Baking has always been meditative to me — it takes patience, delicate finesse, and oh right, more patience. Being Anal is key when making sure your measurements are spot on — not too much not too little. Timing is also another important one, a minute too long in the oven could be catastrophic. But the best part of baking is the reward at the end: putting all the elements together to create the perfect masterpiece. This recipe is exactly that.
These would be the perfect cupcakes to make that boyfriend who may need some extra convincing a proposal better be in order this year, or to butter up that stickler of a boss that seems to go out of his way to give you a hard time, or better yet, for your family and loved ones for any occasion — because honestly, who doesn’t love a good cupcake. (And I’m not talking about that Sprinkles bullshit.) The point is, these cupcakes are amazing and contain magical powers that can induce sudden feelings of euphoria and grandeur. Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes quite possibly may have become my new favorite cupcake after my Strawberry Cheesecake ones.
With a crunchy Nilla wafer bottom, layered with a moist Roasted Banana Cake that is filled with a vanilla bean banana custard, topped with Chantilly Cream and garnished with bruleed banana slices and more Nilla wafer love — I think it’s safe to say I’ve created my own personal masterpiece. So without further ado, what better way to photograph my masterpiece than throwing one of my favorite artists in the mix? Picasso meet Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes, Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes meet Picasso — you two make the quite the beautiful pair (and yes, I am positive Picasso would’ve loved these too.)
|Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes|
- Nilla Wafer Crust
- 4 cups Nilla Wafers, crushed finely
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
- Roasted Banana Cake (adapted from Martha Stewart):
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2 cups cake flour (not self rising), sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Vanilla Bean Banana Pastry Cream (adapted from Jacques Pepin):
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons banana extract
- Chantilly Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup raw sugar (Turbinado)
- 1/2 cup coconut shavings, toasted
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 3 whole peeled bananas on a baking sheet and roast 15 minutes. Remove bananas from oven and let cool, reduce oven temperature to 350F.
- Mix nilla crumbs with melted butter and blend together thoroughly, either using a food processor or your hands. The mixture should stick when you pinch the crumbs but still stay light a fluffy when broken apart. Place one tablespoon of cookie crumbs in each cupcake liner and press down, forming a compact crust. Bake for 4-6 minutes until the crust turns a slight golden brown.
- Meanwhile, sift together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add roasted bananas and beat to combine. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of sour cream, and beating until just combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
- In another mixing bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, whisk egg whites to soft peaks; fold one-third whites into batter to lighten. Gently fold in remaining whites in two batches.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean (I use a toothpick)_, about 17 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely. Cupcake can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
- Bring the ilk to a boil. Set aside. Place the yolks, sugar and scrape seeds from the vanilla bean (save the pod and set aside) in a bowl and work with a wire whisk until it forms a “ribbon”. This should take 3 to 4 minutes. Using a sifter, add the flour and mix well. Add half of the hot milk to the yolk mixture and mix well, throw the vanilla pod in the mixture. Pour the yolk mixture into the remaining milk, mixing as you go along. Bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring constantly with the whisk. The sauce will thicken as soon as it reaches the boiling point. Reduce heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. Remove from heat add pour through a strainer into a large bowl. Add banana extract and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl place 2 cups of heavy cream and using a whisk or hand blender, whip until it forms soft peaks. Add the sugar gradually as the cream begins to stiffen. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to use.
- To finish, using a small spoon or 1″ circle cooking cutter, core out the centers of the cupcakes for the custard filling and set the tops aside. Fill each cupcake to the top with custard and place the tops back on. The top will be a little higher than the rest of the cupcake but that will help hold the height when you add the whipped cream.
- Place chantilly cream into a pastry bag fitted with a medium French-star tip. Generously pipe whipped cream on top of cupcakes, making sure you cover the tops completely.
- Peel banana and slice into 1 inch rounds. Coat with raw sugar and using a hand-held torcher, lightly burn the sugar on each side. Garnish with bruleed bananas and toasted coconut shavings, finishing it off with a nilla wafer.
- This can be enjoyed either at room temperature or frozen as an ice cream cake!
When making the pastry cream, be extra cautious when you bring the mixture back to the heat. While the custard thickens you need to make sure the mixture is constantly moving to avoid clumps and cooking of the eggs. If the mixture seems to be heating too quickly, reduce the heat. The consistency should be nice and thick, similar to a pudding texture.