Thursday, December 11, 2014
banana cake with peanut butter frosting.
Why hello there! It's been a while. Somehow I feel that's the tone I've been adopting for all recent blog entries. It pains me to admit it but my interest in baking has been waning somewhat. But I'm sure I'll get my motivation back when I get to sample some of the finest pastries ever created during my upcoming holiday trip (Japan I'm coming for you!).
The inspiration for this cake stems from pictures of flower-adorned cakes I found on Instagram. I'm actually not really a fan of using non-edible decorations because I feel that there are many other options that can both make a cake look good and complement the flavours of the cake. Flowers and figurines are eye-catching of course but using them feels like cheating (although I make an exception for the miniature reindeers and santa clauses on log cakes). Out of curiosity though, I felt like trying to embellish a cake with flowers just for once.
I decided to get fake flowers so that I could reuse them if I thought them to be acceptable decorations for cake after all. My original plan was to bake a regular round cake (i.e. not using a tube pan) and have the flowers, with their stems removed and all, arranged on the surface and sides in some artsy fartsy manner but I had a change of heart in the midst of brutally twist-snapping the stems off and decided to make use of the cavity of a cake baked in a tube pan. I would position the flowers in the cavity like I would flowers in a vase. To finish I would pipe a basket weave pattern on the sides of the cake because y'know, flowers, basket. Yeah. (I swear that sometimes even I can't keep up with myself.) I'm pleased with the way the cake turned out to be honest. I quite like the combination of colours of the flowers. But when you slice the cake you have to remove the flowers in the centre and poof just like that the magic noticeably disappears.
Well, I wasn't planning to bake a cake solely for experimenting with flower decoration; I wanted an excuse to bake my favorite banana bread again as well. This is my go-to recipe for banana bread - it practically screams banana and is extremely extremely moist. Even if you eat it straight from the fridge when it's supposed to be so cold flavours can't come through very prominently you can definitely tell that it's banana bread with your eyes closed. And I love how the top of the cake gets a little gummy when I wrap it while it's still warm and leave it like that to cool.
Even if you have no interest in adorning your next cake with flowers I sincerely urge you to try this recipe. Peanut butter frosting mandatory.
Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
cake recipe adapted from Flour Bakery
I scaled down the recipe by half and baked it in a 6 inch tube pan but the quantities reflected below are the original recipe's. You will need a loaf pan about the size of a 9 x 5 inch.
For the cake:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
2 tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
For the frosting:
refer to this post
Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat the sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Drizzle in the oil. Add the mashed bananas, creme fraiche and vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients and nuts.
Pour into the lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Cool cake completely before frosting.