Saturday, April 19, 2008

Monkey Lovin'

My husband doesn't like chocolate. I'll wait a second while that sinks in.....

Yeah, I know. It's not normal. In fact, when I found this out on our first date I informed him that there wasn't much chance of us forming any sort of relationship. My love for chocolate runs deep. Obviously, I figured out that this would only mean MORE chocolate for me and I married him. I'm quick like that.

Anyway, due to his dislike of chocolate I've mastered some pretty good non-chocolate desserts over the years. One of the classics is Banana Pudding. I'm not talking about the kind in the box. I mean good, old fashioned, from scratch, homemade banana pudding. With real bananas. And creamy vanilla pudding made with whole milk, topped with freshly whipped heavy cream. My banana pudding has been known to nearly cause riots. It tops the list of my all time most requested dishes.

Since all roads lead to cupcakes around here, I'm sure you can see where this is going. I've been working on developing a banana pudding cupcake. The latest incarnation turned out fantastically.

First I drop a Nilla Wafer (do not - I repeat - DO NOT attempt to use generic Nilla Wafers) in the bottom of the cupcake liner.

Then I mix up banana cupcake batter, pour over the Nilla Wafer and bake. The result is a somewhat carmelized top to the cupcake with a very moist center.

The pudding is cooked up next. I'm not sure why people use instant pudding... the real stuff is almost easier to make. It consists of egg yolks, flour, sugar, vanilla, a pat of butter & milk (cocoa powder if you're going for chocolate). It's as complex as, "heat & stir until it's pudding." The pudding is rich, creamy and just the right amount of sweet. I let the pudding cool and then fill the cupcakes with it.

Finally, I whipped up a swiss meringue buttercream frosting. The whole thing was topped off with a mini Nilla Wafer and a carmelized banana slice.


Pictures to come...