By mid-morning I am wilting under the influence of a heat wave in Brisbane with temperatures reaching 31°C. My coffee habit is entrenched but instead of hot coffee I make myself a Frappé Coffee using chilled brewed espresso, a small amount of low-fat milk and ice blocks. It is delicious but I still feel the need for something sweet to nibble on. There is no ice-cream in the freezer and no sweet biscuits.
I am not the only thing in my kitchen looking the worse for the heat. A solitary home-grown lady finger banana lies in the basket looking particularly unappetising with its blackened skin. The heat has probably caused it to over-ripen which is why both Andy and I have avoided eating it for breakfast. I don’t like waste and I need a chocolate fix so the only thing to do is make some chocolate and banana cupcakes. Within 30 minutes I am sitting under the fan on my deck, newspaper in one hand, Frappé Coffee on the table and I am taste testing my fresh batch of delicious cupcakes.
I decided to make this recipe as it uses canola or light olive oil rather than butter and my husband can then justify eating them without worrying about his cholesterol levels. It is also easy because it doesn’t need a mixing machine.
Chocolate and Banana Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place small muffin paper cases into muffin tins or lightly butter the muffin trays.
1 cup castor sugar; 1cup plain cake flour; ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder; 1 teaspoon baking powder; pinch of salt;
1 large egg, (free range if you can get it); ⅓ cup of banana, smashed. My small lady-finger was perfect and wasn’t too soft. You could use up to ½ cup if you prefer a stronger flavour; ¾ cup low-fat milk (or a mixture of milk and water); ¼ cup of canola or light olive oil; ½ – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl, blend the sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder.
In another large mixing bowl, blend the egg, the smashed banana, the milk, oil and vanilla. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients and blend well. Pour the batter into the muffin cups ¾ full or to the top depending on how rounded you want the rise to be. Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. If using large muffin pans you might need to cook them for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
These cakes were so nice they didn’t need to be iced. The mixture makes quite a lot of little cakes, about 20. By the time I sent some over to my grandson for pre-school, given my parents some for their morning tea, Andy and I had just enough left for a couple of days. I think the oil keeps them lovely and moist, and they keep in the fridge for a few days.