|Bruleed the bananas on top of the custard but custard melted from the heat|
|2nd attempt, bruleed the bananas first then placed them on top of the custard|
¾ cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1. Pour the heavy cream into a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the soft, pulpy seeds into the pan, toss in the pod and stir to mix. Bring just to the boil over low heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together just to blend. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk, continuously and energetically, until the mixture is very pale and hot to the touch. Remove the yolks from the heat. Gradually but steadily whisk the cream into the yolks, pod and all.
3. Put the bowl back over the hot water and let it sit there, with the heat turned off, whisking occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cream thickens. Set the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and allow the mixture to cool, whisking now and then. When the custard is cool to the touch, retrieve and discard the vanilla bean (or clean it and save it to flavor sugar) and push the mixture through a strainer into a clean bowl. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The custard can be made the day before and kept covered and refrigerated until needed.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup warm water
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray dessert shell pans with nonstick cooking spray. (You can also use muffin tins but don't line with paper liners if you're going to brulee the custard.) In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and the water. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
2. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
3. To finish, top with chilled custard, sprinkle with granulated sugar and torch with handheld torch until sugar is crackly and brown. You can also add bananas on top of the custard and brulee that as the top layer instead with a sprinkling of sugar.