Tuesday, August 4, 2009

{TWD} Classic Banana Bundt Cake


My father always thought it funny that there are fruits - like grapes, or bananas - which I like just fine but I never really eat. It made perfect sense to me: I like those fruits but I just like other things more. Despite my best explanations he was never convinced. "How can you say you like grapes if you don't eat them," he'd say. Or, "if you don't eat bananas then you must not like them."

I don't even bother buying grapes (although I eat them at my mom's when I go there for lunch every week), but every now and then I'll grab a bunch of bananas when I'm at the store. I might eat half a banana here or there, but I might just as easily not get around to it. And then one day I look at the counter and they are over-ripe. The entire bunch. I wait until the peel is good and brown all over, then I mash them, measure them, scoop the mash into a plastic bag, and pop it in the freezer. Labelled with the date and quantity.

Luckily I love - and will eat - banana in baked goods. My husband loves it even more. Whole wheat banana bread is a breakfast staple at our house, and can be whipped up any time, thanks to that ready supply of frozen mashed banana.

When the August Tuesdays With Dorie recipes were announced, I quickly baked up the Classic Banana Bundt Cake so my husband could enjoy it before he left town for 2 weeks.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- At Christmas time I'd gotten a deep 7-cup pudding mold that was still sitting in its wrapper, so I decided to use it for this recipe. I scaled the recipe to 2/3 which I hoped would fit with room to spare.

- Frozen banana will get darker over time in the freezer, but it does not affect the flavor. I heaped my measure of banana.

- I used flour blend that is half all-purpose and half whole wheat.

- My duck egg was a bit scant compared to what I should have used. I figured it would make for a more dense cake, which is just fine with me. I'll take dense over fluffy any day of the week.

- I used regular Greek yogurt.

- To cut the saturated fat just a bit, I used 3/4 the amount of butter the (scaled) recipe called for and filled in the difference with light flavored olive oil and a dollop of extra yogurt.

- I was a little worried about the cake sticking to the deep mold, so I slathered it with butter and then floured the pan.

- The cake took a long time to bake and rose well above the rim. It got good and brown, but I left it in the oven until it started pulling away from the edges of the pan. I didn't want it to stick to the pan.

- I always hold my breath when turning a cake out of the pan. I pried the edges gently and luckily the cake released cleanly! (In the picture above you can see some of the white floury residue on the outside of the cake.)

- Since the bulk of my cake was destined for the freezer, I decided to leave it unglazed. Plus, if a bundt cake is good, I think a topping can distract from the cake's flavor. Guess I'm just a bundt cake purist.

I think I folded a bit too gently - the ingredients aren't mixed very evenly!
the verdict:

When I sliced into the cake I could see that it baked up incredibly moist - and surprisingly dense considering how much it rose in the pan. We were fresh out of any suitable ice cream flavors, so we had our cake totally unadorned. That turned out to be no problem at all, since it left us enough room to go back for seconds on cake! Because this cake was absolutely, positively delicious! As I reported on Twitter: "I didn't know a banana cake could be amazing." My husband's reaction: "This is unconscious!" (That's a compliment) In fact, when we were eating this we happened to be discussing my recent TWD anniversary and the "Top 10" list that I was compiling. My husband gestured to the banana cake and said "This needs to be on it." It will definitely make the revised list!

My husband enjoyed the cake two nights for dessert and two mornings for breakfast. I popped the remaining half cake in the freezer.

I wish my dad were around so I could share this cake with him and prove that indeed, I LOVE banana in baked goods, even if I still won't bother to eat a raw banana!

Thanks to Mary, The Food Librarian, for choosing this fabulous recipe (you can find the recipe on Mary's post, and see her beautiful cake, dusted with powdered sugar - wish I'd thought of that!) I hope another TWD baker chooses a bundt cake soon.

27 comments:

Kayte said...

Wow, this looks so pretty from your mold...very lovely. I would say this was a hit at your house...always nice when you score a hit!

jillbert said...

Fruit is good for you, and if it's in a cake, even better! I'm not sure what made this cake so delicious, but it certainly was.

Karen said...

Lovely!! :) Glad it turned out so well for you. I always love your substitutions!

Steph said...

I love grapes, but not totally crazy about bananas unless if they're smothered with PB or in banana bread.

