Banana & Pecan Cupcakes

I know bananas are still pretty expensive right now. But if you happen to have a couple of well ripened bananas lying around, why not put them to good use in this lovely recipe.

Cakes

225g plain flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 bananas
115g butter, roughly chopped and softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 tablespoons sour cream
55g pecans, chopped

Lemon Icing

135g butter, roughly chopped and softened
2 ½ cups icing sugar
juice of ½ a lemon
25g pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 190C.  Line a 12 1/3 cup capacity muffin tray with paper cases.

Sift flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together into a mixing bowl, then set aside. Peel and roughly chop the bananas into a small bowl, mash with a fork and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in mashed banana and sour cream with a wooden spoon.

Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour mixture and chopped pecans.  Spoon a heaped tablespoon of mixture into each of the prepared paper cases.

Bake cupcakes in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool

Lemon Icing:

Beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Sift icing sugar over the top and add lemon juice. Beat until combined.

Spread icing on top of each cupcake and sprinkle with finely chopped pecans before serving.

Rocky Road Bark

For the Christmas just gone by, I tried to be a little smarter with my hamper making time, and so I chose to make Rocky Road Bark instead of plain old Rocky Road.  Bark is another simple yet effective gift food which lends itself to many variations. Another that I like is dark chocolate with roasted hazelnuts and craisins.

Rocky Road Bark


150 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150 g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 ½ cups pecans, toasted & roughly chopped
1 cup raspberry lollies, halved

 

Line a tray with baking paper and set aside. Melt the milk and dark chocolates together a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave.  Heat on high for 30 seconds bursts, stirring in between bursts until melted and smooth.

Stir in 1 & 1/2 cups of the marshmallows, 1 cup of the pecans and 3/4 of the raspberry lollies. Scrape the mixture onto the tray and spread out with a spatula to approx 2cm thickness. Sprinkle the remaining marshmallows, pecans and raspberry lollies over the top, gently pressing them into the chocolate to adhere.

Refrigerate the bark until completely firm, which is about 2 hours. Break or cut into chunks for serving.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Hummingbird cake is rather delicious, but cupcakes are a little more fun and quicker to make, so I thought I’d have a go at making Hummingbird cupcakes.  The results were a delicious success.  I have since made these at @dragnflydreamz‘s request, and so they were my donation to his Movember fundraiser.  That the cupcakes were gone in 10 minutes, and resulted requests for the recipe, is a sure indication of a winner.  The recipe makes 24 – 30 cupcakes depending on how much you fill the patty cases.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

 

2 cups self raising flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¾ cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup shredded coconut
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped
1 ⅓ cups brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 medium bananas, mashed
440 g can crushed pineapple, drained

 

ICING
200 g cream cheese, softened
40 g butter, softened
1 lemon zest
3 cups icing sugar

 

Preheat oven to 180C. Line two 12 1/3 cup capacity muffin trays with paper cases.

Sift flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda together into a large bowl. Stir in desiccated and shredded coconuts, pecans and sugar. Mix well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together oil and eggs. Blend into flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Add the banana and pineapple, stirring until well combined.

Divide mixture between patty cases.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and dry. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

ICING

In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Slowly add sifted icing sugar, beating until well combined. Spread icing over cupcakes to serve.

Rocky Road Cupcakes

Rocky road cupcakes.  A tiny bit delicate, a tiny bit fiddly, totally delicious!

Just a tip, you need to work very quickly to top the cupcakes with the rocky road once it’s made as it sets pretty quickly.

Makes about 24 cupcakes.

Rocky Road Cupcakes


200 g unsalted butter, roughly chopped, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
2 ½ cups self raising flour
½ cup milk
250 g marshmallows, quartered
½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
½ cup shredded coconut
375 g milk chocolate melts
125 g dark chocolate melts

Preheat oven to 180C. Line two 12 hole, 1/3 cup capacity muffin pans with paper cases.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift over half of the flour and stir in with a wooden spoon. Stir in half of the milk. Repeat with remaining flour and milk until combined.

Spoon 2 level tablespoons of mixture into each paper case. Bake for 15 – 17 minutes. Stand cakes in pan for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Combine marshmallows, pecans and shredded coconut in a bowl. Set aside.
Place milk and dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl bowl and melt, stirring often, until smooth. Add melted coconut to the marshmallow mixture. Mix to combine.

Working very quickly, spoon mixture onto cupcakes. Stand at room temperature and allow rocky road to set completely.

Marshmallow Pecan Cookies

These cookie sandwiches are best served with a mug of creamy hot chocolate.  Straight after baking, the pecan cookies are quite crunchy, but by the next day they soften to a slight chewiness.

When toasting the marshmallows under the grill, be sure to keep an eye on them, as you want the mini marshmallows to soften and brown just a little.  If they brown too much the marshmallow will taste unpleasantly burnt.

Marshmallow Pecan Cookies

185 g butter, chopped, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup self-raising flour
1 ¼ cups plain flour
½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 cup mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 170C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add vanilla and egg and beat until well combined.

With a spatula, fold combined in sifted flours until just combined. Add pecans and fold in until combined.

Roll level tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Place 4cm apart on a prepared tray. Press to flatten slightly. Bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven.

Turn half the cookies over and top with 12 or so marshmallows. Put cookies under a medium grill for 3 – 5 minutes, until softened.

Top with remaining cookies and press gently together. Set aside to cool.

Choc Chip Pecan Slice

This is the other slice I made, to go along with the Raspberry Coconut Slice in the last post.  A very sticky, nutty, yummy slice.

Make sure you grease and line the pan even if you use a non-stick pan, as the top layer will leak around the edges of the baking pan and stick in a few spots which will make it difficult to loosen the slice from the pan.

Choc Chip Pecan Slice

1 ½ cups self raising flour
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
125 g unsalted butter, melted
1 cup milk choc chips

Topping
3 eggs, at room temp, lightly beaten
⅔ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
50 g butter, melted
½ cup golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups pecans

Preheat oven to 180C.  Lightly grease a 16x26cm baking tin and line base and sides with baking paper.

Sift flour into a large bowl. Add sugar and stir combine.  Add butter, mix well then fold in the chocolate chips.  Press into the prepared pan and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To make the topping:

Combine eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, golden syrup and vanilla in a medium bowl, mixing well.  Roughly chop half of the pecans and stir into mixture.

Pour the topping over the cooled base and gently place remaining pecan halves on the top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the topping has set.  Cover with foil if the nuts are browning too quickly.  Allow to cool in the tin before slicing into pieces to serve.