Chocolate Banana Cupcakes - Animal style!

September 09, 2015

It's an animal world out there, no wonder they describe modern architecture as a concrete jungle. With the stress from daily pressures, life does get a bit bananas at times. How do you deal with the chaos? Bake cute and delicious banana cupcakes! Baking is such a good excuse to take time to unwind, and you even get to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

This recipe is incredibly simple. What makes it so yummy is the use of fresh ripened bananas that add moisture to the cupcakes. Also, I've never loved cupcake frostings as much as this chocolate banana buttercream. It makes such a difference in taste to use actual melted chocolate, which cannot be replaced by cocoa powder. You'd be using a lot of willpower not to eat the buttercream straight out of the bowl.

These cupcakes are highly recommended to anyone in need of a therapeutic baking session, or any banana lovers out there! You can look forward to a kitchen filled with the scent of rich chocolate and bananas, well-loved classic combination. 

Servings: 12 - 15 cupcakes
Equipment: Cupcake liners
Time: 20 min active time + 15min baking time

[For Cupcake]
2 Eggs
8 tbsp of Caster sugar
200ml of Fresh Milk
400g of Hotcake Mix
40g of Unsalted butter
2 Ripened Banana, sliced
2 Ripened Banana, in chunks
100g of Dark Chocolate
2 tbsp of Heavy Cream

[For Chocolate Banana Buttercream]
80g of Buttercream
10g of Icing sugar
20g of Cocoa powder
1 tbsp of Fresh milk
1 Ripened Banana, mashed
50g of Dark Chocolate, melted

[For Decoration]
Some mini cookies for bear ears (you can use cookie crisp cereal)
Oval shaped biscuits for rabbit ears (alternatively, you can cut apple chips to oval shapes)
Melted dark chocolate in a piping bag with a small tip
Melted white chocolate with pink food colouring in a piping bag with a small tip

[For Cupcake]
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar, followed by the fresh milk.
2. Add the hotcake mix to the bowl, followed by melted butter.
3. In a separate bowl, slice 2 bananas. Fold this into the batter.
4. Melt the dark chocolate and heavy cream. Meanwhile, cut 2 bananas into chunks. Set them aside.
5. Fill the cupcake liners with batter till they are 1/2 full. Add spoonfuls of banana chunks and drizzle in the melted chocolate. Give it a slight swirl using a spoon/chopstick. Then, add more batter until the liners are 3/4 full.
6. Bake the cupcakes in a preheated oven at 200C for 5 min. Lower the heat to 180C and bake for another 10min. They should bake to form a nice dome shape. Let them cool before decorating.

[For Chocolate Banana Buttercream]
1. Cream the butter using an electric mixer, adding the icing sugar, cocoa powder, and milk one at a time. Beat until it is light and fluffy.
2. Add the mashed ripened banana a spoonful at a time and continue to mix.
3. Pour in the dark chocolate and mix till it is well combined.

[For Decoration]
1. Make small incisions on the top of the cupcake to insert the biscuits that will be the animal ears. To make the bear cupcake, make the incisions further apart. For rabbit cupcakes, they will look cuter with the ears closer together.
2. Coat the ears with  chocolate banana buttercream, and insert them into the cupcakes.
3. Cover the cupcake with the chocolate banana buttercream.
4. Using the melted chocolate, pipe on the eyes, snout and whiskers (for rabbit). Use the pink chocolate to draw on "blusher".
5. Enjoy the cupcakes!

P.S. Shout-out to my friend, Joshua, who painted this inspirational quote for my birthday. He is the guy behind Rational Comics, a site dedicated to visualise ordinary quotes, stories and urban legends, transforming them into inspiring works of art that will entertain, motivate and teach you. In other words, if you are ever in need of a motivational boost, visit his site for inspiration and encouragement. You can also win a limited edition printed poster just by subscribing. So click for your daily dose of inspiration!

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