Sunday, October 16, 2011

I am 37


I celebrated by doing nerdly innocuous things all day. Like go to the Portland Nursery to buy apples, and ride my dreadful bike. I went over to my brother's house, which had no electricity, and had family dinner, and we were all glad that a) the self-destruction of his electric meter did not result in anything worse, that b) my brother in law had cooked the turkey at his house, c) that a gas grill makes really good roasted cauliflower and d) cake.

The cake is an improved version of the banana cake I made before.

Banana cake 2

1 package TJ's freeze-dried bananas
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Pre-heat the oven to 350.
Butter & flour a 9 x 12" pan

Pulverize the bananas in a food processor until they are a very fine powder. Cream the butter, sugar, and banana powder together until the mixture is very smooth and light. Add the eggs and vanilla, and continue to beat until the batter has an even fluffy texture. Sift in the dry ingredients alternating with the milk, mixing gently but thoroughly between each addition. Spread the batter in the pan and tap it gently on the counter so that any big air bubbles pop out. Bake for about 25 min, then allow it to cool before removing from the pan.

The previous post on this subject covered most of the important points, but there are a few things I should point out:

I used the same cream cheese frosting as I did the last time I made cake, although I forgot to mention at the time that the strawberry portion needs an additional 2 or 3 tablespoons of water. The strawberries reconstitute very rapidly, and will make the frosting too thick and sticky to spread without a little more liquid.

This cake did not rise as much as the other one. I think my oven is getting worse. I made this, and the top of the batter did not cook at all well. It still tastes good, but the upper stratum of each cake layer is a smidge under-done. Regardless, I think that the formula I used this time is an improvement over the last one.

I have slightly mixed feelings about this cake. On the plus side, the insides of this version are much more visually appealing, I think. The freeze-dried bananas don't brown the batter the way fresh ones do, and the contrast with the pink icing is better. On the minus side, this still needs either an electric mixer to get more air in the batter, or more leavening. The cake is quite dense, rather than fluffy, but I'm not going to be too picky.  More importantly, it has a subtle but rich banana flavor which is enhanced by the frosting.

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