like to bake with bananas as they make things so flavorful and moist. A good
example is this Banana Cake, which has the delicate sweetness of mashed bananas
with a texture that is wonderfully soft and moist. While quite tasty on its own,
I love to cover it with a creamy smooth Chocolate Fudge Frosting. Perfect as a
This Banana Cake is a delicious recipe I
adapted from The Joy of Cooking.
Instead of the more common 'creaming' method where the butter and
sugar are creamed together and then you beat in the eggs, flour,
and liquid, this recipe uses what we call the 'one bowl' or
'quick method'. This method entails first blending all the
wet ingredients (bananas, sour cream, vanilla extract, and eggs) together.
Then, in your electric mixer, all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar,
leavening, salt, and ground cinnamon) are mixed
together. Next, the butter, along with part of the wet
ingredients, are beaten into the dry ingredients. This batter needs
to be beaten for about 90 seconds (to develop the cake's structure) and
then the remaining banana mixture is added. While this method may be a
little unusual, it reduces gluten formation which results in a cake that
literally melts-in-your-mouth with a velvety texture that is moist and dense. Just
make sure to have all the ingredients at room temperature and to follow the instructions on mixing.
I baked this cake in a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan, but you could bake
it in a bundt pan with excellent results. This cake can be stored for
several days at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Since bananas go so well
with chocolate, I chose to cover this cake with a chocolate fudge frosting.
is one I adapted
from the cookbook Chocolate Bar by Matt Lewis and Alison Nelson, who
run a chocolate boutique in New York that they call a "candy store for grown-ups". It is the type of chocolate frosting my mother always used to
cover cakes. Made with butter, confectioners (icing or powdered) sugar,
vanilla extract and unsweetened chocolate, it is perfect for covering
cakes and cupcakes. It uses unsweetened chocolate which is also known as baking, plain
or bitter chocolate. This is chocolate in its rawest form. Chocolate
liquor that has been refined and contains 50-55% cocoa butter. Since no
sugar has been added to the chocolate it has a strong, bitter taste that
is used in cooking and baking but is never eaten out of hand. When used in
this frosting it imparts a deep chocolate flavor.
Banana Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180
degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour, or spray with a non
stick vegetable/flour spray, a 9
inch (23 cm) round cake pan.
In the bowl of your food
processor, place the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Process just
until blended and smooth. Add the eggs and process until combined.
In the bowl of your
electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, (or with an electric hand mixer)
combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.
Add the softened butter, along with half the banana mixture, and beat on low
speed just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to
medium (on high if using a hand mixer) and beat the batter for 1 1/2 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the remaining banana mixture in
two additions, beating well after each addition. Pour the batter
into the prepared pan, smoothing the top, and bake
for about 35
to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let
cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. When completely cooled, frost with the
Chocolate Fudge Frosting.
Fudge Frosting: Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a
saucepan of simmering water (or in the microwave). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of
your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and
creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy
(about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the melted chocolate and
beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat
until frosting is smooth and creamy and of spreading consistency (about 2 -3 minutes).
Frost the top and sides of the cake. Can garnish with dried banana chips. Can be
stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for several days.
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