because.

09 August 2011
There was an ever so slight communication mistake that occurred during a recent trip to our local produce vendor. Rather than walking out with four bananas, I walked out with four bunches of bananas. Not really a big deal, I thought, since the baby kind of devours them. But, after consuming two bananas, my youngest decided that this was the time for a banana strike. Not the best timing. So, much to the delight of my other kids, I spent this morning creating a new recipe 'just because.'

This recipe is an homage to one of my friends from The Netherlands. A mom to then one, now two adorable children, she hosted a play date soon after I first met her. During the morning, she put out a spread of snacks that included butter, a giant jar of chocolate jimmies* and plain white bread. My kids and I were confused. The sprinkles stumped us. My friend explained that the treat of bread, buttered and generously sprinkled with the chocolates was a snack from her 'home.' Needless to say, my kids loved the new-to-us treat and have regularly asked to replicate it.

Walnut Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients for the cakes:
6 bananas
2/3 cup sunflower oil
2 eggs
2 vanilla beans, scraped
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of roughly chopped walnuts

Ingredients for the filling:
2 tablespoons walnut paste**
1/2 cup firmly whipped cream

Ingredients for the frosting:
1/2 cup of milk
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup of sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 cup of chocolate sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

To make the cakes, mash the bananas and mix with all of the wet ingredients. Add the scraped vanilla beans. Add the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir just until combined. Fold in the walnuts. Place batter (it will be fairly thick) into paper lined cupcake tins, filling about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

To make the filling, mix the whipped cream and walnut paste. Once the cakes are completely cool, remove a small amount of cake from the center of each. Fill each hole with a small amount of filling.

To make the frosting, place the milk and flour into a saucepan. Whisking constantly, cook until thick (approximately 5 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Once cool, mix the butter and sugar until lightly colored and very well whipped. Then, add the milk mixture in three separate batches, beating constantly. Add the vanilla bean and mix until combined.

To assemble, add a shallow layer of frosting on each cake, spreading evenly. Place sprinkles into a bowl and dip the tops of each cake to cover completely.

*We call them 'sprinkles' in our house. Other friends have referred to them as 'chocolate rice'.
**If you can't find walnut paste for purchase, you can make your own by using a food processor. Simply process shelled walnuts until a nut butter is formed. Add a bit of oil (vegetable or sunflower) to make smoother.

2 comments:

Sophia said...

The combination of walnuts, banana and chocolate sounds delicious! And, your little topper is adorable!

Anonymous said...

GET OUT! These sound yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy!

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