Carla Hall’s Banana Pudding Cupcake’s with Toasted Meringue
- 6 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. light brown sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 c. cake flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 c. milk
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place cupcake liners in muffin tin.
In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add half of the dry mixture to the stand mixture, then the milk and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated.
Evenly divide the batter between the cupcake liners, filling each liner 2/3 full.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until light golden on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from the pan to cool completely.
Banana Pastry Cream:
- ¼ c. cornstarch
- ¾ c. sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 1½ c. whole milk
- ½ c. mashed banana
- ½ c. half & half
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. unsalted butter
- 1 c. heavy cream
Sift together the cornstarch and the sugar. Whisk in the egg yolks.
In a large deep bowl, using the Sweet Heritage hand held blender, combine the milk, banana and half & half. Blend until smooth. Pour into a heavy bottomed pot and add the salt and vanilla bean (split and scraped directly into the milk mixture); heat until it comes just to a boil.
Temper the egg mixture by slowly incorporating and whisking in the hot milk mixture. When the bottom of the mixing bowl is warm, add the remaining milk.
Pour the mixture back into the pot and whisk constantly, making sure to reach down to the bottom of the pot and along the sides, until the custard thickens. Increase the speed of the stirring. Allow pastry cream to come to a full boil to ensure that the cornstarch has been cooked out. Taste the custard before removing entirely from heat.
Strain the pastry cream into a large metal bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract (if using) and small pieces of butter until melted. Cover with plastic wrap and press down on surface. Refrigerate.
Using the Sweet Heritage handheld mixer with the whisk attachment, beat 1 cup of heavy cream to soft peak. Whisk the chilled pastry cream quickly to loosen, then fold in the whipped cream.
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 c. + 2 tbsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. banana extract
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. white vinegar
- ¼ tsp. fine salt
Put egg whites and sugar in a clean, deep, stainless-steel bowl. Place over a double boiler of simmering water until sugar dissolves and to a temperature of 160 F.
Using a stand-up mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until cooled and shiny, about 5 minutes. Mix in the vinegar, vanilla and banana extracts, and salt.
Hollow out each cupcake using a melon baller and keep the crumbs to plug the top after filling. Place the banana pastry cream in a piping bag. Pipe the filling into the center of the cupcake then place the plugs on top.
Pipe the meringue on top of each cupcake and torch. Garnish with brûlée bananas and shortbread cookies.
Carla tip: Reserve any leftover pastry cream to dip with Carla’s shortbread cookies