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.
- 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!
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.