Everything’s Going Bananas

by Jennifer Wieland

I was watching a food show on TV yesterday and they showed a dessert made with roasted bananas. OMG! Why was I just now discovering that you could take a perfectly ripe banana, place it on a cookie sheet and bake it in the oven right inside the peel? I had to try this and use it in something.  I mean, I knew from apples, pears, pineapple, etc. that when you cook the fruit by itself it brings out all the yummy sugars and flavors. When cooked the banana was no exception and the peel turns a very dark brown and almost looks like polished wood, in my opinion.

I had this plan to roast bananas and luckily had some lovely yellow bananas to use. To roast bananas, you want to use bananas that are yellow and free of dark spots. Just place the bananas on a foil lined baking sheet and place them in a 350° oven and bake 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and then let cool in the peels. You may notice that juice has leaked out of some of the bananas. That is fine. Once cool, carefully open the peel and squeeze the banana into a sieve above a bowl to remove any excess liquid.  Then you can mash and use.

As for what I made with the roasted bananas, I decided to go with the first idea that popped into my head and made roasted banana cupcakes. I then dipped them in milk chocolate ganache and then followed that up with dark chocolate peanut butter frosting. Finally I finished them off by sprinkling them with turbinado sugar and chocolate shavings and curls. The flavors complimented each other wonderfully and the roasted banana made the banana flavor in the cake nice and strong so that the chocolate and peanut butter did not overpower it.

Roasted Banana_Chocolate_PB

Roasted Banana Cupcakes
makes one dozen

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. fine salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 lrg. eggs
2 large bananas, roasted, drained and mashed

Preheat oven to 350° and line a cupcake pan with liners.

In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together until combined and then set to the side.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix on medium speed until combined. Slowly beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the dry mix and on low-speed beat until combined. Add in the roasted bananas and mix on medium speed for a minute.

Fill each cupcake liner and bake the cupcakes 19-22 minutes. Let the cupcakes sit in the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Milk Chocolate Ganache

4 oz. good quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

Work on this while the cupcakes are baking. Place the chopped chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan just until it reaches a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit 3-5 minutes. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and completely smooth. Place the ganache in the refrigerator. Stir every 10 minutes until it begins to thicken. Take it out and whisk by hand until it becomes slightly thickened. (Like a thick icing.)

Dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes into the ganache and let the excess drip off before turning upright. Place the cupcakes in the refrigerator for the ganache to set up more quickly.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
3-4 tbsp. heavy whipping cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and dark chocolate peanut butter on medium-high speed. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix on low-speed until combined. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Add two tbsp. heavy whipping cream and mix on low until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add one more tbsp. of heavy whipping cream and mix until combined. Add the last tbsp. of cream if needed. Turn the mixer on medium-high and beat the frosting until light and creamy. This should take a few minutes.

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Jennifer is a mom to 5 boys, 1 girl and 1 husband. Her kids range in age from 4-20 so things are always crazy with everything from preschool, to autism, to college. She tries to bake, craft and blog her way through all of the craziness that life throws her way.

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