Monday, April 20, 2009

Banana Split Cupcakes

Banana Split CupcakesWhat to do when there is a pile of ripe bananas sitting in your fruit bowl? I decided to make something different than the old standard banana bread. As I'm always up for frosted baked goods, I decided to rip open Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and see what it had to offer.

Never one to simply follow a recipe as is (and because I couldn't find any pineapple preserves), I opted for cherry preserves instead. I don't think I've ever had a banana split with pineapples, and there's nothing more quintessentially banana split-like than the cherry on top! I also used chocolate chips instead of grated chocolate. They reminded me of the banana chocolate chip cupcakes they sell at the local coffee shoppe that I used to snack on before going vegan.

I was sort of bummed not to have a pastry bag. One day I'd like to make my cupcakes look professionally frosted, but for now I made do with a butter knife. Maybe I'll ask for a pastry bag for my birthday. But I topped them off with Sprinkelz and a maraschino cherry. Sprinkelz are awesome, they're totally hippie, without any of the crappy high-fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils that your standard sprinkle will be loaded with. I found them at the Honest Weight Food Co-op (I seriously can't express my love for that place enough) and stocked up enough to get me through the periods of time when I can't make it home to fill up. But I have found them at the local co-op, Harvest, just not in bulk. (I think the individual boxes you can buy may have a plastic liner inside, which is a big reason I opt to buy in bulk.)

Banana Split Cupcakes This was also my first attempt at taking nice photographs of food. I generally take atrocious photos of food. My excuse is that the lighting in my apartment is awful, so I may as well not even try. The thing is, I'm a generally good photographer when the photos I'm shooting are outdoors or in a really well-lit indoor area. But I'm not so good at macros or poorly lit situations. I just borrowed a copy of Digital Food Photography from the Boston Public Library, and while it's not an awesome book, it at least inspired me to break out my tripod and see what I could do with just the overhead light in my kitchen.

Over the next few months I hope to improve my food photography skills. It'll be a great excuse for me to build some reflectors and play with props, maybe even check out Good Will or local thrift stores for some neat dishes to photograph with. And, of course, when I move to my new place in September I'll have plenty of south facing windows to give me a good dose of natural light. No excuses!

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