I have never much liked bananas, mostly because the fruit from the supermarket tends to be dry and mealy. Not my preferred fruit experience. In Hawaii, I was introduced to the amazingly delicious apple banana. (Did you know a bunch of bananas is called a hand? That is cool.) When I was in the Philippines, my whole banana world was rocked. I was there for about 10 days, and we had fresh bananas every day, and seemingly never the same variety of banana twice. Who knew so many different bananas existed? Let me tell you, if you can ever get your hands on a freshly picked banana, especially if it isn't the grocery store variety we Americans have become accustomed to, do it. And prepared to be wowed.
Bananas baked into bread or cake is pretty much the only way I eat grocery store bananas, and this cake is a quick and easy way to do it.
April 10, 2010
Name of cake: Sneaking in the Bananas
Constituents: banana cake, made with oil instead of butter
I know! Oil instead of butter! It does make a very light and moist cake, and to be honest I didn't really miss the butter. (I know! Who am I?)
This cake is a riff on Rose's Sour Cream Banana Cake from the Cake Bible. Some of the changes are the substitution of oil for butter, and creme fraiche for sour cream (although she does give the option to use sour cream). I decided not to use creme fraiche, deliciously creamy as it is, and then decided to sub plain full-fat yogurt for the sour cream. As I was already wandering off the page, so to speak, I also thumbed my nose at my food processor and used the immersion blender to puree the bananas and yogurt. This worked like a charm, and so much easier to clean!
The banana puree is added to turbinado sugar (another change--the Cake Bible cake is made with superfine sugar) in the mixer and whipped until the sugar dissolves. Other mixing stuff happens, which involve eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, oil, and some dry ingredients, but I can't really remember how it all goes.
My cake took awhile to fully bake, and even after 40 minutes (the maximum time) there was still a gooey spot in the top. You can see it in this photo, where the crack is:
We decided to skip the frosting (I wasn't too keen on pulling out the food processor) and instead ate the cake about 30 minutes after coming out of the oven with vanilla ice cream. This way, we could enjoy the cake warm and still got a little creamy love on the side. I bet the Dreamy Creamy frosting is incredible, but I couldn't be bothered. Do try it warm, with some ice cream, because it was really good!
The Sour Cream Banana Cake in the Cake Bible is wonderful, but a bit dense as well. This cake had a nice thin, crisp crust that gave away to insides that were light and almost feathery. It still had the same great banana flavor and wasn't too sweet. I like the caramel notes the turbinado sugar gives to this cake--in fact I think a salted caramel sauce would be a fantastic accompaniment. Super easy, super yummy, and a great source of potassium and fiber! Like last week's Pecan Torte, this Banana Cake was healthy and tasty breakfast. ;)