Friday, June 12, 2009

Lots-of-Ways Banana Cake with Blackberry Buttercream and Blackberry Sherbet

The weekend before we moved, a couple of my friends and I got together for a little party.

I was debating if I had enough time in-between packing and everything else, to bake a couple of things for our get-together. Well, of course- I had time.
The day of the party, I made this cake and sherbet, Honey-Peach Ice Cream (which will post next tuesday) and one of the most phenomenal desserts ever- Coconut Dacquoise with Roasted Pineapple (that will post a week from tuesday).
I like bananas. But, they have to be just the right texture for me to eat them out of the peel. If I see a brown spot on the peel, I set them aside and decide that they will be used for baking.
I had a couple of bananas that were begging to be made into something delicious and also had lots of fresh blackberries, because the price really great on them at the store. I spotted the frosting recipe and thought it looked beautiful and sounded really good. I have made this banana cake before and it is really versatile, so I knew they would be a great combination.
And since I was making all of this stuff anyway, I decided I might as well throw in a simple sherbet recipe just for fun.

You can use whatever you have on hand to make the cake- coconut milk, whole milk, buttermilk, plain yogurt- anything. I have made it with coconut milk before and it was delicious. I don't even remember what I used this time, but it was good. I also added chopped, toasted pecans to the batter.
The frosting was a lovely color and everyone raved about it, but I thought it could have used a little bit more of the actual blackberry flavor.

The sherbet was so, so easy. I have used this method before where you just blend the ingredients up and freeze it for a little while, then process it in the food processor and either serve it or freeze it for awhile longer. It is a really easy method.
The sherbet called for buttermilk and that gave it nice sourish tang- I would use a little bit less sugar next time- I thought it was a little too sweet. Nice color and also raved about from my friends.
It was a fun night. Good friends and dessert- what could be better?
(btw- I miss you guys!)

Lots-of-Ways Banana Cake from Baking:from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
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)
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 minutes, 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.

Blackberry Buttercream from Southern Living
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (16-oz.) package plus 1 cup powdered sugar

1. Beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
2. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.
Note: Be sure to wash and thoroughly dry blackberries before adding to frosting

1-2-3 Blackberry Sherbet from Taste of Home magazine
4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed
2 cups sugar (I would use less)
2 cups buttermilk (I used low-fat)

1. In a food processor, combine blackberries and sugar; cover and process until smooth. Strain and discard seeds and pulp.
2. Stir in buttermilk.
3. Transfer puree to a 13x9-inch dish. Freeze for 1 hour or until edges begin to firm. Stir and return to freezer. Freeze 2 hours longer or until firm.
4. Just before serving, transfer to a food processor; cover and process for 2-3 minutes or until smooth.

Up Next- Asian Patties


Marie said...

That looks beautiful Mary Ann! I would never have thought of using blackberry buttercream on a banana cake! You go girl!

Steph said...

The cake looks soo good! I love the colour of the frosting. I wish I saw your post before making banana cake because mine wasn't so good. I can't believe that I didn't think to look for Dorie's recipe first.

Barbara Bakes said...

Such gorgeous color! Hope you're enjoying your your place.

Mom2Be said...

I love blackberries! For the sherbet, do you know if I substituted lactose-free milk mixed with vinegar for the buttermilk if that would work out okay? I'm lactose intolerant...thanks in advance! : )

Risa said...

I am just like you when it comes to bananas! This cake looks incredible.

Anonymous said...

Can't get much better than that, Mary Ann.
I am so curious about the Coconut Dacquoise with Roasted Pineapple..looking forward to seeing your post.

Gabrielle said...

That frosting was some of my fave EVAH! Sad poor little me- who is going to make my cake? :D

The Blonde Duck said...


Carrian said...

This looks so yummy! How could you not love a frosting that color?!

Maria said...

Love this post! I adore blackberries! I have a lot of strawberries though, do you think the sherbet would be good with strawberries?

Michele said...

This looks lovely; the color is amazing!