Friday, September 9, 2011

Banana Cake

There are many good things in this world. One good thing is any kind of cake that has bananas in it. Another good thing is when you can make a delicious cake without worrying about ingredients being added in a specific order.

My Father’s wife, Eve, makes a very good banana cake. I recently had a panic attack because I could not find her recipe and could not reach her – it was a true banana cake emergency. While I waited for her to send the recipe again, I made some calls. My Mother, sensing the emergency, directed me to an almost identical recipe in the ancient copy of Better Homes and Gardens that she had given me several years ago. It is falling apart – pages are stuffed back in to the broken binder in a haphazard way. The spine is broken. Some pages are stuck together, others are stained with butter and chocolate, or splattered with tomato sauce. All the signs of a well-loved cook book.

There are three differences between the BH&G recipe and Eve’s recipe – BH&G uses shortening (ugh), 2 eggs, and bakes for 30 – 35 minutes. Eve’s uses butter (yum), 3 eggs, and bakes for 1 hour. The recipe below is Eve’s. Judge yourselves accordingly.

Eve’s Banana Cake

2 1/3 cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups mashed bananas (~3 medium bananas)
2/3 cups chopped nuts or chocolate chips (or you can use a mixture of both)
2/3 cups butter
2/3 cups buttermilk (or you can use 2/3 cup 2% milk + 1 tblsp lemon juice....mix it together while combining other ingredients)
3 eggs
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray cooking spray on a Bundt pan. Beat everything together, on low, scraping sides several times, for 30 seconds. Then beat on high for 3 minutes. Pour into pan and bake for one hour. It’s done when a wooden skewer comes out clean. If you happen to pierce a chocolate chip, pierce again in another spot to check for doneness.

Let the pan sit on a wire rack for a few minutes. Use a butter knife to loosen the cake gently from the sides if it has stuck in any spots. Flip the cake out of the pan onto a wire rack. Once it is cool, transfer to a cake plate.
This cake is so moist it doesn't need icing. If you decide you want some anyway, I recommend a light glaze of some sort.

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