To my shock, I got out and discovered she'd thrown all the ingredients in a bowl.
Highly amusing learning experience. See, I'd never heard of cake recipes where you just threw everything in together. She was following the recipe perfectly, but seeing it all dumped in a bowl rather freaked me out :) So, we decided to use that as the first experiment - the creaming method, versus the chuck-it-all-in-and-mix-it method.
And, bad girls, we broke the cardinal rule of experimentation and changed more than one variable - we alternated sugars O:)
Alternate one: Mix all ingredients until combined. Fill muffin tins (with or without cupcake liners - I use without - cheaper) 1/2 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180C.
Ice with 3/4 of a container of icing sugar (sorry, real measurement coming soon) mixed with 2-3T melted butter, 1-2T water and 3t of vanilla essence.
Alternate Two: Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg & vanilla. Fold through sifted dry ingredients and 100g of chocolate chips. Bake as per option one.
Drizzle melted chocolate over top to finish.
Unsurprisingly, the second cupcakes done with the cake method were much lighter and fluffier in texture, though I doubt it would be noticeable to the casual taster.
Oddly, the batter made with the brown sugar was lighter in colour than the batter made with the white sugar, which I found strange.
I must say, what I loved the most about these cupcakes was the gorgeous vanilla icing. It was strongly vanilla, which complemented the banana perfectly, but not overpoweringly. Mm. The dusting of cinnamon on top just clinched it.
The chocolate drizzled over the choc chips ones was great too - the texture of the reset chocolate was great with the lighter texture of the cupcakes.
Overall, tasters were pretty much half and half on this one - some loved the chocolate, and some loved the vanilla :) I'd definitely make these again.