Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Banana, Cherry and White-chocolate cupcakes


As I mentioned in my last post, I firmly believe that the way to get through January without succumbing to post Christmas blues is to indulge oneself; indeed the motto for January should be 'a little of what you fancy...'. After all, there's plenty of time in the rest of the year for strict denial and cut backs of all kinds.

The snow that everyone else in the UK seems to be enjoying is unfortunately staying stubbornly away from here but whilst waiting patiently for the magical transforming properties of that elusive white stuff, I thought that these little bundles of sweet, sticky pleasure might help to pass the time. They're filling so ideally suited to stave off a mid afternoon slump, accompanied by a cup of coffee or tea. I imagine they would be ideal to satisfy a post frolic-in-the-snow hunger pang too...

As someone who doesn't really like white chocolate, I seem to be using it quite a lot in my baking these days. I find that it works really well when you offset the intense sweetness - the sourness of the dried cherries does that perfectly here. Providing a bit of crunch in contrast to the smooth chocolate is likewise a good idea. To that end, I've added a few walnuts to Nigella's original recipe. I've also reduced the amount of white chocolate slightly.

 I'm entering this into the fabulous Forever Nigella challenge started by Sarah at http://blog.maisoncupcake.com/forever-nigella-faq and hosted this month by Sally at Recipe Junkie http://recipe-junkie.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/forever-nigella-22-food-to-cherish-your.html. This month's theme is 'Food to cherish your loved ones with' and these cupcakes certainly do that.
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I'm also sending this over to Javelin Warrior's weekly challenge, Made with Love Mondays, a weekly series to promote, share, and celebrate foods made entirely from scratch.

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RECIPE

125g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas
60ml sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
300g plain flour
40g dried cherries, chopped
40g white chocolate, chopped,
30 g walnuts, chopped

12-bun muffin tin with paper cases

 Preheat the oven to 180°C

Mash the bananas in a bowl with a fork.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then, off the heat, add the sugar, vanilla and mashed bananas.

Stir in the sour cream and the eggs and beat to mix.

Sieve the bicarb, baking powder and flour together so they're well mixed. Don't miss this step out because it ensures the bicarb is evenly distributed. Add to the wet ingredients together with the cherries, white chocolate and chopped walnuts.

Stir until the mixture is just blended and divide between the 12 muffin cases. I've started to use an ice-cream scoop to do this and it works really well.

Cook for 20 minutes or until golden and springy on top. Remove the cupcakes in their papers to a wire rack and leave to cool.


17 comments:

  1. I find white chocolate too sweet to eat straight, but I do like it in baking and as you say it goes really well with tart fruit. I've made these before, so I know they are good and filling. No snow here either!

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    1. Let's keep our fingers crossed for the snow - the sledging can build up an appetite for these cakes!

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  2. Hi Katherine,

    Greeting from Australia! My son and I love anything with dried cherries. With white chocolate, I can imagine these cupcakes must be very delicious. I like your motto for January... A little of what I fancy sounds good to me! Although we are summer now, we can be eating lots of BBQ and party food too... moderation is good :D

    Nice to know you via blogging. I'm now your latest follower.

    Zoe

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    1. Lovely to meet you, thanks for dropping by! Now, although I do love a proper winter, I have to admit to feeling envious of your BBQ and party food - lucky you! I didn't even manage many BBQs last summer here...sigh!

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  3. I love that white chocolate/sour cherry (or cranberry etc) combination - totally agree with you that otherwise the white choc can be too sweet. Thanks for entering Forever Nigella!

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    1. Ooh yes, cranberries would be lovely too!

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  4. These cupcakes sound and look delicious, Katherine! I love the inclusion of white chocolate with cherries and walnuts - I bet there's excellent texture and moisture from the chocolate... Thank you so much for sharing and now if I could just manage to cut back a LITTLE for the new year, I'd be doing great ;)

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    1. There are far too many delicious recipes on all the blogs - it makes it sooo difficult to cut back! Maybe next month...

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  5. What LOVELY little cakes and such a great combination of ingredients too! Cherries and walnuts are marriage made in heaven! Karen

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    1. Thanks Karen! The cherries and walnuts do work well together and the whole little package is rather delicious!
      Just been working on my TTT entry for this month - the recipe needs a bit of tweaking but I hope to get it done on time!

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  6. Have you received any snow yet...it seemed to be heading your way in abundance! This is a lovely recipe...and I definitely agree that a few little treats are required in January to keep everyone going. I love the flavour combination in your bake too! :-)

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    1. The snow itself would have been a treat - we have had a light dusting while the rest of Wales and indeed the UK has been wallowing in the stuff! I'll just have to console myself with some more baking...

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  7. What a great combination of flavours. I happen to love white chocolate and find Green & Black'a so lovely, full of specks of vanilla and it tastes buttery and heavenly to me. I will try it with sour cherries too, that are great and you're right would counteract the sweetness of the white chic perfectly :0))

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    1. You're right, Green and Black's is definitely the one to go for if you're looking for that white chocolate hit! The vanilla really makes it!

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  8. I firmly agree with you that January should be about comfort, these muffins look like the perfect antidote to the most depressing month of the year!

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    1. Nice to meet a kindred spirit re. January comfort and treats! Thanks Hannah!

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  9. Not going to lie I'm gladJanuary is over! But can we just keep the motto "a little of what you fancy" for Feb too!!

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