Here we go, confession time: I was never a fan of banoffee. I think it’s one of of those things that I just wasn’t a fan of as a child and as I continue to age, I like it more and more. Like olives and sticky toffee pudding, banoffee was just something that didn’t register on my ‘like it’ list as a kid. With banoffee, I can’t pinpoint what it was – whether it be the sweetness, or the familiar banana taste but not in banana form. Who knows.
All you need to know now, though, is that it’s firmly on the ‘liking it’ list. Not quite a ‘love it’ contender, but it’s certainly growing on me more and more. And these cupcakes help the cause no end.
We’ve a chocolate sponge, cored and filled with a caramel sauce. To be honest, you could just stop there and it’d be enough. But we then top these bad boys with the lightest, creamiest swiss buttercream. Honestly, I shit you not, this buttercream is incredible. It’s so light you barely even notice eating it aside from the banana-y taste! Not content with finishing it there, I’ve topped it all with some more caramel and some banana chips. Only place the chips in if you’re ready to serve, as they go a bit ‘soft’ if left overnight and the whole point of them it to offset such a creamy buttercream and smooth sauce with a ‘crunch’.
Give them a try, you’ll not be disappointed. While you’re here, why not give us a like and remember to subscribe at the side if you aren’t already!
280g plain flour
300g soft brown sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
170g butter, softened and unsalted
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp salt
BANANA SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
2 egg whites
200g cubed, softened and unsalted butter
3 tbsp carnation’s caramel
30ml double cream
Preheat the oven to 170c and line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake cases.
First, make the caramel sauce. Add the carnations caramel into a pan. When it starts to bubble slightly, remove from the heat and pour in the cream, stirring to combine fully. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, pour into a squirt bottle if you have one so you can drizzle it over the top of the cakes later. Failing that, a spoon will do.
Beat the butter in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy and then incorporate the sugar on high speed, until it’s light and creamy in texture. Add the eggs – one by one, and beating after each addition – followed by the vanilla.
Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl and add a third of it to the stand mixer. Beat until just incorporated and pour in half the milk. Repeat this once more, and finish with the final third of the flour mixture.
Decant the batter into the cupcake cases until 3/4 full – I used a cup measure or ice cream scoop to ensure the measures are even.
Bake for 22 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
For the swiss meringue frosting, beat together the sugar and egg whites until fully combined. Place over a pan of boiling water and beat on high for four minutes. To make sure it’s done, rub some of the mixture between your thumb and finger and if you can’t feel any of the sugar granules, it done! Remove from the heat and beat on high continuously. While this is beating, a bit at a time add the butter. Wait for the previous bit of butter top be incorporated before adding the next. Be patient. Right about the time you add the last piece of butter, it should all come together and resemble Swiss meringue buttercream. Add the flavouring and combine. Decant into a piping bag fit with a 1M star tip.
Using an apple corer, form a hollow in the cupcakes and pour some of the caramel sauce into the middle.
Pipe a tall swirl on top of each cupcake. drizzle with some of the caramel sauce and top with some banana chips.