Thursday, March 5, 2009

Banana Cake Fantasia

I can't eat bananas except cooked into a cake. I don't ever buy bananas but when I live with people who bring them into the house and then let them turn black in the fruit bowl I'm quite happy to make cake! One of the secrets of good banana cake is very very ripe bananas mashed very thoroughly.

I'm not actually sure of the origins of this recipe, but it is by far the best banana cake that I have made. Probably because of the large quantity of butter. I remember visiting Grandma and Grandpa in America and being surprised that butter was not ever put on the table, just used in baking and margarine was the table spread. New Zealand being butter-land, butter was not priced as a luxury until a few years ago. Now its expensive but I'm too attached to the taste, and concerned about the nasty chemicals in margarine, to give it up.

For an everyday cake, rather than a celebration one, I just sieve icing sugar on top instead of making icing/frosting. I think it actually looks more enticing than an iced cake, promising delicacy and fluff. It also reminds me of this super-sweet art installation I saw at a festival in Melbourne in January this year.

Best Banana Cake

This cake is perfect for making in a food processor. Make sure you cream the butter and sugar until they really are creamy, not just combined. The smoother those first ingredients are, the better the cake will taste.

Cream together:
  • 250g (1 cup) butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (scant)
Beat in gradually:
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 mashed bananas

Mix in a cup:
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp milk

  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 450g flour

Add to the creamed mix, alternating wet and dry.

Finally add:
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Pour into a cake pan and bake about 1 hour at 180/350 degrees, until brown and springy on top, and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

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