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Chocolate Banana Cupcakes!

Finally, I decide to post another recipe! From one of my favourite cook books ^^ I halved the recipe as I only had one small banana, and they turned out just fine.

Makes 12 cupcakes

120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
A pinch of salt
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
2 eggs (medium)
120g peeled banana, mashed

Chocolate Frosting
300g icing sugar, sifted
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
40g cocoa powder, sifted
40ml whole milk
40g dark chocolate, grated with a cheese grater into shavings or sprinkles of choice

A 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases

Preheat the oven to 170oC/325oF/Gas 3.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Slowly pour the milk into the flour mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add the eggs and beat well (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).

Stir in the mashed bananas by hand until evenly dispersed.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. [I tend to make the frosting/icing while the cakes are baking to save time, if i'm extra speedy I wash the dishes at the same time! Haha]. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the Chocolate Frosting on top and finish with chocolate shavings or sprinkles.

For the Frosting
Beat the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Add the milk to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time. Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.

Chocolate Honey Cake

Nigella Lawson's Honey Chocolate Cake

The recipe is adapted from her latest book, Feast: Foods to Celebrate Life.

[Ingredients for the Cake]

4 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces

1 1/3 cups light brown sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup honey, room temperature

2 eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 cup boiling water (I used cola - it really makes a difference!)

[Ingredients for the Sticky Honey Glaze]

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup honey

6 ounces semi sweet chocolate

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

[To make the cake]

Melt the chocolate in the microwave (make sure it doesn't burn) or over boiling water. Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with wax paper. Sift flour, soda and cocoa together.

Beat together the sugar and butter, until airy and creamy. Add the honey. Add eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with each.

Fold in the melted chocolate, followed by the dry ingredients.

Then add the boiling water, mixing well to make a smooth batter.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean. If the cake is still loose after 45 minutes, yet the top is appears quite cooked, gently lay a piece of foil atop the cake.

Cool cake completely in the pan on a rack. Remove the sides. Invert it onto a cake plate. (If the top stays just perfectly rounded, yes, flip it back over. If it sinks a bit, inverting the cake will mask the problem.) Slide strips wax paper under the edges to keep the plate free of glaze.

This cake is good either with the chocolate-honey glaze, or honey butter. You decide which to use!

[To make the glaze]

Bring honey and water to a boil. Turn off heat and add the chocolate. Let it rest while the chocolate melts, then whisk gently. Sift the sugar into the pan (to avoid lumps) and whisk until smooth.

Make the glaze in plenty of time to let it cool. If you put it on a warm cake or if it is still warm, the glaze will run right off. When the cake is cool and the glaze is room temperature, the honey glaze turns your cake into a shiny, irresistible confection. Slide the paper out from around the edges and serve.

[Honey Butter]

This makes a pretty decent amount, but you can make more or less just by combining equal parts of honey and butter.

2 sticks softened butter, salted or unsalted

1 cup honey

Combine butter and honey in a medium bowl. "Whip the heck out of it," with a hand mixer until mixed and fluffy.

For the ultimate honey garnish, shape yellow marzipan into chubby bee bodies. Then use a toothpick and a bit of glaze to make stripes and slivered almonds for their wings.

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I made this cake last year with Craig. It worked really well, although we had to do some guesswork into how much a cup was, as I didn't have a measuring cup... I also didn't know how much a stick of butter was. I found the recipe on an American website, here in the UK recipes are usually done by weight. I hope this makes sense!

I looked this up in a conversion table, and here we are!

1 stick of butter = 1/4 pound
1 stick of butter = 1/2 cup
1 stick of butter = 8 tablespoons
1 stick of butter = 4 ounces
1 stick of butter = 113 grams

Have fun!