Monday, October 28, 2013

My best choco-banana cupcakes

The accidentally crushed M&M created an even better effect.

Cutie mini oreo on sticks and marshmallow pops

My favorite cupcake topper - witch's broom

It was Josh’s first birthday cum Halloween party and I wandered on a few recipes for his birthday cupcakes. I needed a recipe that is fairly simple and straightforward, yet delicious enough to be served to all guests. I needed to bake 60 of them so it can’t be something too complicated.
Initially I wanted to use a sponge cupcake for the base. Tried out a few times, and I realized it wasn’t as ‘simple’ as I thought it would be. The yolk and white separation and beating needs to be quite precise and done well to make good cakes. So I ditched the idea after failing on a couple of attempts making good sponge cakes. My buddy Kim then suggested why not I bake chocolate cupcakes. I considered on it, and thought, why not, it’s chocolate and everybody loves chocolate.

I tried out a few different chocolate cupcake/muffins recipes and finally I chose this. This is highly rated by Ann. I tried it out about two weeks ago baking it for Karen. I realized the cupcakes were super moist and soft a few hours out of the oven. After about a day, it turned quite dry. I couldn’t understand it, cos Ann said that it remained soft and moist even after a day, and it was better after chilled.

On the actual day of baking, I made slight adjustments to it and I knew the slight adjustments shouldn’t ruin the cupcakes. I changed the milk to chocolate milk, reduced the sugar (cos I ran out of sugar), added mashed banana to the recipe and some other minor details (see below for my recipe). It turned out to be the BEST chocolate cupcakes I have ever done! It was still soft and moist even after a day, in room temperature or chilled.

I baked 60 or a little more, I didn’t count. I knew I had more than 60. Baked about 40 standard size and over 20 mini ones. I made two different types of toppings for the cupcakes. Most of the standard size ones were decorated with cute owl-face using mini oreo (which was not easily available in Malaysia, I bought them when I was travelling back from Bangkok at Bangkok Don Muang Airport), mini M&Ms and chocolate ganache (a recipe by Martha Stewart). The mini size ones were frosted using the same chocolate ganache, but whipped and topped with chopped blue M&Ms (to fit in the theme) and some were topped with my DIY witch’s hat and broom (my fav!)

Here’s my recipe for 60 choco-banana cupcakes (make your own adjustment to bake the amount you want)
Recipe modified from Ann’s must-try chocolate cupcakes
  • 300g butter, at room temperature
  • 500g sugar
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2.5 cup chocolate milk
  • ½ cup of whipping crème/ heavy cream (if you don’t have this, you can just replace this with milk or chocolate milk)
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 580g superfine flour (or cake flour)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 3tbsp baking powder
  • 50g cocoa powder (I forgot to tripled this from the original recipe, that’s why my cupcakes didn’t appear as dark)
  • 1tbsp chocolate emulco (optional)
  • 9 banana, ripe (I freeze the bananas whole, cos they were too ripe 3 days before the actual day, and on the night before I defrosted them in the fridge)
1.     Sift flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder in bowl. Dissolve baking soda in chocolate milk.
2.     Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add vanilla essence and eggs, one by one, continue beating.
3.     Add in the mashed banana and the rest of the ingredients, chocolate milk and flour mix. Beat till smooth.
4.     Bake in a preheated oven at 160deg (fan-forced) for about 15min (for standard size) and 12min (for mini size). Adjust the temperature for your oven. My oven is a little on the strong side.
5.    Leave to cool on rack before decorating/ frosting.
The owl-decorated cupcakes didn’t need to be chilled but the chocolate ganache frosted cupcakes must be chilled or else the frosting may melt in our temperature.

1. The Oreos turned soggy after getting in contact with the chocolate ganache.
2. Love it that it was themed Halloween. I got quite messy when decorating or frosting the cupcakes. But it was okay to my own standard, cos it's Halloween, it's supposed to be messy, not neat :p
3. Make all the preparation ahead, this is a doable recipe, I made and decorated all in about 4-5hours.
Read more about the party here:

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