How do you say thank you? Are you a flowers or chocolates person?
Perhaps a nice note? Thank you notes are exciting and old fashioned and polite. No one ever seems to send them anymore. Note to myself: I am extremely guilty of the email thank you note. Next note to self: buy nice thank you notes for future requirements. And stamps.
Anyway, the way I am saying thank you to my workmates for their lovely ‘Get Well’ wishes, and the flowers and chocolates they sent to me is with a tray filled with Coffee Banana Date Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream.
I am also (virtually) sending a tray of these to each and every one of my online friends who messaged me over whichever social network we are connected by to say Get Well. You filled my heart with happiness and kept me company in the night hours. Thank you. I love you. Have a cupcake – actually, have two.
These banana cupcakes are made with leftover bananas that are delicately balanced on the edge of almost rotten. The flesh of the banana needs to be crumbled velvet so that when you peel them they practically mash themselves. If you use younger bananas they will not mash as nicely. Be patient with your bananas. Put them in a paper bag for a few days if you would like to speed up the process.
The bananas are paired with melted, cooled butter, coffee, vanilla and dates and baked into a pound cake textured cupcake dotted with plumped-up dates. Then cooled completely and frosted with dark chocolate buttercream. Because thank yous should always be paired with chocolate buttercream.
Coffee Banana Date Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream
For the cupcakes:
- 125 grams butter
- 1 cup dates
- 1 cup boiling water
- 360 grams plain flour
- 150 grams brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large, very, very ripe bananas mashed (~1 ½ cups)
- ½ cup milk
- ½ Greek/ natural yoghurt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
For the buttercream
- 150 grams butter, softened
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup milk
- 3-4 cups icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line 2 12-hole muffin pans with cupcake papers.
- Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt using short bursts of heat (around 10-15 seconds). Once melted, set aside to cool.
- Put dates in a small bowl with boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes, drain well, and then dice dates into small pieces. Spread out on a paper towel and leave to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together plain flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together mashed bananas, milk, Greek yoghurt, and eggs.
- Add butter to mashed banana mixture and stir together well.
- Add mashed banana mixture to flour and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix. Traces of flour are okay.
- Add dates and stir to distribute.
- Divide batter between paper cups.
- Slide trays into oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, swap position of trays halfway through baking time.
- Test cupcakes by pressing lightly on the top. If they bounce back then the cupcakes are done.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting:
- Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer beat until light and fluffy. This usually takes around 5 minutes.
- Fit a piping bag with a star tip, fill bag with frosting and decorate cooled cupcakes. Alternately you can use a knife to spread the icing thickly on top.
What are your plans for the weekend friends? Chris and I are lucky enough to be going to two dinner parties! That means double the dessert!