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Get Out Your Rum, it's desert time!

Happy New Year!

Even though I'm technically on vacation, I could not pass up the opportunity to bake, and try out some new recipes.  But I guess that's what the holiday is for!  Tis filled with cooking and baking. Back in the day... oh not so long ago, I used to sit on the sidelines and just watch and then do dishes. But I'm proud to say I now offer up some of my own side dishes, and desert treats.   This year, on Christmas day, I shared my Lemon Bars and Easy Jam Tart with my family.  This time, I tried it out with Stonewalls Peach Mango Jam, and it was very yummy.

With a days rest in between, yesterday I had the urge to use these cupcake holders I found at Cooks Companion on Atlantic and Court.  They were so cute, how could I not put something in them.  So, I dug into this cupcake cook book I found some time ago (Wild About Cupcakes, by Rachel Lane), and started leafing through the pages till I found something interesting.

First on the list, and requested by the family was the Chocolate Mud Cupcakes. They turned out pretty good.  They are more dense, but with a dollop of cream on top... yummy. But the special part of these cupcakes really, were the decorations.

But the real hit was the Chocolate, Banana & Rum Cupcakes.  I say "was", because they are almost gone! Yummy can not even describe them!

So for those of you who would like to try them out, the following is the recipe.   I followed it pretty strictly, but added a little drop of lemon juice to the bananas so they wouldn't turn brown so fast.

Chocolate, Banana & Rum Cupcakes
3 oz (90g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup (90ml) light cream
1 cup (150g) all-purpose flour
2 tblsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup (90g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tblsp dark rum
2 medium over ripe bananas*, peeled and mashed, plus extra, slice to decorate

chocolate rum glace
1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream
1/2 tblsp unsallted butter, cubed
1 tblsp light corn syrup (golden)
4 oz (120g) dark choclate, coarsely chopped
1 tblsp dark rum

rum cream
2/3 cup (150 ml) heavy cream
2 tblsp confectioners' sugar
1/2 tblsp dark rum

*TIPS:  • Have all your ingredients measured, and ready in sections, ready to go.  • If you don't have a double boiler like me, I used a small pot with water, and used a sturdy glass bowl over it. • I used over ripe bananas that I had frozen a few months ago.   I read that you can freeze them, and then when you need to make banana break, or another recipe that calls for over-ripened bananas, you can take them out, thaw them, and peel away the peel, and mash them up easy.

How to get it done:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
• Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

• Melt the chocolate and cream in a double boiler over barely simmering water, stiring until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool.
• Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a small bowl.
• Beat the butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until creamy.
• Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.
• With mixer on low speed, add the mixed dry ingredients, melted chocolate, and rum (one at a time).
• Stir the mashed banana in by hand.*
• Spoon the batter in the prepared cups, filling each one three-quarters full.
• Bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch.
• Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack. Let cool completely before removing the cupcakes.

Chocolate Rum Glaze:
• Heat the cream, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter has melted.
• Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Stir in the rum and set aside until cooled and slightly thickened.

Rum Cream:
• Whip the cream in a small bowl with an electric mixer until it begins to thicken. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, whisking until soft peaks form. Stir in the rum.
• Spread the chocolate glaze on top of each cupcake. Place a dollop of cream on each one and top with a slice of banana.
( For fun, if you have any dark chocolate left, grate it over each cupcake for added zing!)