Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lots-of-Ways Banana Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Drizzle- featuring my 2 latest obsessions, Baking with Dorie and Cardamom

I know, I know. This is the 10th cake that I have made in less than a week. But it is addicting! And this time, I had a good excuse. I was making dinner to take to someone who just had a baby, so that means we only had half as much cake to eat.
This recipe comes from Baking, from my home to yours- by Dorie Greenspan. To say that I am in love with this cookbook, wouldn't really be a lie. She writes foolproof recipes and they are so easy (so far) and delicious.
The inspiration to make this cake, came to me when I read her words above this recipe, " The inspiration to bake a banana cake always seems to strike when a bunch of bananas are mottling on the counter." I had 4 black bananas that had a very small moment of opportunity left in them. Also, this recipe comes with so many options, you can make it with whatever you have on hand. It calls for nutmeg, but I used Cardamom instead, because everytime I open that little spice jar, I am seriously transported to another place.

Lots-of-Ways Banana Cake
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or cardamom-this suggestion is from me!)
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbls) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbls dark rum or Malibu coconut rum (optional) I used 3 tsp rum extract
About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 1/2-1 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk, regular (stir before measuring) or "lite" (or whole milk, buttermilk, sour cream, or plain yogurt)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, preferably toasted (or an equal amount of moist, plump fruit, such as currants, raisins, chopped apricots, cranberries, blueberries, or halved cherries, or a combination or coconut and dried fruit)

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. (I used Crisco Baking Spray with Flour). Put the pans on a baking sheet.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fit with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugars and beat at medium speed for a couple of minutesm then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, followed by the vanilla and rum. You'll have a beautiful satiny batter, Now lower the speed and add the bananas-the batter will curdle, but that's fine; it will come back together as you add the remaining ingredients. Still on low speed, add the dry and liquid ingredients alternately, adding the flour mixture in 3 portions and the coconut milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Mix just until everything is incorporated. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently stir in the coconut. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.

Bake for about 45 minutes (mine were done in 42), or until the cakes are a deep golden brown. They should start to pull away from the sides on the pans and a thin knife inserted into their centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a cooking rack and cool for 5 minutes, then unmold and invert onto another rack to cool to room temperature right side up.

You can frost this as a 2-layer cake, but I just sprinkled both with powdered sugar and then thinned out my leftover Strawberry Buttercream (recipe located in earlier post) with a couple Tbls of milk, drizzled it over the cakes, added a dollop of whipped cream and a couple strawberries. Delicious! It is a good thing we gave one layer away because the one we had left disappeared quickly. Yummy!

Beautiful Golden Brown Color

Our Delicious Dessert- Thank you Dorie!


marias23 said...

Oh, man. Isn't cardamom the best ever? Is banana cake similar to a banana bread?

Audrey and the Boys said...

Do you like this one better than the french banana cake?

Mary Ann said...

This was similar to banana bread in taste but the texture was not as dense. The thing I loved about it was the versatility of using whatever you have to make it.
Aud- I think I messed up on the other banana cake by not adding quite enough banana, so it was not as moist as this one. Also, the other cake is lower in fat. Both tasty though!