Banana and Walnut Cupcakes

I have to confess to not being a cupcake fan. This is because I find the topping too sweet and too much! My friend loves them, so I made some for her birthday. It was yet another way of using up some very ripe bananas.

225g plain white flour
1 1/4 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn bicarb of soda
2 ripe bananas, mashed
115g butter, softened
115g caster sugar
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 tbsp soured cream
55g walnut pieces, roughly chopped

175g butter, softened
350g icing sugar
some walnut pieces, roughly chopped

Preheat oven 190C/gas 5.               Line 2 cupcake or muffin tins with 14 paper cupcake cases 

Sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarb of soda.
Beat the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then stir in the mashed bananas, soured cream and walnuts. Fold in the flour mixture.
 Put the mixture into the paper cups and bake for about 25 mins until risen and firm and golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 mins before putting onto a wire rack.

Topping: beat the butter until light and fluffy, then sift in the icing sugar and mix well together. I added a little bit of vanilla extract too.
Decorate the cupcakes when cool with the icing and some chopped walnuts. 

The cupcake tasted very much like a muffin and the topping is very sweet. I'm not good at cake decoration, so my swirls wouldn't make it to GBBO! My friend was very happy, so all was well!


Chocolate Mud Cake

 I presume that this cake has its origins in the USA, as there's the famous Mississippi Mud Pie. My family love chocolate cakes, and as my son was coming to visit, I decided to make a mud cake, a recipe I'd kept for ages in my folder. 

So for the cake you need: 220g butter or margarine, 220g dark chocolate, 6 tspn instant coffee, 160ml water, 125g sr flour, 125g plain flour, 50g cocoa, 1/2 tspn bicarb, 480g caster sugar, 4 eggs, 35ml vegetable oil and 110ml sour cream

For the ganache you need: 280g good chocolate, 140ml double cream and 40g soft butter

Preheat oven 160C/gas4                         Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin

In a pan, put the chocolate, butter, coffee and water on a low heat, till chocolate has melted, then stir together.

Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarb together in a bowl and stir in the sugar. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and sour cream together.

Spoon the egg mixture and then the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together well.

Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for about an hour. Cool in tin for 10 mins then finish on a wire rack.

Ganache: pour the cream in a pan and bring to boiling over a gentle heat.

Break the chocolate up into a bowl then pour in the cream. Mix together gently. Add the butter a little at a time, then leave the mixture to thicken.

Slice the cake in half, and use half the ganache in the centre and half on the top of the cake.

It's a delicious cake, but one slice is enough! I expected it to be very sweet because of the amount of sugar, but it isn't. It has a lovely soft texture.

 In the recipe it says you could use peppermint extract instead of the coffee to make a chocolate mint cake, or orange extract and orange zest for a chocolate orange cake.

I asked my daughter in law to take a photo of it, but sorry it's a bit blurry, and I don't know what the black lines are there for!

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