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I was making cupcakes to take to a family, and I was totally inspired by a random combination of awkward ingredients in my pantry… plantain and taro root.  Both of these items found their way into my kitchen after a 99 Ranch shopping spree.  The entire spree was based on impulse, so I actually only had 1 small taro root, and the plantains that had been sitting on my counter, ripening for quite some time.  I had been waiting to use the plantains for something other than “fried plantains” which seems to be what everyone thinks of.  But the wonderful taste of the honey drizzled over the fried plantain with cinnamon sugar, is truly a classic flavor that just works.  Use bananas if you want, and skip the taro if your not feeling like doing the extra work.  They are still delicious!

Plantain Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup melted butter

1 1/2 cups plantain, pureed

2 eggs

Preheat the oven 350 degrees and line a muffin tin.  Puree the plantain in a food processor and measure out 1 1/2 cups.  Sift all the dry ingredients together.  Make a well in the center and add the plantain, butter, and eggs (beaten).  Mix till just incorporated.  Pour evenly into cupcake liners and bake for 25 minutes.  (If you have banana extract, you could add up to a 1/2 tsp just to kick that banana flavor up a notch!)  Cool completely on a wire rack before filling and icing.

 

Taro Filling

1 small taro root (peeled and chopped)

1/8 cup half and half

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp melted butter

 

 

While the cupcakes are baking, steam the taro root till tender.  Strain any excess water off and puree till smooth in a food processor, while hot, with the rest of the ingredients. The mixture will thicken a little as it cools.  Once cooled, cut a circle out of the top of each cupcake.  Fill with the taro filling, and replace part of the top of the cupcake.

 

Honey Cinnamon Frosting

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 tbsp honey

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1 oz cream cheese (optional)

 

Beat all the ingredients together and pipe onto cupcakes, or smooth on with a knife, to cover the hole you cut for the filling.  I’m not very good at making the icing look pretty, but it tastes good!

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