Saturday, July 19, 2008

Going Bananas!

Before I start on my actually post I wanna say how excited I am today! While I have posted some over the past two months I feel as if this is my first. Hopefully, I don't bore you and I while I now have photos I know they are not what most of you have been accustomed to but hopefully I'll get better over time.

Bananas are a staple at my house so you can usually find a few hanging from my banana holder (is that what's it's called?). With Devon in SC playing baseball (Go Sting) our smoothie making has dwindled and so I have more bananas than normal browning. Which means something yummy with bananas will be coming from the oven. With sooooooooo many yummy banana recipes out there it took me a few days just to decide on one but finally I went with this recipe from the blog, The Crepes of Wrath and I used Joy the Baker's Brown Sugar Cream Cheese frosting. For the most part I followed their directions with a few exceptions unfortunately those exceptions may have played a role in my going bananas! It seems every time I bake with bananas I can't seem to get the timing right, either it's undercooked or overcooked. I just can not seem to get it right. Does any body else have this problem? What do you think I'm doing wrong? Feel free to jump in at this point with helpful hints. My first batch came out....undercooked. They had a nice crust but were a bit undercooked and they sank in the middle.

Here's a photo of my sunken banana cupcakes....
You can see that they are browned nicely but after cooling a moment they slowly sank and were still a bit mushy in the middle at the top. The cake recipe called for a 375degree oven and a bake time of 20 minutes. Maybe I should have lowered it?

The cupcakes while good were in my opinion more of a frosted muffin than cupcake. Again they were quite good and received thumbs up from my critics (My kids will flat out say when they think I've stunk it up!) but I thought the banana flavor was over shadowed by another. Here's where it might have gone wrong. I used freshly ground nutmeg instead of the kind out of the jar and perhaps my dash of ground cloves was too big a dash? I really couldn't tell which spice was dominating. (I don't have that refined a palate.) I'm hoping someone with a bit more knowledge will take pity on me and give me their opinion on the various place I might have gone wrong.
Now for the frosting. It was finger licking, bowl licking good! At first I thought it was a bit gritty and thought it might have been from not using the full amount of butter called for in the recipe. I used 1 1/4 cup instead of 1 1/2 cups In thinking about it for a few days I'm pretty certain it was because I put the frosting in the freezer to firm up so that I could pipe a pretty swirl on my cupcake. DUH! I never let the frosting come to room temp before gobbling down the cupcake nor the ones I ate over the next couple of days as I kept the cupcakes in the refrigerator. Once realizing my mistake and being more patient the grittiness was no more! The finished product!

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