Ah, life in Africa!
These cupcakes were made after one of my husband's patients gifted us with a couple of hands of bananas from their tree (and yes, they still have to pay their medical bill with real money!).
I took a recipe that I posted a while back, changed it slightly and added the caramel: caramel chunks and caramel sauce crammed into the centre of the cupcake. I'm on a bit of a caramel kick at the moment...
Double Caramel and Banana Cupcakes
Recipe by Tea, Cake and Create
Preheat the oven to 180'C
Line 2 muffin trays with cupcake cases (makes 20-24)
320g cake flour
200g light brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 medium bananas, mashed
3 large eggs
125 ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
125 g caramel chunks - I used roughly chopped caramel creme's
60g pecans, finely chopped
Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the oil, vanilla and bananas and mix to incorporate.
Sift in the dry ingredients, mix briefly; then fold in the caramel chunks and pecan pieces.
Spoon into the prepared cupcake cases and bake at 180'C for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Remove from the muffin pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup fresh cream
Place the sugar and water in a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan.
Stir over medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
Brush the side of the saucepan with a damp brush often to remove any sugar crystals clinging there.
Bring the mixture to the boil. Leave to boil on medium-high heat until it is a rich amber colour. Don't stir - just swirl the saucepan occasionally. (Watch it carefully once the colour starts to change, as it can go from amber to burnt very quickly and you'll land up with a bitter caramel!)
Once the sugar has turned amber, add the butter and stir until it has melted completely.
(The mixture will froth up dramatically!)
Remove from the heat, wait a few seconds then add the cream. The mixture will froth up again.
Mix until smooth.
Allow to cool.
Cream Cheese Icing
250g tub cream cheese - the denser kind, like Lancewood or Woolworths low fat cream cheese, or Philadelphia
100g butter, at room temp.
3/4 cup sifted icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
Beat the icing sugar and butter together until soft and creamy, then add the vanilla and cream cheese. Beat until just combined. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.
(Note - this quantity of icing was enough to cover the 2 dozen cupcakes with the swirls pictured above, but for larger icing swirls you may need a double batch of icing.)