Thursday, April 29, 2010

Going Bananas

I had been wanting to make some banana cupcakes for some time.  I bought bananas, let them ripen, and then lost the urge to make anything.  I went through this cycle a couple of times, so the last time I bought bananas, I also bought the other things I knew I would need to create a recipe, banana baby food, yogurt, etc. 

I toyed around with different banana cupcake ideas.  I considered banana-apricot, banana nut, banana-caramel, etc.  I finally decided on Bananas Foster, which is basically caramelized banana, but with a few other subtle flavors.  True Bananas Foster has rum flavoring, but I left this out.  I might use a little extract next time, but I didn't want to use it this time.

The cupcakes were topped with a buttercream-based frosting, which had been blended with butterscotch and caramel.  Turbinado sugar (raw sugar) and caramel dessert topping were drizzled over the icing.

The taste of the cupcake was similar to banana bread, but was not as heavy or dense as most banana bread recipes.  The crumb was soft and light.  The frosting was very sticky, but had the complexities of the different flavors.  The turbinado sugar provided a nice textural contrast to the icing.

I will definitely make these again, probably with a couple of slight variations.  I should do it soon, too, as I have tons of leftover frosting!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dragonmoon Tea Company

First of all, let me start out by saying I did not make this petit four.  It is one of two that I purchased at Dragonmoon Tea Company in Tulsa this week.  The waitress said these were not made by the restaurant, but were purchased for sale in the shop.  The photo does not do justice to the delicate shading of the butterfly's wings.  The other butterfly looked more like a Monarch, but had blue wings.

This is a chocolate petit four covered in a chocolate ganache-type icing.  The cake was dark and fudgey.  The cake was small (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter), but very rich and satisfying.  The butterfly is made out of rice paper, I believe, and soy-based inks were used, so it was completely edible.  The gold dot is a dragee, also edible (unless you live in California, then they are illegal to sell/purchase/possess, as are the silver ones... weird).

I gave the petit four with the blue butterfly to our clerical aide for Administrative Assistants' Day.  I split this one with one of our part-time case aides.  My butterfly wing had chocolate underneath it, so I didn't notice if the wing tasted like paper or not.  It melted rather quickly in my mouth.  The price was about $4 each, which is a bit pricey, but for a special occasion, it is well worth the cost.