There are moments in life that require something particular, something which will make the day just a little brighter. Last Thursday, that something was a chocolate and banana cupcake with whipped chocolate icing and very pretty white chocolate stars. After a busy couple of weeks, me and the Sis were in need of a little culinary tender loving care. We had been patiently waiting for the banana’s to ripen; it took nearly a week. It had taken so long that we occasionally found ourselves giving the fruit bowl a dirty look on our way to the kettle. So, the banana’s were ripe, the ingredients were in the cupboard and we were hungry.
Recently I’ve been randomly making up recipes, which sometimes works and are sometimes a little disappointing. And being that I don’t want to give my readers a lacklustre recipe, I decided to use the powers of the internet to help me on my quest. I immediately found what looked like a very promising recipe on the blog, Lucullian delights. It involved lots of cocoa, lots of banana and looked easy peasy. And so, the kitchen soon looked like a bomb site, why does Cocoa always go everywhere? I love a recipe where you don’t have to beat the butter and sugar together. If I’m at work and have a fantastic Kitchenaid to hand, then it’s no problem but my poor sparrow like biceps find it hard work. So, I’m a big fan of the melt and go recipe. The inclusion of ricotta in this recipe makes it really light. Because my brain was working against me when I did the shopping, I forgot the ricotta and all they had at the corner shop was cottage cheese so I used that instead. It worked fine as a substitute.
I made the batter into little cupcakes, they do rise a bit but not too much so maybe leave yourself a cm or so from the top of the cupcake case. The kitchen was soon filled with the smell of rich banana goodness. Whilst the cakes were in the oven I started to make my icing. The original recipe did not include an icing, but if I’m honest, I pretty much only make cake as a vehicle for the icing. For some strange reason I made a bit of a hybrid icing which I’ve never made before. I made my usual chocolate ganache and then made a cocoa butter icing and then combined the two, weird I know. But it worked wonderfully and I ended up with a thick, fluffy icing as you can see in the photo.
I warmed 125g of single cream in a pan, til it nearly boiled. I then pulled it off the heat and added 100g of dark chocolate . Let it sit, off the heat for a few minutes. Go back to it and stir it thoroughly until all the chocolate has melted through the cream. Set aside to cool to room temp, don’t let it set any harder or it won’t mix through the butter cream. Meanwhile, mix 100g soft butter with 130g icing sugar, 2 tbs cocoa. Keep beating til light and fluffy, it’s really important to work those sparrow biceps as if you don’t beat it enough, it won’t be so lovely and airy. Now, slowly add small amounts of the chocolate to the butter cream until it is all combined. Now, lick the spoon and wash it up. No double dipping!
Once your cakes are cool, cover them in ganache and decorate as you desire. Sis and BIL (Brother in law) devoured two each, as soon as the plate hit the table and the rest were hoovered up by BIL’s work colleagues. The combination of chocolate and banana is one of my favourites and these were a treat! Do try making them.
GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE BANANA CAKE by Lucullian delights.
5 overripe bananas, mashed
200 ml/0.85 cup of sugar
200 g/ 7 oz fresh ricotta
100 g/ 3 1/2 oz salted butter, melted
150 g/ 5 3/8 oz ground almonds
200 g/ 7 oz rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
7 tblsp cocoa powder
– Mash the bananas well.
– Whisk eggs and sugar for a couple of minutes, mash the ricotta and add it to the batter. Stir well.
– Add the melted butter, stir and then go on adding the bananas. Stir until it’s nice and smooth.
– Now add the ground almonds, the rice flour, the baking powder and the cocoa powder.
– Mix really well and pour into cupcake cases
– Bake it in a pre-heated oven at 175°C/347°F for about 12-15 mins. Test them with a skewer, if it comes out clean, they’re ready.
Use my chocolate icing recipe above if it tickles your fancy.