Well you really can’t call this a cupcake without frosting right…so I guess it’s a muffin. But really people this is too good to be called a muffin, seriously.
I’ve been eyeing this recipe from Warren Brown’s Cake Love for a while. I love banana cakes but they tend to be heavy and always hoped for a lighter version. If there is one ingredient that got me curious about his recipes, it’s the potato starch. Warren swears by it saying that it yields a very tender cake because it absorbs twice as much liquid as wheat flour – so you use less flour translating to less gluten. Warren says he does not use cake flour because it does not have the nutty flavor of all-purpose flour. His trick is to cut back on flour just enough to provide structure to the cake and substitute the rest with starch.
Mr. Banana Legs
By Warren Brown, “Cake Love”
Unbleached all-purpose flour, 10 ounces (2 cups), or 10 ¾ ounces (2 cups +2 tbs.+1 tsp) at high altitude
Potato starch, 1 tbsp.
Turbinado sugar, 1 tbs
Salt, ½ tsp.
Baking soda, ¼ tsp, or none at high altitude
Nutmeg, 1/8 tsp grated from whole nutmeg
Very ripe peeled bananas, 6 ounces (3 bananas)
Half and half, ¾ cup, or ¾ cup + 2 tbs. at high altitude
Rum, 1 tbsp.
Vanilla extract, 1 ½ tsp.
Unsalted butter, at room temperature, 6 ounces (1 ½ sticks)
Extra-fine granulated sugar, 21 ounces (2 ¾ cups), or 19 ½ ounces (2 ¼ cups + 3 tbsp.) at high altitude
Eggs (large), 4, or 5 at high altitude
Yolks (large) 3
Preheat oven to 350F (335F convection). Set rack in middle of oven.
Sift flour and combine dry ingredients.
Combine liquid ingredients in a food processor and process for 30 seconds or until smooth. Place in separate bowl and set aside.
Measure sugar and butter in separate bowls and set aside.
Crack the eggs and yolks into separate bowls and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar on the lowest speed of a stand mixer for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture looks white and fluffy.
With the mixer still at lowest speed, add the eggs one at a time followed by the yolks, fully incorporating after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl.
Add the dry ingredient mixture alternating with liquid in 3 to 5 additions each. Avoid overworking the ingredients. Don’t wait for the dry or liquid ingredients to be fully incorporated before adding the next. This step should take a total of about 60 seconds.
Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl all the way down. Don’t miss the clumps of ingredients hiding on the bottom of the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds to develop the batter’s structure.
This batter makes more than 24 regular cupcakes. Fill each liner about ¾ full to avoid overflow.
The resulting cake was amazing – full-flavored without being too banana-ey! The crumb was perfect, had a great mouthfeel and was very light. Because the bananas were pureed with the cream there were no conspicuous chunks strewn about that would have caused some sink holes in the cake’s composition. Wish I took a picture of the interior but the thought did not cross my mind until they were all gone. The recipe yields a nice crunchy top, which I love but I felt it was a tad too sweet. It might have been my bananas being too sweet but I think I’m going to play around with the recipe and reduce the sugar without sacrificing the overall structure.
I’m not sure what size bananas he is using but 6 oz. seems to be just around two bananas instead of the three called for in the recipe.
Though this is shown with just a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar, I did proceed to frost the rest with rum-flavored buttercream. It was a match made in heaven…and I can’t wait to make some more – the bananas on the countertop couldn’t ripen soon enough.