The following took place on 24 January 2008
I know what you might be thinking, "What the heck does peanut butter have to do with Elvis Presley?" If that's what you were thinking, SHAME ON YOU! As punishment, you must watch the King make is favorite snack, a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. Too bad Elvis didn't know he was a foodie. :(
Despite what you may have thought about peanut butter and me, it's not my favorite snack. It gives me a claustrophobic feeling, though I swear that a tablespoon of natural peanut butter cures hiccups, followed by a few swigs of water (so says my brother, and he's right). But Elvis, however, brings out my peanut butter love in the form of warm, gooey peanut butter. In fact, I meant to celebrate Elvis' birthday by making a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich, but I forgot. Now it's your turn to say SHAME ON YOU, Christina! As soon as I saw the recipe for King Cupcakes from Cooking Light, I knew I could rectify my mistake, and since this is National Peanut Butter Day, talk about killing two birds with one stone!
Are not these the cutest? The perfectly domed crowns are beautiful! When I talk about a great-looking cupcake, this is what I mean.
Cream cheese-peanut butter frosting. The lighting gives it a jaundiced-hue...
Glamour Shots by Deb
This is the cupcake's equivalent to a mug shot. It's punishment is to be consumed immediately.
The perfect amount of frosting is the same for the espresso-milk ratio in a cappuccino, which is 1/3 frosting (espresso) to 2/3 cupcake (milk).
Did this recipe do justice to the King?
Cupcake: For the little amount of banana in the recipe, I was worried it might not stand out well in the baked cupcake. I was kind of wrong, as there was a pleasant banana essence, though it didn't scream "OOH, BANANA!!" That usually means it has the potential to be overpowered by the frosting...
The texture of the cupcake was between dense and light. It had a decent amount of sponginess without being rubbery, but it didn't have that wonderful melt-in-your-mouth feature. It was also decently moist without being sticky or gummy and didn't immediately turn to mush as soon as you begin to chew it.
Frosting: If you recall from the last post, I really enjoy peanut butter frosting. What intrigued me about this recipe was that it called for cream cheese. Tasting the finished frosting alone, it had a wonderfully subtle tanginess that I felt enhanced the peanut butter frosting experience. I'm adding this to my recipe box. It was very light and airy, like the frosting for the chocolate-chocolate-banana cake was.
(I added an extra ounce of cream cheese, 2 Tbsp. of peanut butter, 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar, and 1 1/2 Tbsp. of milk to make more frosting. If you don't want to make more, you still need at least 1 1/2 teaspoons (1/2 Tbsp.) of milk or else it's too thick.)
The combined effect: As I said above, the ratio of frosting-to-cupcake is 1/3-to-2/3. Why? You don't want to overpower the cupcake. (The only reason to overpower the cupcake is if it's a terrible cupcake, which usually means the frosting will be terrible, which in turn means you shouldn't be eating it to begin with.) Well, the banana flavor of the cupcake wasn't as noticeable versus eating the cupcake itself. If you take a bite with too much frosting on your fork, it really overpowers it, but if you stop thinking about the taste, it all melds together into a subconscious banana-peanut buttery fusion. I would, however, prefer a cupcake with more banana taste next time.
The only part I wasn't able to do was sprinkle chopped peanuts on top because I didn't have any. It would have given it a great texture contrast, as well as cutting the sweetness, though this wasn't really uber sweet at all.
Personally, I think the King would have approved. Upon biting into a cupcake version of his supposedly favorite snack, he would have replied, "Thank you, thank you very much. ;)."
(Another foodie, Culinary in the Desert, blogged about King Cupcakes back in February. Read it. Click this here link!)