A big thank you goes out to Cupcakes Take The Cake, where Rachel linked to my latest cupcake creation on Flickr, banana coconut cupcakes with creme fraiche frosting and coconut caramel sauce. I thought I'd better get the recipe for these awesome cupcakes on my blog so that all the visitors from CTTC can make these for themselves.
First of all, let me say that I've been planning these cupcakes for weeks. It all started when I made the coconut pancakes with bananas, creme fraiche and caramel sauce last month, which was a recipe from Valli Little in delicious. magazine. I loved those pancakes. The combination of those flavors was like nothing else my tastebuds have ever experienced (probably mostly because I had never eaten creme fraiche!). I started thinking that this flavor combination would taste great as a cupcake as well, and I haven't made cupcakes in ages!
Over the past week I finally made up my mind as to how I would make these cupcakes. I would use a banana cupcake recipe and stir sweetened shredded coconut into the batter. The frosting would be something of my own creation, which turned out fabulous - creme fraiche whipped with confectioners' sugar. I made the same caramel sauce for these cupcakes as I made for the pancakes, except I replaced the thickened cream with coconut milk (I would have used coconut cream if I had had any). This turned out fabulous as well, such a great flavor.
The assembly was easy. The creme fraiche frosting was a perfect consistency and instead of using my piping bag I just used a Ziploc bag, snipped a corner off and piped a small mound on top of each cupcake. I wanted the coconut caramel sauce to be concentrated in one spot, as opposed to just drizzling it over the frosting) so that it'd be able to be tasted and the only way I could think of to do this was to use a baby spoon to make an indentation on the very top of the frosting (see photo below this paragraph) and fill it with the coconut caramel sauce. I then placed a slice of banana on top of the hole and gently pushed it down to cover the pocket of sauce (and threw on a bit of extra sauce just for the fun of it).
I'm very pleased with how these turned out. They very closely match the flavor of those coconut pancakes, which is what I was aiming for. The creme fraiche is slightly sweet with the addition of some confectioners' sugar, yet still slightly tangy. These cupcakes are best served on the day of baking due to the creme fraiche, as well as the use of fresh sliced bananas, which can turn brown quickly. Be sure to place the sliced bananas on top of the cupcakes just before serving.
If you are interested in making these cupcakes yourself, I realize that the main problem you may have is in finding, or even affording, creme fraiche. Creme fraiche is not available at every grocery store. Luckily I can find it at my local store, but it comes at a price. It is $6 for 250g.
Don't despair though, you can make your own creme fraiche. I haven't done it myself, but it is so easy that I may just do this in the coming weeks. You can find the instructions at joyofbaking.com.
I'd also like to point out that you can use whatever banana cake/cupcake recipe you prefer for these cupcakes. I chose one of the first ones I came across that I had all the ingredients for!
And yes, you guessed right, I am watching too much MasterChef - look at those silly "artistic" blobs and smears of coconut caramel sauce on the plate!
On a sort of related note, I'd like to say how shocked I was to find the above chocolate-brown cupcake liners at my local grocery store! This particular color of cupcake liner is very much sought after. I bought a pack of 100 for $2.65 at Woolworth's (in Sydney, Australia). Awesome!
Anyway, here are the recipes, enjoy!
Banana Coconut Cupcakes With Creme Fraiche Frosting And Coconut Caramel Sauce
- For the cupcakes:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick butter 113g, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large ripe bananas peeled, and mashed
- ½ rounded cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 fresh banana sliced, for decoration
- For the frosting:
- 250 g creme fraiche
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- For the caramel sauce:
- 50 g unsalted butter cut into cubes
- ½ cup firmly packed 100g brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 150 ml coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Line 1 (12-cup) muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the butter and the sugar. Beat with a hand-held mixer until combined. Add the sour cream and the vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Incorporate the dry mixture and wet mixtures together until thoroughly combined. Add the bananas and shredded coconut, being careful not to over mix. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner ¾ way full. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops turn golden-brown and when a toothpick, inserted in the middle of the cupcake, comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the oven to a wire rack and let cool before frosting.
- For the frosting: Combine creme fraiche and confectioners sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk until thick and creamy, being careful not to overmix or it may become grainy. Use immediately.
- For the caramel sauce: Stir all ingredients in a pan over low heat to dissolve sugar, then simmer for 5 minutes, until thickened. Cool to room temperature before using on cupcakes, otherwise it will melt the frosting.
- Use leftovers for pancakes, pies or ice cream.
- Assembly: Pipe a small mound of creme fraiche frosting on top of each cupcake using a plain round tip, or a Ziploc bag. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Using a small spoon or butter knife, insert the tip into the very top of the frosting and turn in a circular motion while pushing down to make an indentation, or pocket, in the frosting (see photo above). Fill this pocket with cooled coconut caramel sauce. Place a piece of sliced banana firmly, but gently, on top of the pocket of sauce to completely cover it. Drizzle a little bit of the sauce on top of the banana. Serve immediately.