3.16.2009

Better Than (ahem) Anything Banana Cake

I have to thank Mary from gossip, hearsay and tittle tattle for this fabulous cake recipe. It uses very ripe bananas which makes it perfect for my house where poor untold amounts of bananas come to rot to death every year. They do make great additions to the compost heap but I'd rather eat them and compost the peels only. So if you have overly ripe bananas try this cake before they have to get composted.


THE MOST FABULOUS BANANA CAKE taken from Belinda Jeffery’s Mix and Bake cook book

1 ½ cups AP flour - I, of course used whole wheat to see if I could, I could

3 tsp baking powder

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

2-3 large very ripe bananas (to yield 1 cup mashed banana)

1 ⅔ cups castor sugar-superfine is the same as castor

2 eggs

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small chunks

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Roasted pecans to serve (optional)

ICING

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into small chunks

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small chunks

4 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350F

Butter and flour a deep 26cm ring tin- I used a 9X13 I will continue to look for a smaller but deeper pan

Put the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a food processor and whiz them together for 15 seconds, then tip them into a bowl

Mash the bananas and measure out 1 cup banana pulp. Scrape this into the processor and puree it until it’s smooth

Add the sugar and eggs and whiz together for 1 minute

Add the butter and whiz it for another minute or until the mixture is thick and creamy

Now add the buttermilk and vanilla extract and pulse the processor in quick on/off bursts to just mix them in

Add the reserved flour mixture and again mix it in with quick bursts, scraping down the sides once or twice with a rubber spatula, until it’s only just combined (don’t overdo it or the cake will be tough) Scoop the batter into the prepared tin and smooth it out evenly.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean; it won’t have risen much as it’s quite dense

Don’t open the oven any earlier than this or the cake can sink in the middle

Cool the cake in the tin on a wire rack for 7 minutes, gently loosen the cake around the edges with a butter knife or fine palette knife, then invert it onto the rack and leave it to cool completely

While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Whiz the cream cheese and butter in the food processor until they’re well mixed

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and process until the icing is smooth. Scrape it into a bowl and chill it for about 15 minutes to firm it up if it seems a bit too soft (this usually only happens in really hot weather)-- HA!

When the cake is cool, sit it on a serving plate or cake stand and carefully cut through the circumference widthways with a *long serrated knife to split it into two even layers. Spread some icing on the bottom layer, then sandwich the two halves back together again. Spread a thick layer of icing all over the top and sides of the cake and smooth it as best you can with a long palette knife

Serve the cake straight away or refrigerate it. It keeps well for up to 1 week – just bring it back to cool room temperature before eating it. Either leave the top plain or decorate it with roasted pecans

*use dental floss for a super easy cut

I left a lot of the terminology that came with the original recipe because I like the way it reads, it's very different than any recipe I have read. I also converted the ingredients to something Americans can understand easily.


When Mary asked if I wanted a great cake recipe I was a little apprehensive about a banana cake. Banana? I had never heard of Banana Cake but Mary is from Australia and according to her this is a true blue Australian recipe. OK that right there said " you must make this cake" I love to try recipes that have not been grabbed by the commercial world and processed to death and zealously marketed. I bet Outback Steakhouse doesn't have a humble banana cake. I am making that statement having never actually been to a Outback Steakhouse as I truly try to avoid nationwide franchise chain frankenfood 'restaurants' so correct me if you want but even if they do it can't hold a candle to this simple fabulous cake. Thanks Mary, it was better than you said and I can't wait to make your chocolate cake.


I do have pictures but I am sitting quietly in a coffee shop, alone, sans camera so when I get home pictures will, of course, be added.

6 comments:

  1. I've got bananas in the fridge too! Hooray!

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  2. OH my gosh girl this is amazing! The only bad thing is I can't make it since I would actually eat the whole thing. The frosting wouldn't even make it to the cake, because frosting is a very bad habit. Yes My name is Alexis and I'm addicted to frosting :).

    Can't wait for pictures, because then I'll have to make it .. LOL

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  3. This sounds amazing - I think I'll try it. Thank you!

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