Saturday, February 25, 2012

Old-Fashioned Banana Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting

A few things I know about life thus far in my 29.66 years of living.

--Attitude accounts for a lot of success in life
--Having bright colors in your home and in your wardrobe will make you happier. This is truth.
--New York is memorable any time of the year you go
--Paris is as good as you dream it up to be
--Babies cheeks are meant only for kissing a thousand times a day
--Reading books is not a waste of time (as long as they are good)
--If you have already asked someone three times to repeat what they said and still can't understand it, just nod and go with it
--The banana might just be the best piece of produce God created


Think here. Brainstorm all the functionalities bananas offer. I'll start: eating. Cereal garnishing. Breads. Cakes. Muffins. Cookies. Smoothies. Ice cream. Did I say cakes? Grilling. Nutella dipping. Peanut Butter sandwiches. Puree for baby. Milk (see Nestle's selection). Dehydrated. Popsicles. Laffy Taffy flavor.

No offense, Mr. Green Grape, but you ain't so versatile.

We're going to be one of those families with all boys that go through 10 lbs of bananas in a week. This makes me question if we should be living somewhere a bit more tropical and conducive to banana growing, in the which case I'd be more than happily obliged to pick up shop and move.

Until then, old-fashioned banana cake is fun and slightly less predictable then the kinda predictable but never disappointing banana bread. It's just that this has cream-cheese frosting encroaching its entire surface.

I mean, does anyone have anything to say against that?

Yes, I thought not.

Last minute tip: opt for under baking this slightly if anything- I got nervous about a mildly-jiggly center and committed the blunder of overcooking it by five minutes and by day two, it was completely dried out like the Sahara.

Old Fashioned Banana Cake w/Cream Cheese Frosting

{Barefoot Contessa, How Easy is That? cookbook}

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream (Ina would never use low-fat, so, neither should we. Right?)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour, after sifting

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream cheese frosting (not optional here)

Walnut halves, for decorating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 2-inch round cake pan, or line the pan with a piece of parchment or wax paper cut to fit inside the cake pan. Spray the liner and sides lightly with cooking spray.

Mix bananas, granulated sugar and brown sugar in bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add oil, eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add flour, baking soda and salt. With mixer on low, mix just until combined. Stir in chopped walnuts if using. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, turn out onto cooling rack.

Serve warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar, or cool completely and top with Cream Cheese Frosting and walnuts.

Cream Cheese Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (1/2 pound)

MIX cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment on low speed until just combined. Don’t whip. Add sugar and mix until smooth. Garnish cake with walnuts.

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