Just like my protagonist in Maid of Murder, India Hayes, I’m not much of a cook. India survives on cereal, ice cream, and dinner at her parents’ house. To give you an example of my complete lack of culinary skill, I once blew up an egg while trying to hard boil it. How I did this remains unclear. Another time, I made redskin dirt potatoes. Ummm… I didn’t know you were supposed to wash the potatoes before cooking them. Both of these are examples of times I regretted taking Electricity in middle school instead of Home Ec. The only thing I accomplished in electricity class was electrocuting my teacher. He was fine but a wee bit upset. I sat in the hall the rest of the period.
On the bright side, I am a fair baker. I can bake because baking has strict rules and step-by-step instructions. I can read directions pretty well. I’m not good with anything I have to watch while it’s on the stovetop or have to season. That takes way more culinary judgment than I have.
With permission, I’m sharing a recipe from my church’s cookbook. The cookbook is packed with tasty Midwestern treats and meals. This is the only one I’ve ever attempted. However since nothing exploded and dirt wasn’t involved, I might try another. Enjoy!
Chocolate-Covered Banana Cupcakes
(Adapted from Doris Smith’s Recipe for Banana Cake in the Goodyear Heights Presbyterian Church Cookbook)
- 1 ½ c. sugar
- ½ c. shortening
- 2 eggs
- 2 bananas, sliced
- 1 c. sour milk or buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 ½ c. flour
- Chocolate glaze*
Cream sugar and shortening; add eggs.
Add bananas and beat well.
Add sour milk and vanilla alternately with flour, baking soda and baking powder.
Insert cupcake cups into cupcake pan, and add batter. Makes 18 cupcakes.
Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.
Place cupcakes on cooling rack. After they have cooled, dip tops of cupcakes into chocolate glaze.
* Note from Wendy: Amanda uses Duncan Hines chocolate glaze, which you can usually find with the canned frostings. They look so beautiful and glossy in the picture, I'd be inclined to do the same. However, if you must make your own, any chocolate ganache recipe would work. I'd suggest adding a tablespoon or so of shortening to your ganache to give the finished product that lovely shine.
Amanda Flower writes the India Hayes Mystery Series. The first novel in the series, Maid of Murder is an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. To learn more about Amanda and Maid of Murder visit her online at http://www.amandaflower.com/. You can also follow Amanda on Facebook and The Little Blog of Murder.