Cold and I are not a match made in heaven. I hear some people love the cold, luxuriate in the cold, actually strap wooden slats to their feet and slide down frozen, snowy mountains, in negative and single digit temperatures, this all for fun! Well, more power to you, but I am infinitely happier holed up in the lodge, wrapped in a blanket before a crackling fire, steaming cocoa in one hand and a chocolate loaf cake baking in the oven, maybe bundling up for twenty minutes to build a snowman. (Note: I have never done this ski lodge routine. But doesn’t it sound lovely?)
Then there’s banana and chocolate. Chocolate and banana. Throw in some Nutella and an ice cream machine and you’ve got my favorite gelato order. Throw in some walnuts and a simple cream batter and you get a singularly marvelous cupcake recipe — Banana, Walnut, and Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes. Now that is a match made in Heaven.
I brought these to Sunday night’s Superbowl Party, and of course made too many, though in truth it’s hardly my fault. Bon Appetit put the yield at 12; I got 22. Some proved, upon baking, a little under-filled, but still! (Moral: definitely their fault.) Happily, this is one time when nobody minded leftovers. The cupcakes are light and moist, thanks to the buttermilk, the sour cream, and the mashed up fruit. They’re also not overly sweet, and much more like banana bread than, say, banana pudding in terms of flavor and sugar quotient. Then there’s the luscious chocolate chips and crunchy walnuts interspersed throughout, and the crown of cream cheese frosting and it’s all over for me.
Banana Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(From Bon Appetit’s Desserts)
Cupcake Ingredients (makes 18-20)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup buttermilk (don’t have it on hand? combine 1/4 cup milk with a squeeze of lemon juice and let sit ten minutes)
- 8 oz good milk chocolate, cut into chunks
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a muffin tin with liners.
Sift flour, baking soda and powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat together sugars, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in bananas, then sour cream. Reduce speed to low and beat in half of dry ingredients, then buttermilk, then remaining dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate and walnuts.
Fill cupcake cups, stopping just before the top. Bake until tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool. When completely cool, frost.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 8-oz package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Reduce speed to low and slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla. Once all the powdered sugar has been added, increase mixer speed to high and beat until fluffy. Spread frosting on cupcakes.
Want to make chocolate curls? Seethis video!