I think I owe you a cake post. Here I am talking about hotels, and travels, and footy but there has been a distinct lack of cake. Now anyone popping over from October Unprocessed ~ waves ~ hi! ~ is looking at this cake and probably saying ‘how is she listed on the #unprocessed posting roll-call and baking stuff like this?’. Easy, it’s not for me …
I have been making the cakes for work birthdays lately and, well, there is not quite the desire that I have to eschew sugar and butter and white flour in the office, so who am I to argue, right? You know what they say about the messenger. All that aside, from the tiny slice I had, this is a brilliant cake – unbelievable to be exact. It may have caused RJ to say that this is what he wants for his next birthday – what, no chocolate? horrors.
For this particular birthday a Banana Cake was requested. I have been experimenting with various Banana Bread recipes for years but have never made a proper Banana Cake. Good thing I’m a quick study [and modest too … ] A bit of cake inspiration from here, and some icing reference from here and I was off and running.
I roasted the bananas before mashing them – an idea that came from an issue of Cooking Light picked up in America-land [I miss that mag terribly, I may need to give in and get the international subscription, it will probably still cost me less than the cooking mags here, grrr] but it is not absolutely necessary. The passion-fruit adds just the right amount of tang to cut through the sweetness of the icing and the texture of the cake is just beautiful. If you want to see an imperfect picture of the inside, it’s over here. If you want a perfect Banana Cake recipe, this is it. Now I just need to go make some healthy Banana Bread too!
Perfect Banana Cake
Adapted from dishingup
1/2 cup [125g] butter – room temperature
1 cup brown sugar – lightly packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup roasted or very ripe banana* – mashed until smooth
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup natural or greek yogurt
Pulp from 2 passionfruit
White chocolate curls
Pre-heat oven to 180 C / 350 F.. Grease two 9″ round cake tins, line the bases with rounds of baking/parchment paper and tap flour around sides.
Beat butter with an electric mixer for 1 minute, add sugar and beat for another 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in banana until well combined, beat in eggs and vanilla. The batter may look curdled or separated at this stage, don’t worry!
Sift together dry ingredients [flour through salt]. Alternately beat flour mixture and yogurt into the banana mixture – starting and ending with flour. Scrape down bowl and mix only until well combined. Batter will be quite thick.
Divide evenly between pans and smooth tops. Tap once on countertop to release any bubbles. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Cool in tins 5 minutes, then turn out onto racks, remove paper from bases and cool completely.
Place first layer on a cake stand or board. If necessary, trim domed tops off [eat trimmings immediately, you need to test the cake after all] to create flat surface. Spread with some White Chocolate Cream Cheese Passion-Fruit Icing and drizzle with the pulp of 1/2 a passion-fruit.
Place second layer on top of the first and frost top and sides – you will have enough icing to do a crumb coat first and then cover again if you would like. Drizzle with pulp from remaining 1 1/2 passion-fruits*, decorate with banana chips and shaved curls of white chocolate.
Serves 8 – 18 depending on exactly how generous you want to be. 12 is a pretty safe bet.
- You have two options with the passion-fruit pulp – either drizzle the pulp as is straight over the top of the cake and allow to drip down the sides, or, simmer gently for 2 minutes to thicken before spooning over the top.
- To roast the banana place unpeeled fruit on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 C / 350 F. The skins will turn really black and you will get some liquid on the pan as well. Allow to cool and then peel, add the liquid back into the bananas when you mash them.
- For homemade banana chips, place thinly sliced banana pieces on baking paper and bake at 100 C / 215 F for approx 30 minutes, flipping after 15 mins, then every 5 minutes – keep an eye on them as they can go from perfect to charred very quickly, not that it happened to me on the first batch or anything…
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Passion-Fruit Icing
100g white chocolate – melted and cooled
125g [half a block] cream cheese
50g butter – room temperature
2 cups icing sugar – sifted
Pulp from 1 passion-fruit
Full Method in under 100:
Gently melt white chocolate in a bowl set over a pot of boiling water. Set aside to cool just to room temperature but make sure it is still melted.
Beat butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes until well combined. Beat in melted cooled chocolate, followed by icing sugar and passion-fruit pulp, until light and fluffy.
Spread over cooled cake. Or you know, eat with a spoon.