I think I'm there right now in my parenting. I know that parenting is still mostly chaos, non-stop action, and a ton of turbulence, but right now, these past few weeks, these past few days, mostly I feel like I'm in that eye. I know that there is a storm brewing with massive wind and rain somewhere, but right now, I'm in the eye. Today in particular. I loved my time with my kids - at church, in the water, at dinner, during piano practice, during math lesson, at bedtime. It's been really rather marvelous. I'm not going to complain. I'll enjoy this peace and quiet, before the storm rages once again.
I'm guessing that it is this eye of the storm moment I'll remember over the crazy storms when I'm old and grey. I say this because both Mom-in-Law and Mom seem to only remember the sweetest and loveliest moments from when Husband and I were growing up. There was no nonsense, no insanity, just the eye of the storm moments. I'm okay with that, because these moments, these sweet sweet moments, are the ones worth remembering. I'd like to remember myself as a good beloved mom, over the screaming banshee nutjob I become when the chaos of the storm becomes too much to bear. The eye of the storm is a good place to be.
And as I sit in this serenity, however momentary, I'd like to make some cupcakes to eat. These ones in particular. They are based off of the chocolate banana cake recipe I love, but I tweaked it to turn into cupcakes. They might be my favorite cupcake of all time, because I love banana in baking, as it just makes for a super moist, wonderfully textured cake. (for the record, a banana based cake is generally less messy than one that is not - fewer crumbs.) I made this cake for Daughter #2's birthday party, and I don't think anyone left a single bite behind.
It's a good cake for the eye of the storm. If only I had one right now.
Chocolate Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Tish Boyle’s The Cake Book
Makes 36 cupcakes
Chocolate Banana Cupcake
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, taken out of the fridge same time as butter
2 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 6 medium)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using paddle attachment beat butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar and beat at high until well blended, about 2 minutes. At medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract and mix at low speed until blended. Add the flour mixture at low speed in three additions, alternating it with the sour cream in two additions. Avoid overmixing by using a spatula to mix the batter at the end.
Scoop mixture into lined cupcake tins. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until done. Allow to cool in tins for 5 minutes. Then remove from tins and cool on a rack. Do not frost until cupcakes are completely cooled.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes enough to frost 36 cupcakes
1 cup of butter, softened
8 oz of cream cheese, softened
3-5 cups of confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl, mix butter until it is softened and uniform. Add cream cheese and beat together until it is uniform. Add 3 cups of sugar to the mixture and mix. Add vanilla extract. Add more sugar if necessary. Mix again until mixture is creamy and spreadable. Add more sugar if necessary, otherwise prepare to frost cake.
The original banana cake is in here
And as much as I hate artificial color and chemicals in my baking, I have to say that these pearls are a really pretty touch. (I do not like the feel in my mouth however.)