Step 1: Bake Banana Cakes
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 cup banana puree (I roast my bananas in the peel for 10 minutes at 350, this intensifies the flavor)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pans. (this recipe makes 24)
Cream butter on medium with sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients. In another bowl (now that's a lot of bowls), combine milk, banana and vanilla.
You'll want to add the dry and wet ingredients in three parts to the sugar/egg batter - first the wet, then the dry, then the wet, then the dry...you get the picture. Mix at low until everything is mixed together then stop, try not to over beat as this can end in a deflated cupcake in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Step 2: Don't Have a Special Tool?
I use the wide end of a tip and a chopstick to pop it out!
Step 3: Fill With Strawberry Cream
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups confectionery sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 oz strawberry puree or syrup (I used half of a jar of Smuckers strawberry topping)
Whip butter at high speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Slowly add in sugar and continue to whip until a smooth consistency. Add strawberry puree and vanilla and whip at medium speed for about 2 minutes. If it seems too thin, add more sugar.
Step 4: Add Layer of Chocolate
Fudgy Layer and Drizzle
1 cup chopped chocolate (I used a mix of bittersweet and semi-sweet)
2 tbsp. heavy cream
4 tbsp. confectionery sugar
Melt chocolate and cream in a double boiler for about 4-5 minutes. Add sugar and mix gently. If it appears too thick, add a teaspoon of water and mix. Later, when you make the drizzle, I reheat his chocolate and add 2 tsp of water to thin it out. I let it cool a bit before drizzling, if it's too hot, it will start to melt the buttercream.