One of my husband’s favorite desserts is Bananas Foster which is basically vanilla ice cream served over rum caramelized bananas. For his birthday this year we hosted a dinner at Bistro du Midi a French restaurant near the Boston Common/Public Gardens. I created these tasty caramel cupcakes with a caramelized banana filling and topped with a light mascarpone cream cheese frosting.
This is the first time making these and they have definitely become my new favorite flavor although I’m a sucker for anything with mascarpone cheese. The caramel base adds a nice dimension to the cake and really enhances the caramelized sugar flavor in the bananas.
I packaged them in these adorable but semi- masculine (ie. they have green and blue on them, that counts right?) gable boxes from the Container Store. I did have to modify some of our cupcake holder inserts to fit into these boxes as the boxes were a little too large.
1 ½ cups sugar
2 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Caramel Sauce:
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup boiling water
- Preheat oven 350 degrees.
- Line 2 cupcake pans with liners.
- Make the caramel sauce: In a skillet or saucepan heat (medium high) the 2/3 cup sugar. Shake the pan to level out the sugar. Just as the sugar begins to melt– in a SEPARATE saucepan bring the 2/3 cup water to a boil.
- Continue to shake and stir the pan with the sugar to melt it completely. Stir until it becomes golden amber in color.
- Remove from heat and slowly pour in the boiling water while continuing to stir the sauce. Stir until smooth. Transfer to bowl.
- Add ½ cup water to the saucepan and stir over medium heat to loosen the leftover caramel.
- Add the water mixture to the bowl with the caramel and stir together.
- Let the mixture cool while you prepare the cake batter.
- To make the cupcakes: In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk until combined.
- In a large mixer bowl (fitted with a paddle attachment) cream the butter and then add the 1 ½ cup sugar—mix until fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time until the batter is smooth about 40-60 seconds after each addition, scrape batter down the sides.
- Beat in the vanilla.
- Add in flour mixture alternating with caramel sauce.
- Divide the batter among the 2 pans—fill about ¾ full.
- Bake about 20-25 minutes
“Bananas Foster” filling
3 ripe bananas, sliced lengthwise
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
- In a large skillet over medium high heat melt the ¼ sugar—shake the skillet occasionally until the sugar has caramelized. Remove from heat and add butter one table spoon at a time while continually stirring.
- After all the butter has melted return the pan to a medium heat and add in bananas. Cook bananas until they brown, about 2-3 minutes each side. Bananas will break apart to pieces, it’s ok!
- Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
16 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the heavy cream and sugar until smooth. Care not to overbeat or the cream will curdle! About 2 minutes. Fold in marscarpone cheese (i did it by hand then for a minute in the mixer on low) and let set up in the fridge for 15 minutes.
With a serrated knife cut an inverted cone into the cooled cupcakes and remove it. Cut off the bulk of the cone cake so that just the top remains. Fill the cupcake with a teaspoon of the banana filling and replace the top of the cupcake. Once all of the cupcakes are filled use a small scoop to frost the cupcakes. Serve with the scooped frosting to resemble a scoop of ice cream or spread across the entire cupcake.