Monday, February 14, 2011

Bananas Gone Bad

You've seen them; sitting there in the fruit basket on the counter, growing progressively darker every day, and giving off a sticky sweet smell.  What to do with those bananas that no one seems to want to eat?  They are too soft for cutting up and putting on cereal, and definitely too ugly to send in a school lunch, people will talk.  It's a good idea to take care of over-ripe bananas before they get up and walk off the counter.
My friends Ellen and Dan Einstein at the Sweet 16th Bakery in Nashville have just the cure for those Oscar the Grouch style Bananas.

 A version of this recipe appears in Dorie Greenspan's Baking from my Home to Yours, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my version with you.  Every cook should have this recipe in their repertoire since banana bread is so yesterday, and this light cake is so much more delicious!

Classic Southern Banana Cake
Makes one 10-inch tube or Bundt cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 tablespoons Bourbon
2 large eggs
4 very ripe bananas mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup sour cream
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat the inside of a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy.  
  3. Stir in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute.  Stir in the bananas. 
  4. Add the flour, baking soda and salt, along with the sour cream, beating until the mixture is smooth. 
  5. Scrape the batter into the pan, and smooth the top.
  6. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  7. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack and cooling completely.  Keeps at room temperature for about 5 days, or frozen for about 2 months.  
A few notes about Bundt or tube pan cakes:
  • Always time the cooling period for 10 minutes once you remove the pan from the oven, otherwise it will stick like glue to the pan.
  • Use a good quality non-stick cooking spray like Bakers' Joy; NEVER use Pam, it will ruin your cookware with a gummy residue you will never get off.  
  • This type cake generally doesn't need a frosting, a sprinkling of confectioners' sugar is a lovely garnish. 
 After 10 minutes, remove from the pan to cool completely, then set this beauty on a cake pedestal, because that's what it deserves!

Happy Valentines' Day everyone.  Mine has been spent with mia famiglia Italiana, and it has been stupendo!  More on our adventures throughout the week--today's lunch was In and Out Burger!  I'm wondering what that says about my cooking!

No comments:

Post a Comment