I am finally here in the Big Apple! My first week here has been fun, exciting, exhausting and wonderful. I have settled nicely into my apartment in Hell’s Kitchen and I am now getting ready to start studying again. I have filled up my pantry with most of the basic utensils and ingredients that I need for cooking and baking so I am now ready to get back into the kitchen. The first thing I made here in NYC was these amazing cupcakes from the always delicious Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. This is the third recipe I tried from this book and it hasn’t failed yet! When I made the Vanilla Cupcakes and the Marshmallow Cupcakes, the two recipes were almost identical. This recipe was different from them and incorporated more ingredients. And oh, so yummy they were! Definitely my favourite cupcakes to date. I was so lucky to be invited to a roof-top BBQ this weekend and we were all asked to bring some food. My sister and a good friend of hers were visiting me this week so I let them decide what we should bring. As they both love cupcakes they decided on Carrot Cupcakes and these Banana Chocolate Cupcakes. Stay tuned for a post about the Carrot Cupcakes. They were such a hit at the party! One girl even gave me a hug and told me she would be my first customer! I was really happy everyone loved them because I need someone here to cook for. As you probably now, I am studying to become a Dietician so I cannot really advice people to eat an entire batch of these cupcakes (although it would be really easy to do so), so invite some friends over for cupcakes or bring them into work with you!
Oh no, I got some frosting on my finger carrying the cupcakes to the party… too bad 😉
My first week here in NYC I have tried a lot of different food. There are two things I have noticed about food in New York; Portion sizes are HUGE, and there is always a healthy option. I think I have yet to finish and entire meal here and I think this offers some explanation as to why there are so many overweight and obese people here in the US. I am always surprised when I visit NYC that I don’t see more fat people. However, this week I went to Coney Island with my sister and her friend, and I discovered where all of them are. I mean, Come on People! Don’t feed your one-year old Pepsi and fried chicken. I thought that was common sense! But anyway, I have had so many other experiences with food this week that it would take too long to cover all of them. I have found an amazing deli right by the NYU campus with a really good salad bar and different soups, I have a feeling I will be going there a lot. I have had a really cheap but very good slice of pizza from a corner outside my building at 3 AM coming home from a club. I have tried frozen yogurt from Pinkberry in SoHo for the first time. That was so good, and a healthier option to ice cream.
I made a couple amendments to this recipe, one of which is reflected below. Firstly, I did not use the ground ginger as I didn’t have any on hand but I’m sure it would be really good so you should try it. Secondly I decided to add some chocolate chips, I think that really took these cupcakes over the top! The original recipe also calls for whole milk, but I find that if I get whole milk for baking I can never finish the bottle, so I just use whatever milk I have on hand (usually 1 or 2% fat).
Stay tuned for more posts about my experiences with food and cooking here in NYC, in the meantime enjoy these little portions of deliciousness!
Recipe (makes 12 cupcakes)
120 g plain flour
140 g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
a pinch of salt
80 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120 ml semi-skimmed milk
120 g peeled banana, mashed
50 g roughly chopped 70% chocolate (I used Green & Black’s)
1 quantity chocolate frosting (recipe follows)
Some dark chocolate shavings
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F). Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with paper cases.
- Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and butter until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Use a handheld electric mixer or a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment.
- Slowly add the milk to the mixture, mixing until all the ingredients are well mixed.
- Add the eggs and mix well, making sure to scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a spatula.
- Stir in the mashed banana by hand until evenly dispersed.
- Fill the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake for about 20 minutes. The cupcakes should be light golden and the sponge should bounce back when touched. Cool slightly in the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the Chocolate Frosting on top and finish with the chocolate shavings.
Chocolate Frosting recipe
300 g icing / powdered sugar, sifted
100 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
40 g cocoa powder, sifted
40 ml semi-skimmed milk
- Beat the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together on a medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well-mixed.
- Turn the mixer down to slow and add the milk a couple of tablespoons at a time.
- Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed.
- Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. The longer you beat the frosting, the lighter and fluffier it becomes.
Source: Adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.