Everything appearing thus far on this site has been a product of me: whether it be a creation of mine, some experience or purchase of mine related, or an article which I have written. Of course, many pieces have concerned works of art or moments in time composed by and of other people; I have drawn variously from books and other sources; and restaurant reviews consider food not made by me, and recipes which I’ve published may derive aspects from recipes I’ve seen elsewhere. Yet this post is the first to centre upon something which I have neither created nor interpreted – namely, banana cupcakes conceived and baked and iced by my partner, Angelica. My role has been limited to taking and uploading the relevant photographs; writing up here her recipe; and eating the cakes.
Ingredients (makes sixteen; refer to this ‘Note on Measurements’ if stumped by the measurement ‘dl’)
- 1 dl butter
- 3 dl sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar
- 2 dl mashed bananas
- ½ dl milk
- 4 dl flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
Notes pertaining to these ingredients
2 dl of mashed bananas equates to two or three bananas, depending on the size of your banana. If you don’t want to use butter, you can use margarine instead – but woe betide the person who uses margarine and declaims against this recipe, preferring the cupcakes of his butter-utilising neighbour. For vanilla sugar, you may happily substitute vanilla essence or a vanilla pod. It is a peculiar quality of Swedish baking and of Swedish cakes that they do not feature self-raising flour – a quite alien concept for the Swedes – but plain flour plus baking powder as the raising agent.
- Pre-heat your oven to 175C.
- Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat.
- Pour the melted butter into a mixing bowl, and stir in the sugar.
- Add both eggs, the vanilla sugar, mashed bananas, and milk. It is important that you have mashed the bananas prior to this bullet point.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Fold these dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into cupcake liners inside a cupcake pan or mould.
- Bake in your well-heated oven for around 30 minutes.
When folding the dry and wet ingredients, the operative term is ‘fold’ – there is no need to mix too much, for air pockets will make the cupcakes light and moist. If you simply use cupcake liners without putting these inside a pan or plastic mould, the weight of this mixture, owing to the bananas, tends to make the liners collapse and the mixture spill onto your baking tray. The cupcakes will be done when golden-brown on top and rebounding under gentle pressure.
Leave the cupcakes to cool before icing; and for icing, do as you please. This time, we used a chocolate fudge icing by Betty Crocker – a lady surprisingly slender and agile, according to her company’s promotional materials. Melted chocolate has worked equally well in the past; or you can make an icing out of egg white and icing sugar, or icing sugar and butter, plus an optional flavouring. Slicing a banana thinly and putting these slices in the warm oven for a few minutes provides an apposite decoration, a complementary final-touch.