22 July 2011
The Elvis Cupcake
Oh boy this is exciting (for me anyway!). I found a tutorial for making swiss meringue buttercream the other day and have been meaning to try it out. I attempted Italian meringue buttercream the other week and something went terribly wrong and I ended up scrubbing hardened sugar off my kitchenaid whipping attachment. Suffice to say it didn't work and tasted awful and not at all salvageable.
Italian meringue buttercream requires pouring a sugar syrup into whipped fluffy egg whites and then adding butter to the cooled mixture and mixing and mixing until you get a nice glossy buttercream. Swiss meringue buttercream requires sugar and egg whites to be heated over a bain marie and then whipped up into a thick glossy meringue before adding the butter. Same ingredients, different techniques and some prefer one over the other. I prefer the swiss method. Either way, done correctly its absolutely divine to use and eat!
For these cupcakes I used my favourite banana cake recipe. I added peanut butter and manuka honey to the buttercream to give it a honey and peanut butter flavour and it worked amazingly!! I've added honey to a regular butter and icing sugar mix before and it was just way too sweet, but this was perfection. So smooth and so easy to keep eating! Did I already mention that?
So here you are. Banana cupcakes with Honey and Peanut Butter Buttercream. Sprinkled with a bit of peanut praline for good measure. Elvis would be proud.
The red ones have a bit of nutella in the centre also.
Here's the recipe for the cake and the buttercream - this made more than enough batter and buttercream for 18 cupcakes.
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 180deg C. Prepare cupcake tins with papers (makes roughly 18)
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until creamy. Then add the vanilla and mashed banana and beat well. Sift flour and bicard soda and add to creamed mixture along with the water. Mix well. Spoon into cupcake cases filling about 1/2 way.
Bake for 15 mins or until skewer comes out clean.
Let cool and then pipe or spoon buttercream icing.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
250g butter, softened but cool still (I know! Alot!)
1 teaspoon manuka honey (the taste is nice and strong)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Combine egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl (preferably metal) and place over a simmering pot of water. Whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is free from grains (rub some between your fingers, it should be hot but not grainy). Remove from heat and with a whisk attachment beat until thick and glossy. Keep beating until the bowl is neutral to touch. If it is too hot then the butter will melt...and we don't want that. Once cool add the butter one cube at a time while on a low speed. Keep beating until well incorporated. Then add a pinch of salt, honey and the peanut butter and mix till all combined.
And you are done. You can use this right away, or refrigerate for later use. Just make sure you chuck it back in the mixing bowl and beat it again before using.
And remember if you don't want peanut butter then you can use any flavour or colour combination you like.