Your already portioned frozen banana is such a great tip! I always freeze bananas, but sometimes it's a pain when I need a little more and have half of a frozen banana left. It's not like I can eat it either because it's all mushy, brown and yucky looking.

The cake looks really good! I kind of wished I used yogurt in mine. Sour cream made it a little too rich.

Clivia said...

I'm the same way about bananas. The rest of my family eats them and I like them, but unless I'm on a cold cereal kick, I simply ignore them.
Your photo with the three slices is so interesting. I'm glad the cake was a hit.

Fit Chick said...

Your cake is beautiful! I had sour cream on hand but will try with the greek yogurt next time. This was an amazing recipe, glad I got it out of the house or I would be doing cardio 24/7.

Audrey said...

It's so elegant in your pudding mold! (and p.s., your dad knows!)

isa said...

That cake look abolutely gorgeous!
Really love the shape of your cake pan!

Pamela said...

I think that last photo of the sliced cake is just so pretty. Like you, I like bananas okay, but put them in a baked good and I'll be the first in line. Pretty pan, too!

mike said...

How perfectly wonderful - with the glaze! I love thin, glazes like that - they never seem to distract from the "goods", just enhance them. Is that a vintage mold? It's so handsome-looking - perfect for this cake. I'm sure your father would give a thumbs up, and STILL ask why you make banana cake but never eat bananas! I'm putting this on my list as well! Beautiful Nancy!

Finsmom said...

Yours turned out so beautifully! Nice job!

Tracey said...

I love that mold - the cake is gorgeous! I slathered my pan with the cooking spray that contains flour in the hopes that it would release and fortunately it did! I'm glad this cake was such a huge hit with you guys. I enjoyed it too and I know I'll try it again and add either some chocolate or peanut butter in there somewhere.

margot said...

I admire your organized banana-freezing method, I just throw them in whole and hope for the best. That cake is stunning, what a beautiful cake mold. I'm glad you both enjoyed this so much.

natalia said...

Ciao Nancy ! Your pan is really beautiful (as you cake) ! i wish mine had come out as cleanly !!!

Marthe said...

I loved this too!!!

myfamousrecipe said...

I loved this cake. Your suggestions for lightening it up are great. I've had good luck substituting some applesauce for the butter before, too.

It's nice that you had an opportunity to use your deep pudding mold. It looks lovely!

pinkstripes said...

I have the opposite problem. I buy bananas and eat them all up before they turn brown and mushy. If I know I'm going to make a banana recipe I have to buy them and avoid eating them.

I like the mold, it makes a pretty cake. I'm glad it was a success.

spike. said...

That pan is great. I definitely like some fruits but will never eat them because there are others that are way better!

Natashya said...

It's gorgeous! I love the mould shape.

TeaLady said...

Your cake is beautiful. Love that pan.

And you are right, it was perfect all by itself wearing nothing. Definitely a Top Ten.

Sarah said...

Your cake looks amazing! Once again, I'm behind with TWD. I'm planning on making this cake over the weekend while I'm out of town. I'm glad this one went over so well in your house!

Di said...

Ooh, I like the mold. I have to admit, though, I really liked this with glaze on it. =) And I think I've eaten it as much for breakfast as at any other time of day.

Cathy said...

I also prefer bananas baked in things much more than plain banana. But we seem to have a harder time ending up with lots of overripe bananas, mainly because I give them to the kids, who take one bite and leave the rest, and I end up throwing them out. Bet there's a solution for that somewhere. Your cake looks incredible. I love your flour and oil modifications. So glad this was such a hit in your house!

Mary Ann said...

I just had to laugh about your banana dilemma. That happens to me everytime I buy bananas. I don't really enjoy eating them unless they are underripe, so I always end up with brown, squishy ones, waiting to be mushed into something fabulous.
Your banana cake is lovely. I love the mold you used!

Jess said...

How beautiful in the pudding mold. I'm with you on fruit - I like it, but I like other things more - but secretly happy that my 4 year old loves to eat it, all the time. This cake was a big hit in our house, too.

The Food Librarian said...

Ohhhh. That mold is STUNNING!! Love the cake!!!! Thanks for baking along with me this week!

vibi said...

Jealous of that pan... turned out to make the bundt that much more beautiful! WOW!