I was eating at Din Tai Fung the other day, and was watching the many chefs in the kitchen meticulously fold perfect, bite-sized, Xiao Long Bao’s. Seeing the stacks of steam baskets piled up against the kitchen window suddenly inspired me to do something fun. I decided to make small bite-sized mini banana – chocolate cupcakes and gift them in similar steam baskets to our friends who invited us over for a Chinese-themed dinner.
Here’s how it happened:
What You Need:
Banana Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 40 mini-sized Cupcakes)
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 1 medium-sized banana)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup milk or soymilk
- 1/4 cup canola, corn, or vegetable oil
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
- 3 ounces (90 grams) unsweetened chocolate (I used Hershey’s)
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (120 grams) sifted icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 Dim Sum basket (size depends on how many you want to serve)
- Patterned paper to line the bottom of your Dim Sum basket
What To Do:
Banana Chocolate Cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and line 12 mini-sized muffin cups with paper liners or spray each cup with a non stick vegetable spray.
2. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the egg, mashed banana, water, milk or soy, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together. The batter may seem a little watery but that is fine.
3. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups (cups should be approximately 3/4 full) and bake for around 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake and make sure it comes out clean.
4. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack before adding frosting on top.
5. Melt the chocolate by placing a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted, let cool to room temperature.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, then add the sugar and finally beat in the vanilla extract. Add the chocolate and beat on low speed until thoroughly mixed. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is smooth and glossy (about 2 minutes).
6. Carefully spread the frosting onto the top of your cupcakes and add in sprinkles as you like.
6. Cut a square piece of patterned paper to line the steamed basket.
7. Place 4 mini cupcakes in a small basket or you may add as many as your steamed basket can fit.
Voila! Ready to serve!