Sundae for Sunday, Banana Split Cupcakes Recipe from Gluten Free Cupcakes

Many of you enjoyed Elana Amsterdam Sinful Lime Cupcakes Recipe from Gluten Free Cupcakes (Celestial Arts, April 2011) so we come back with a second helping.

Want to put a Sundae impersonator into your Sunday brunch cupcake offerings, here's one.

 Banana Split Cupcakes                                                    

Makes 8

­Sweetness: High

A sundae in a cupcake? Yes, please! Light and fluffy strawberry cupcakes make this twist on a classic dessert a fun addition to any party. Assemble beforehand or set out bowls of all the toppings and let your guests customize their own cupcakes.

Batter

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 large eggs

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries

Chocolate Ganache (page 92)

Whipped Cream Frosting (page 93)

Gluten-free chocolate sprinkles

1 banana, cut into 16 slices

8 cherries (fresh or frozen)

Bananacupcake

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.

      To make the batter, in a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, agave nectar, and vanilla extract. Blend the wet ingredients into the coconut flour mixture with a handheld mixer until thoroughly combined, then fold in the strawberries.

      Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup.

      Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 hour.

      To decorate the cupcakes, frost the tops with a layer of Chocolate Ganache. Pipe or add a big dollop of Whipped Cream Frosting (equivalent to 2 heaping tablespoons) on top of each cupcake, then cover with chocolate sprinkles. Place 2 banana slices in the whipped cream on each cupcake. Top with a cherry and serve immediately.

Chocolate Ganache

Makes 3/4 cup

Sweetness: Medium

According to Joy of Cooking, a ganache is a sleek, rich coating on a European torte, or the center of a rich chocolate truffle. I have adapted the old standard from this amazing cookbook, which is the most dog-eared in my collection. I like this recipe best with Triple Chocolate Cupcakes (page 33) or Almond Fudge Cupcakes (page 38).

3/4 cup heavy cream

8 ounces dark chocolate chips (73% cacao) (just over 1 1/3 cups)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil, then immediately remove it from the heat. Stir in the chocolate until it is melted and smooth, then stir in the vanilla extract and salt.

      Let the ganache stand at room temperature for 5 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill until the ganache thickens and becomes shiny and spreadable. This could take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the temperature of your refrigerator.

      If the frosting becomes too stiff to work with, reheat the pan ever so briefly over very low heat, and stir until softened.

      Use immediately or store in a glass Mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Whipped Cream Frosting

Makes 2 cups

Sweetness: Medium

An ultra-versatile classic, use whipped cream frosting on Strawberry Cupcakes (page 24) to create little strawberry shortcakes, on Apple Spice Cupcakes (page 60) for a taste of mini apple pie, or on just about any other cupcake to turn an everyday delight into elegant perfection.

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons agave nectar

In a deep bowl, whip the cream and agave nectar with a handheld mixer for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is thick and fluffy and soft peaks form.

      Use immediately, using a spoon for dollops or a pastry bag for swirls. Or store in a glass Mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

(* Recipe by Elana Amsterdam from Gluten Free Cupcakes reproduced by permission of Celestial Arts, all right reserved)

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