Friday, September 16, 2011

Golden Banana Cake

Golden Banana Cake - made September 10, 2011 from Simply Sensational Desserts by Francois Payard (book #161)

Several people have recommended that I should roast bananas before using them in baking.  I always mean to because it sounds like it would be additional delicious flavor but I typically end up putting overripe bananas in the freezer to use later and when I thaw them, the bananas are mush and probably wouldn't roast well.  This time, however, I finally remembered to keep ripe bananas out and roast them before using.  These weren't super-ripe bananas like I would normally bake with but I figured roasting them would make them flavorful enough.

Hmm, not sure that ended up being a good call.  I think two things went wrong: 1) I should've used over-ripe bananas like I normally do.  The ones I used were ripe but not over-ripe.  And we all know over-ripe bananas are the best to use to bake with.  2) I don't think I roasted the bananas long enough to really let them caramelize which is the point of roasting them in the first place.  The reason I know I didn't roast them long enough is they weren't mushy enough when I took them out of the oven to mash up.  They didn't smell caramelized either, just banana-y. Bad sign.  I don't know how this recipe would've turned out if I had properly over-ripe bananas.  The texture came out okay but it wasn't fabulous.  I gave some to my parents and my mom's opinion: "this isn't very good".  Ouch.  Honest to a fault, my mom - lol!  I didn't think it was that bad.  But it did have more of the dense texture of a bread than a real cake so that probably didn't help.  If you do try this recipe, go with the ripest, blackened-skin bananas you can find. 

 1 cup (145 grams) all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of baking soda
8 tablespoons (1 stick - 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) olive oil
3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
4 large eggs
1 extra-ripe medium banana, peeled and mashed

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter, olive oil and sugar at low speed. Increase the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the mashed banana. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  4. Bake the cake for 55 to 60 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on the rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, 1 week refrigerated or 2 months frozen.

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