The last month has been crazy, full on crazy. I went to Stockholm a couple of weeks ago, and it was glorious. I never get tired of visiting Scandinavia, it’s like this paradise where everything is just lovely and full of coffee and pastries, and they have museum exhibitions about brewing beer (yes!). It also looks like this:
On returning, we had friends staying for the Bank Holiday weekend, and then had a huge pizza party which was great, albeit very messy, because when you make 3kg of dough, and get your approx. 20 guests to all make their own pizzas, it gets…ugh. My kitchen. It was the biggest clear up job ever, and mad props to Laura and Hayden who did loads of it whilst I was still at the pub. We had some cool pizzas though – including macaroni cheese pizza, potato pizza, and banana and harissa pizza (which surprisingly worked).
Anyway, now that I’m finally less insanely busy, it’s time to write about those banana and toffee cupcakes I mentioned a while ago. I love banana cake, and I’m always looking for variations to increase its general awesomeness. This is a tale of first world problems, whereby the little Waitrose near my house stopped selling the banana and toffee cupcakes I had grown to love. They still sell them at the one 4 miles from my house, but that is no use to me. So I decided to try and make some myself. I’ve made these a couple of times, and I will say it’s still a work in progress. I think I’m basically hoping that one day they’ll taste exactly like the Waitrose ones, but in the meantime, these work pretty damn well as a substitute.
Banana and Toffee cupcakes (adapted from Nigel Slater’s banana bread recipe, and this toffee icing recipe)
makes 12-14 cupcakes, with some leftover icing for you to enjoy
for the cupcakes:
250g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
125g butter, softened
100g demerara sugar
135g light brown muscovado sugar
400g brown(ish) bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases. Set the oven to 200C.
- Cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy.
- Mash the bananas in a separate bowl – you want them still a bit lumpy. Add the vanilla extract, stir, and set to one side.
- Add the eggs to the butter mixture. If it starts to curdle, add some flour.
- Fold in the bananas, then the flour and baking powder.
- Divide the mixture into the cupcake cases, and bake for 15-20mins, until brown on top and springy to the touch.
- Leave to cool whilst you make the icing…
for the icing:
110g light brown sugar
120g icing sugar
4 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, over a medium heat, melt the butter, and add the sugar and 2 tbsp of the milk. Boil for one minute (literally).
- Remove from heat, beat in half the icing sugar. Cool a little, then add the rest of the icing sugar, vanilla extract and the other 2 tbsp milk. I find that adding some milk afterwards loosened the icing up a bit, and made it easier to spread over the cupcakes. If you find that it’s hardening too quickly, then add a little more milk and give it a good stir.
Posts will now be every Sunday, as per the scheduling of 18 months ago.