a shallow bowl. Refrigerate until softly set, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda.
DSC_7407_2In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas and buttermilk.
DSC_7388_2In a large bowl, beat together the browned butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed.
DSC_7409_2Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition (I followed these instructions for the first egg and then just cheated with the last 3).
DSC_7412_2Add the flour and banana mixtures to the butter and brown sugar mixture, alternating between the two in three additions each.
DSC_7414_2Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way and bang the cupcake tin on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbled. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing.
DSC_7417_2Chocolate Ganache
4 Tablespoons butter
1 lb. semisweet chocolate chips
Pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream

In a small saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat, swirling every few seconds, until melted, and the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn darn brown, about 5 minutes.
DSC_7369_2Scrape the butter and milk solids into a large bowl and add the chocolate and salt.
DSC_7386_2
Bring the cream to a boil in the same pot over medium heat, and then pour over the chocolate and butter. Cool in the fridge, stirring every 15 minutes, until thickened and spreadable, about 1 hour. I left it longer than that because I wanted to pipe it onto the cupcakes.
DSC_7397_2

DSC_7404_2Pipe the ganache onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. I find it easiest to fill an icing bag with the ganache by putting the bag in a tall cup first.
DSC_7429_2

Banana Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Ganache
Author: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup butter
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 mashed ripe bananas (I always keep a bunch in my freezer and just thaw them)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb. semisweet chocolate chips
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Cook the 1½ cup of butter in a saucepan over medium heat, swirling every few seconds, until melted, and the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn dark brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Scrape the browned butter into a shallow bowl. Refrigerate until softly set, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas and buttermilk.
  6. In a large bowl, beat together the browned butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed.
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition (I followed these instructions for the first egg and then just cheated with the last 3).
  8. Add the flour and banana mixtures to the butter and brown sugar mixture, alternating between the two in three additions each.
  9. Fill cupcake liners about ¾ of the way and bang the cupcake tin on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbled. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing.
  10. In a small saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat, swirling every few seconds, until melted, and the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn darn brown, about 5 minutes.
  11. Scrape the butter and milk solids into a large bowl and add the chocolate and salt.
  12. Bring the cream to a boil in the same pot over medium heat, and then pour over the chocolate and butter. Cool in the fridge, stirring every 15 minutes, until thickened and spreadable, about 1 hour. I left it longer than that because I wanted to pipe it onto the cupcakes.
  13. Pipe the ganache onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

 

Comments (2)

  • Banana and Chocolate is one of the classic great flavour combinations.. I can imagine how good these cupcakes would have tasted, they look delicious!

    Reply
  • I think you should be a professional cupcake icer. You should also teach me, because I cannot make anything that looks like this.

    Reply

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