Banana Chocolate Cupcakes:
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (35 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed)
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 1 medium sized banana)
1/2 cup (120 ml) warm water
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) canola, corn, or vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
3 ounces (90 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (120 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Banana Chocolate Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line 12 regular-sized muffin cups with paper liners or spray each cup with a non stick vegetable spray.
In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, mashed banana, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined. (The batter is quite thin.) Pour or scoop the batter into the muffin cups, about 3/4 full, and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Frost with the Chocolate Frosting.
Chocolate Frosting: Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the chocolate and beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is smooth and glossy (about 2 -3 minutes).
Makes 12 regular-sized cupcakes.
Banana Chocolate Cupcakes covered with lovely swirls of Chocolate Fudge Frosting give us a double dose of chocolate. You will love these tender and moist cupcakes that are oh so sweet. They go perfectly with the silky smooth texture of the chocolate frosting. Not only do they taste divine, but as you can see, they are a feast for the eyes.
This Banana Chocolate Cupcake recipe makes 12 regular-sized cupcakes. The batter is a snap to make because you just stir the wet ingredients together in one bowl and the dry ingredients together in another bowl. Mix the two and you are done. The batter is quite thin so use an ice cream scoop or small ladle to fill the muffin cups. Now the recipe calls for cocoa powder, so you can use either regular unsweetened or Dutch-processed. As always, keep in mind that the type and brand of cocoa powder you use will determine the flavor of the cupcakes, so use the best you can afford. The other ingredient in this batter to take note of, is that the fat is in liquid form (canola, vegetable, or corn oil). The reason I bring this up is because oil makes for a moist and tender cupcake that stores very well, with the added advantage that they can be refrigerated and still stay soft.
The chocolate fudge frosting recipe is adapted from the cookbook Chocolate Bar by Matt Lewis and Alison Nelson who run a chocolate boutique that they call a "candy store for grown-ups" in New York. It is the type of chocolate frosting my mother always used to cover cakes. Made with butter, confectioners (icing or powdered) sugar, vanilla extract and unsweetened chocolate, it is perfect for piping. It uses unsweetened chocolate which is also known as baking, plain or bitter chocolate. This is chocolate in its rawest form. Chocolate liquor that has been refined and contains 50-55% cocoa butter. Since no sugar has been added to the chocolate it has a strong, bitter taste that is used in cooking and baking but is never eaten out of hand. When used in this frosting it imparts a deep chocolate flavor. Ghirardelli and Baker's unsweetened chocolate can be found on the baking isle of most grocery stores, or other brands I particularly like that can be found in specialty food stores or else on line are Dagoba, Guittard, or Scharffen Berger.