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
Strawberry Cream Filling
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
Add a thin layer of a fudgy chocolate and smooth with the back of a spoon. I do not get too close to the edges to avoid any dripping.
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.
Step 5: Here Comes the Frosting
Add a generous heaping on top, trying to cover most of the chocolate so it's a surprise underneath. I used a wide star tip because I thought it would look like soft serve ice cream, then it occurred to me that banana splits are normally made with hard ice cream and a tube tip would have made more sense..oh well, there's always next time
Step 6: And a Cherry on Top!
Thin out the chocolate used earlier so it is at a syrup consistency and drizzle (again, not too hot or it will melt the frosting) over the buttercream just like a sundae, add sprinkles and of course, a cherry!
Step 7: Enjoy!
Can keep in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container. Let adjust to room temp for about 20 min before serving.
Runner Up in the