Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day 'Special'

Yes, it is Father's Day (FD) today and I have to just blog about it. As I have mentioned before, blogging allows me to archive my thoughts, inner feelings and my attempts to be a good baker, which otherwise, all will be forgotten in the next months or years to come.

What is so special about FD this year? It seems a long, long time ago that my two boys, Dom and Theo, have expressed their appreciation and love for their dad on a card. When I got up this morning, carefully place on a stool outside my bedroom door was this card. I could not help but smiled and felt a tinkling sensation in my stomach as I read their corny expressions of how great a dad I was. But as to why I felt so touched was because my boys are in their teens! For teens to express their feelings explicitly take great effort. My wife was instrumental to get them to say it all, I reckoned.

And so, with that revelation that aliens-did-not-take my boys away from me, I decided to prepare a Sunday Brunch for the family. Old American breakfast menu of runny scrambled eggs, streaky bacon and bread rolls. No beers for the boys, only the dad gets to drink beer. But this being a baking blogspot, I need to write on something related to it and so I thought.

You may have noticed a cupcake peeking from between the Heineken and card. That was for dessert. Banana Cupcake with Valhorna Chocolate Pearls.

Got the recipe from Sensational Cupcakes, by Alisa Morov. The actual recipe called for dark chocolate ganache to be poured over the cupcakes but I sprinkled them with chocolate pearls instead. Just so as I wanted to whip up something real quick.

Recipe for Banana Cupcakes with Valhorna Chocolate Pearls adapted from Sensational Cupcake:

1) 240g Plain Flour
2) 170g Caster Sugar
3) 1 tsp baking powder 
4) 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
5) 1/4 tsp salt
6) 2 eggs
7) 2 ripe bananas
8) 30g thickened cream (I prefer Bulla)
9) 1 tsp vanilla extract
10) 130g unsalted butter cut into cubes (for easy mixing)

1) Preheat oven to 170 to 180 degrees C.
2) Sift flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda at least twice. Put aside.
3) Mesh the 2 bananas and mix it with the thickened cream till smooth. 
4) Add the 2 eggs and vanilla extract to (3) and mix well.
5) Add (4) to (2) carefully and using a handheld mixer, slowly combin them. In actual fact, I put (2)  over (4) and guess what happened when the mixer was turned on? So it is better to add liquid to dry to prevent powder clouds from forming. Common sense? I was not thinking then. Haha.
6) Add the butter and whisk till well combined. The butter should be at room temperature so it will be easier to combine them.
7) Pour batter into cupcake moulds and sprinkle chocolate pearls over the top. The pearls do not sink during baking as I reckon the batter is heavy enough to hold them at the top.
8) Pop them into the oven for 15-20mins and the inserted skewer should come out clean before turning them out of the oven.

The cupcakes are extremely moist - great for breakfast or for brunch. 

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