Cream-Filled Banana Cupcakes with Caramel Glaze

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I had a craving for banana something recently so I came up with these little creations. They were a hit among family and friends. They are a commitment though: be ready for about three hours of baking.
I fused two different recipes to make these cupcakes; the link to each one is included in the ingredients (I made slight alterations.). I used cake flour to make them more cake-like, so I added three tablespoons to make the proper substitution. It’s a well known fact that you should only bake with overripe bananas, however if you’re like me and don’t plan ahead, you can ripen them in the oven beforehand (this is not necessary for the banana that will go into the whipped cream.). Instructions for this can be found here. The banana whipped cream is just your basic stabilized whipped cream with a banana purée added. I had a lot leftover, but it’s nice to have in the fridge anyway (it’s good on waffles, pancakes, or with strawberries!)
As far as filling the cupcakes, I used the icing-bag-injection method (through the top). However, it didn’t achieve quite the volume of cream inside that I really wanted, so next time I plan on using the cut-and-plug method. To do this, cut a medium well in each cupcake. Keep the part you cut out and fill cupcakes with cream. Cut tops off cake “plugs” and cover each hole.

Enjoy!
-Maggie

Banana Cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups +3 tbsp cake flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

http://www.marthastewart.com/314063/banana-cupcakes-with-honey-cinnamon-fros

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.

Banana Whipped Cream Filling:

1/2 cup cold water
2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 banana, pureed

Chill mixing bowl and beaters for at least 15 minutes before using. Place water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soften 5 minutes.
Dissolve gelatin by microwaving for 3 minutes, stirring after every minute. Remove from microwave and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes; gelatin must be liquid but not warm when added to cream.
Remove bowl and beaters from refrigerator and pour in cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat together just until beater marks begin to show distinctly.

Puree the banana in a food processor and add it to the whipped cream. Add gelatin mixture to cream, pouring in a steady stream while beating constantly. Beat until stiff peaks form. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

Yields 2 cups

Caramel Glaze:

http://food52.com/recipes/8646-applesauce-cake-with-caramel-glaze

4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 to 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

Put the butter in a medium saucepan with the brown sugar, cream and salt and set over medium heat. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute exactly, and then pull it off the heat. Leave the pan to cool for a couple of minutes, and then gradually whisk in the powdered sugar until you have a thick, but pourable consistency (you may not need all the sugar). If the mixture seems too thick, just add a splash of cream to thin it out a little.

Assembly:
Fill cupcakes by desired method (see above.) Spread glaze onto cupcakes. Use an icing bag with a star tip to pipe a small dollop of cream on top of each cupcake. Because the whipped cream is perishable, store in airtight containers in the refrigerator. These are best when eaten up to two days after being made.

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