These little treats are just the thing to whip up when you're short of time, they're delicious and look impressive... in a cute sort of way, and yet they take no time at all! They were lovely and moist and banana-ry which was helped by very ripe bananas, and the maple icing and pecans finished the cakes off perfectly to give a very tasty treat... and one that I will certainly be making again.
As you can see in the picture the cakes came out of the oven quite rounded, however the recipe calls for them to be served upturned... as you can imagine this would give quite wobbly, odd looking cakes! Therefore I cut the top off each cake before turning it over to give a stable base... and as I don't like waste, I obviously had to eat the off cuts...I was performing a public service... honest! ;-)
In order to ensure your banana cakes come out of the muffin tin in one piece is to make sure the holes are well greased. A top tip is to use Wilton's Cake Release oil which they claim 'works everytime'.
50g butter, softened
85g caster sugar
100g plain flour
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 large egg
1 ripe banana
11/2 tsp baking powder
100g icing sugar
2-3 tbsp maple syrup
A drop of vanilla extract
18 pecan halves (toasted if you wish)
Pre-heat your oven to 190c/170c fan/gas 5 and grease a muffin pan (I made double the quantity and used a 12 hole pan). Add all the cake ingredients in to a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until you've got a smooth batter. Divide the mixture between the muffin pan holes and bake for around 15minutes, check with a cake tester. Once removed from the oven, leave for 5 mins in the pan before cooling on a wire rack. At this stage you can also freeze these cakes!
Once cool, to make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and then add in the maple syrup and vanilla and then mix to a smooth, thick icing which is suitable for drizzling over your cakes. Then finally, turn your cakes upside down (cutting the tops off if necessary) and drizzle the icing over the cakes, letting it run down the sides before topping each cake with 2-3 pecans.
* Adapted from BBC GoodFood 2012 Calendar