Aside from the frosting, I didn’t cook anything new and exciting yesterday (and a teriyaki stir fry, no matter how tasty, doesn’t merit a “recipe”…not until I learn how to make my own teriyaki sauce, anyway!) but I did take the cupcakes I’d made into town and drop them off for a few of my favorite retail crews. I also shamelessly flaunted my books. It looks like I’ll be able to make more sales as it gets closer to Christmas, so I’m going to work on a minor advertising campaign for my silly projects for now.
Z and I also stopped by the Little Dog, a coffee shop in my hometown that sells super fancy cupcakes made by local super fancy cakesmith Carrie of Fields of Cake! They only had one cupcake sitting among the other, less pretty baked goodies in the case, so we took it along with us. It turned out to be one of the Spicy Gingerbread Cupcakes Filled with Chevre Cheesecake and Buttery Caramel and Topped with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Chevre and Cream Cheese Buttercream that she had made for the latest Iron Cupcake Challenge (cheese!)…Yes, it’s a long name. There was a lot to that cupcake; maybe too much for me. I think the cake was a little dry from sitting out in that case (and since it was a pretty thin layer around the copious fillings, it crumbled really easily), but I did really like the peppery zing it had – there was a kind of bite to the aftertaste of the cupcake, and I think I would have LOVED the cake if it were fresher. The caramel part of the filling was good and unexpected, and there was nothing bad about the cheesecake, though perhaps having it on top and inside was a little excessive. I’ll still probably make a habit of checking out the selection over there, and maybe see what days I should stop by to get the cupcakes as fresh as possible. I’m also sad that none of the pictures I took before we “tasted” the cupcake away to nothing came out, but that’s what I get for trying to photograph a baked good outside at twilight…on my lap. There are lovely pictures in the link, though!
Since I didn’t make anything else yesterday, here’s something I made a month or so ago that is the closest thing I’ve made to gingerbread. Sometimes you just have to use up the bananas.
Spicy Baby Banana Bread
6 slightly overripe baby bananas, peeled
1/3 cup vegetable oil, melted unsalted butter or unsweetened applesauce (depending on how healthy you want the bread to be)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
Cinnamon sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 4×8 inch loaf pan. Place the bananas in a medium mixing bowl and smash them up with a wooden spoon. Mix in the oil/butter/applesauce, then incorporate the sugar. Crack the egg into the bowl and lightly beat it before mixing it into everything else.* Stir in the vanilla, then pour flour, baking soda, salt and spices into the bowl. Mix everything together, then pour into the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (if you use a lot you’ll get a crystallized spicy-sweet “crust” on top) and bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick or fork inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least half an hour, while you enjoy the gingerbread-like smell. Make some tea and enjoy a slice while it’s still a little warm, with some butter or cream cheese.
The bananas make this a very moist, dense bread that is delicious for breakfast or as a snack, or even dessert. It could be dressed up with whipped cream or maybe even ice cream. I actually used a few tablespoons of applesauce and rounded out the rest of the 1/3 cup with oil, since we had one of those little single-serving cups of unsweetened applesauce hanging out in the fridge.
*The recipe I based this off of said to beat the egg before adding it to the main mixing bowl, but in the interest of having one less dish to do I did it this way.