My friend Emma went to Canada, and all she brought me back was a bottle of maple syrup.
I should be more grateful, she could have brought me back the Greatest Hits of Cindy Leon. Anyway, the maple syrup sat, tucked away in the Delights store cupboard for well over a year. It looked all sad and lonely (a bit like a bottle of crème de menthe in a drinks cabinet, after a great party) and almost gave up hope of ever getting an outing.
Maybe it’s the fact that the weather is getting colder and there are all these gorgeous autumn leaves floating about, but I’ve been toying with comfort food and cupcakes.
We’re big fans of banana cake in our home, that’s our weekend food and comfort food. A weekend does not go by without me being bribed into baking a banana cake (‘we’ll go to bed on time’ / ‘we’ll tidy our room’ / ‘I’ll do the washing up’ /’I’ll even watch one of those cake programmes with you’). It’s amazing how quickly my lot cut-and-come-again, sometimes the cake doesn’t even get a chance to cool, before it’s finished.
I’d fulfilled all my cake orders this week and could you believe I had withdrawal symptoms from baking (only I could get the urge to bake after a few days of not turning on the oven). So I looked into the store cupboard and my eyes fell across the little bottle of maple syrup. What would be comforting with maple syrup, apart from pancakes…Banana Cake, maybe? So here’s my take on banana cupcakes with maple syrup buttercream. I’ve shared these with a few friends and they think these cupcakes are yumski.
Banana Cupcakes (makes 24)
75g margarine or unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
2 large free range eggs
5ml vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
2 ripe bananas
1. Pre heat your oven at 150ºC
2. Mix caster sugar and margarine or unsalted butter together well, until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy.
3. Mash the bananas and add to the mixture, with the vanilla extract and mix together.
4. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix well.
5. Add in the self raising flour, in three batches, mixing thoroughly, as you go along.
6. Spoon or scoop the mixture into cupcake cases, already placed in a cupcake tin.
7. Bake cupcakes in the oven for 20 -25 minutes, until lightly browned (place a skewer or cake tester in one of your cupcakes; if it comes out clean, your cupcakes are cooked).
8. Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool (and resist the urge to eat them…alright, just the one).
Maple Syrup Buttercream
500g margarine or unsalted butter
1kg sifted icing sugar
- Mix together the icing sugar and margarine or butter until creamy, light and has a fluffy texture.
- Stir in maple syrup to taste – you’ll see the buttercream change to a deeper, buttery colour as you do this.
Once your cupcakes have cooled, pipe swirls of your maple syrup buttercream onto your cupcakes. If you fancy being a bit chefy, drizzle (did I really just use that word) each cupcake a small amount of maple syrup. If you really want to show off, top each cupcake with a walnut. If you’re address includes the word ‘Stepford’, make a maple leaf out of sugarpaste for each cupcake.
Eat and enjoy with family and friends, when you come back from an afternoon, kicking leaves and larking about in the park.