Category: Recipes


Banana Corn Fritters

Serves 4

4 bananas
3/4 cup stone ground cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 pinches each of salt and cinnamon
A couple pinches cayenne (optional)
Vegetable oil for frying

Mash bananas with a fork and gently stir in the cornmeal and baking powder. Do not over mix. Season with salt, cinnamon, and a touch of cayenne, if desired.

Add a 1/2-inch of vegetable oil to a skillet over medium heat. Drop small balls of the batter into the hot oil and press lightly to form thick discs the size of half dollars. Cook about 2 minutes per side or until golden and slightly puffed.

Serving Suggestions:

  • for breakfast with syrup and plain yogurt
  • for appetizers at a cocktail party with a dipping sauce like our Spicy Banana Dip (see recipe)
  • as a side dish with roast pork
  • as a crunchy garnish atop a bowl of chili or bean stew

Fresh Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes

Makes 8 cupcakes

1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 pineapple, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, cored, and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 cups pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Stir together the 4 tablespoons of melted butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup and evenly coat the bottoms and sides of a cupcake pan. When the almonds are cool, arrange a few around the bottom rims of a lightly greased cupcake pan, with one in the center, gently pressing them into the brown sugar mixture. Arrange the diced pineapple in an even layer on top of the brown sugar mixture.

In a mixing bowl, combine the pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and thoroughly mix.

In another bowl, whisk together the 9 tablespoons of softened butter, sour cream, egg yolks, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer at medium speed about 1 1/2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until thick and smooth.

Using a small spatula, spread the batter evenly over the fruit, building up the outside edges so the cupcakes will be level when baked.. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool 3 to 5 minutes (no longer) and then invert onto a serving plate, repositioning the fruit as necessary.


City Cupcakes Hostess Style

City Cupcake - Hostess Style

Makes 18 cupcakes

5 ounces unsweetened bitter chocolate, chopped
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup milk
4 egg yolks
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1 recipe Pastry Cream, see recipe below
1/2 recipe Ganache, see recipe below
1 recipe Pure White Frosting, see recipe below

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12-cup and a 6-cup muffin tin.

Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl over simmering water. In another bowl, combine brown sugar, 1/2 cup milk and 2 egg yolks. Whisk until combined. Add to melted chocolate and stir constantly (while cooking over simmering water) until mixture is shiny and thick, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a clean bowl, cream butter and sugar until light. Add remaining 2 egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking soda.

Combine cream, vanilla extract, and remaining 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl and reserve.

Pour cooled chocolate mixture into creamed butter and sugar. Whisk until smooth. Add combined dry ingredients and cream mixture in three stages, alternating liquid and dry ingredients, and ending with liquid.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold, all at once, into batter. Spoon batter into muffin cups, about two-thirds full.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Set aside to cool, in pan on rack, about 10 minutes. Invert and set aside on a lined sheet pan to cool, about an hour. Prepare Pastry Cream, Ganache, and Pure White Frosting.

Using the tip of a small paring knife, cut a small cone from bottom of each cupcake. Reserve cones. Scoop out about 1 teaspoon of the cake from center of each cupcake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with Pastry Cream. Pipe cream into cupcakes, then replace reserved cones. Place bottom-side down on a lined sheet pan and chill.

When Ganache is room temperature, dip cupcakes in to coat tops. Fill a plain-tipped pastry bag with frosting and decorate with a squiggle across each top, Hostess style. Store in refrigerator until serving time.

Pastry Cream

Makes 2 1/2 cups

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix 1/4 cup sugar and all cornstarch in a bowl until smooth. Add egg yolks and mix until a paste is formed. Stir in 1/2 cup milk.

Combine the remaining milk and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour hot mixture into mixture in bowl, whisking constantly. Pour back into pan.

Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir an additional minute. Stir in vanilla and transfer to a bowl. Cover with buttered parchment paper touching top and chill a minimum of 2 hours or as long as 2 days.


Makes 1 1/2 cups

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream

Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring cream to a boil. Pour into chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Let cool until mixture is less than body temperature.

Pure White Frosting

Makes 1/2 cup

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Mix in a small bowl until smooth.


Negra Modelo Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Ganache

Makes 12 cupcakes

2 sticks unsalted butter plus extra for greasing pan
1 cup Negra Modelo beer
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
Espresso Ganache, see recipe below

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. With cocoa powder, lightly dust a well buttered cupcake pan.

In heavy saucepan heat butter, Negra Modelo, and cocoa powder until melted. Cool.

Sift dry ingredients together, add the Negra Modelo-cocoa mixture and beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Add eggs and sour cream and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Do not over mix.

Pour batter into cupcake pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes for 10 minutes, remove from pan, and continue to cool. Dip tops in Espresso Ganache.

Espresso Ganache

Makes 1 1/2 cups

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup espresso

Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring cream to a boil. Pour into chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add espresso. Let cool until mixture is less than body temperature.