Let me start by thanking Melissa Whitefoot, for requesting this recipe. It is my goal to make as many kinds of cupcakes in this, my birthday month as possible. So make sure to get your requests or ideas in, because it may be YOUR idea that I make next!! Let me also, tell you, how difficult this actually was. Seriously, it doesn't seem like it should have been but, trust me, it was! I think they turned out perfect in the end and isn't that what matters? Let me tell you of my debacle!
This recipe was supposed to be up a couple of days ago. However, each attempt at this, kept turning out more like a muffin or bready. Though the flavor was great, I was disappointed with each try because, well, I wanted cupcakes, not bread and not muffins!
Then, I got a call from my sister Peg. She is my fellow cake mix addict, and friends, after our conversation I decided to "turn tot he mix". After 4 tries, and pounds of bananas, and more muffins than I knew what to do with, I thought, let me just go "there". I mean it was already a CAKE mix. How could this turn out bad? And why was I beating myself up so much for "resorting" to a box mix when I am loud and proud about how I have 10 in my pantry at any given time?!? I made a decision, at that moment, that no matter what I did, I couldn't mess this one up. And boy was I right. Perfection. The perfect flavor combo if you enjoy these flavors, one doesn't outweigh the other, and well, just trust me.
Just a note, though I did use a half of a teaspoon of banana extract you do not NEED it. If you can get it, I would say, go for it, I find mine actually at my Asian grocery store, but, you don't have to have it. Don't use vanilla, just let the banana that you use give you the flavor you need. Also, when you mash your banana, leave some chunks, it leave little pockets of banana goodness that pureeing them would just mess all up.
Let's get on with this! I am going to give you the ganache recipe first, as you will need to let it come to room temperature and then refrigerate.
12 ounces peanut butter chips (not regular peanut butter friends, you need CHIPS)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 T. butter
Place your chips into a bowl. Set aside. In a small pot, place your heavy cream and watch for it to create some bubbles on the outside. You don't want to boil it, just "scald" it. Pour it over the chips, without stirring or disrupting them, let it sit for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, begin to mix with a whisk. Whisk until the peanut butter chips are melted, add in the butter and whisk until incorporated. Set aside.
1 yellow cake mix
1/2 tsp. banana extract or essence
3 bananas just crushed up with a fork. (leave some chunks)
Preheat oven to suggested temperature on the box. Prepare according to package directions adding in the extract and the bananas. Don't worry about the size of your bananas just make sure they are nice and ripe and sweet! Line your cupcake tin with papers. This will make exactly 24 cupcakes. Bake for 24-28 minutes. You need a few extra minutes with the extra moisture from the bananas. Take out and let cool completely.
Now place your ganache in your stand mixer or in a bowl if using a hand mixer.
Now whip that ganache....(Every ounce of me wanted to say, whip it, whip it real good). Anyway whip until the color lightens, it becomes large in volume and it has the texture of almost a whipped cream. This will be just enough icing for 24 cupcakes. Don't use a ton or it will over power the mild banana flavor!!
Leave them plain or garnish with some sprinkles or decorations!!
Dig in and trust me when I tell you, if the combo of peanut butter and banana is your thing, make someone hide them from you. They are moist and pure sunshine in your mouth!