bundy banana grog cupcake
Grog; refers to a variety of alcoholic beverages. The word originally referred to a drink made with water or "small beer" (a weak beer) and rum, which was introduced into the Royal Navy by British Vice Admiral Edward Vernon on 21 August 1740. Vernon wore a coat of Grogham cloth and was nicknamed "Old Grogham" or "Old Grog". In Australia and New Zealand, the word has come to mean any alcoholic drink. wikipedia
Bundaberg rum; a dark rum first produced in Australia in 1888 to make use of the left over molasses from processing sugar cane, often just referred to as "Bundy".
All our minds in Australia have been on the floods that have devastated Queensland, the Bundaberg region has been hit particularly hard, half the millions of dollars of sugar crops have been destroyed. Banana crops are fine but with the other fruit crops that have damaged the demand for bananas will push prices up.
Today's cupcakes pay homage to Queensland with banana's, Bundaberg rum and sugar.
Use overripe bananas, you know... the ones you swear weren't ripe yesterday but all of a sudden they're black and brown. the riper the banana the more intensely "banana" flavoured your cakes will be
Bundy Banana Grog Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes (I baked small ones today and made 18, baking time was reduced by 6 minutes)
1 1/4 cups plain flour (all purpose)
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
3/4 cup overripe mashed bananas (about 2 medium)
2 tbls Bundaberg rum (dark rum)
12 cup muffin tin lined with paper cases
Preheat oven 180c (360F)
In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, and eggs until smooth. Add banana, whisking well, whisk in rum. Swap to a wooden spoon and add flour mixture, stir until smooth... take care not to over mix as it will toughen the mix.
rum will preserve the yellow colour
Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan. Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 26 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.
resulting cakes are super moist
Toffee Nuts and Fruits
I used 'banana chips', honey dried/baked banana pieces today but any oven roasted nut, freeze dried fruit piece will work. Sugar pieces will last a couple of hours before starting to dissolve. You can also use fresh strawberries or dried apricots, figs etc with spectacular results... however the moisture content means you will have to use the sugar pieces within 30 minutes.
I didn't want too much of an amber colour today as I wanted the banana chip to shine through, so I removed the toffee from the stove top as soon as I saw the colour starting to change.
The bubble in the toffee was caused by my impatience as I started to dip before all the bubbles has subsided ;) You can change the direction of the toffee, create curves etc., by manipulating the direction of the skewer when first dipped.
This is the bit where I say "it's HOT" so take care and make sure small children and pets are out of the room before you begin.
18 banana chips or hazelnuts etc.,
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
18 wooden skewers
old newspaper to cover your floor
kitchen sink half filled with ice water
heavy chopping board or object to way down the end of the skewers
Cover your floor area under where you will dip the toffee pieces with newspaper.
Insert skewers into banana chips.
Place the sugar and the water in a heavy based medium sized saucepan. Over medium heat, stir until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring now and continue to cook until the toffee becomes a light amber colour. Remove from heat and dip base of saucepan into the cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside for 6 to 8 minutes to cool slightly, then dip a banana chip into the toffee, lift out and secure the end of the skewer under your weight.
excess toffee will fall onto newspaper covered floor
Let gravity do the rest, the excess toffee will fall onto your newspaper leaving you with a "toffee tail" attached to your banana chip. Leave a few minutes to set. I dipped the end of the banana chips in tempered dark chocolate to finish.
Pipe a swirl of your favourite chocolate frosting (spiked with rum of course!) onto your cupcakes and top with toffee banana topper.
* note is you are using hazelnuts or any hard nut, make a hole with a darning needle and then insert your wooden skewer.
Donate to the Queensland governments flood relief appeal
How to clean your (hopefully not burnt) toffee pot;