To end the month of January, which I have dubbed "Baked" month, I present to you these delicious Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream Frosting. Think Banana Cream Pie in a cupcake...so so good! Thank you and goodbye for now Baked Pastry Shop. There are so many good recipes in your book that I'm sure I'll be back, but I must be moving on to peruse the many other cookbooks on my bookshelf...but I'll see you on facebook! As for the rest of you, buy the book already and show me what you've made!
Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream
from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
For the Cupcakes:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4)
1/2 cup buttermilk
For the Vanilla Pastry Cream
3 cups half-and-half
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Make the pastry cream:
In a medium saucepan, bring the half-and-half to a simmer and keep warm. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt together until the mixture is pale, about one minute. Whisk half of the half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture, then pour the egg mixture back into the pot with the remaining half-and-half. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened and boiling, about 6-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a container. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least one hour, overnight is better.
Make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, add the eggs, and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bowl again and add the bananas, beating until just combined. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula, giving the mixture a final stir to ensure it's combined.
Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove them from the pans and cool completely.
Assemble the cupcakes:
Place the vanilla pastry cream in a plastic disposable piping bag or a zip top gallon sized bag. Cut the end of the bag so that the opening is about a half inch in diameter. Pipe a dollop onto the cupcake (alternatively spoon a dollop onto the cupcake) and garnish with a dried banana slice.