Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Lemon White Chocolate Buttercream

(Image via Serious Eats)

My younger sister is back from overseas volunteer work in the Philippines, so to celebrate, I whipped up an easy batch of Hummingbird cupcakes slathered with lemon white chocolate buttercream. It's a traditional American dessert hailing from the South, chock full of bright flavours - lemon, banana and pineapple.

Traditionally it's topped with cream cheese frosting, but I'm still hooked on poring through the Brown Betty Bakery's recipes, and gave their white chocolate buttercream a whirl. It is luscious, creamy and sweet. Perfect for a lighter, crumb based banana cake like this one!

Pardon the poor icing and photography skills, still navigating these baking waters with an iPhone and a lone spatula knife. But practice makes perfect, no?

For Hummingbird Cake (Adapted from Serious Eats, makes about 12 cupcakes)
2 large eggs
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium ripe bananas (mashed)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can crushed pineapple in syrup 
1 1/4 cup (6 1/4 ounces) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup pecan halves (I omitted these because we're not so big on nuts)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 175°C. Fill cupcake pan with liners. Whisk eggs, sugar, salt, and mashed banana in a large bowl until completely combined. Whisk in pineapple (with liquid) until combined.

2. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon to the bowl, and then whisk until completely combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake until top is set and toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs, around 15 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours.

Lemon White Chocolate Buttercream (Makes 3/4 cup, enough for 6 cupcakes)
6o g white chocolate (chopped)

¾ tablespoon unsalted butter

75g softened cream cheese

½ teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

1 cup of confectioners' sugar

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1. Combine white choc and butter in a bowl in a microwave till melted – stirring every 15 – 20 seconds
2. Mix cream cheese, vanilla and salt on high speed till smooth

3. Reduce mixer speed to low, adding melted white chocolate mixture and lemon zest, beating for about 30 seconds.

4.  Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and beat until blended. Scrape bowl down. Beat on high for 1 minute and chill until ready to use. 

Baker's Notes

1. The cake is just as moreish with lemon cream cheese frosting.
2. Don't toss out the pineapple syrup, adding the liquid helps keep the cake moist and fruity. 
Hee Hee Hee, couldn't resist the parting shot with M's delighted expression (poor kid had no candy / cake / chocolate for TWO WEEKS). Have a lazy Sunday ahead everyone! 

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