Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Banana Refrigerator Cake



I'm back!  Planets have come into alignment and I have found my way back into the kitchen.  This Banana Cake made me return - it has a force greater than gravity - resistance is futile.  I have actually made it about four times, each time slavishly following Rose's instructions.  Using the food processor to whiz the banana's, creme fraiche and eggs, stand mixer to mix the sugar and egg mixture together before sifting in the dry ingredients and beating for another few minutes  blah, blah blah.  Last night I took charge, ditched my slavish approach and went for a PB preparation time.  On your marks... that is 8.23pm for those that can't really see it that well.
The clock had started.  No mis en place, in fact, ingredients were still in the cupboards, pan unprepared.  I used my teeny tiny Kenwood hand mixer food processor thingy to whiz my black bananas and creme fraiche and eggs and vanilla.


It was the perfect size really, and I should never forget that!  And alot more simple to clean afterwards.  The rest of the ingredients I just mixed in a bowl with a whisk, and I sifted nothing.
The mix emulsified quite quickly and I had no issues with the flour not mixing in properly.  All in the pan and ready for the oven by 8.39pm.  So, 16 minutes from start to finish.  I don't think I could make a packet mix in that time... mainly because I would spend 15 minutes having a personal crisis and a flagellation about using said packet mix.  The horror!




Into the oven for I am not sure how long.  I think roughly the time Rose said.  I can't remember, because I didn't take a photo of the microwave clock... um, perhaps my short term memory ain't quite as hot as it used to be.  I blame sleep deprivation (although I do wonder when the placenta will vacate my short term memory area-can someone please reassure me?).



The Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate icing (or whatever it is called) is easy to make, so long as everything (just the cream cheese and butter really) is at the right temperature.  If not, which it wasn't for me, then 10 seconds in the microwave at 20% power make things right.  I did use the electric hand beater for the icing.  Cream cheese, butter, a dollop of creme fraiche and the secret ingredient of white chocolate.  This is bliss, absolute bliss.  Make it.  Like Vicki, you will be wanting to run away with it, forsaking all other icings.
 I am really rubbish at applying icing, so the before photos always look much prettier than the after photos... can I please request at the HCB'ers get together that some of the more talented (everyone else!) leads a hands on tutorial?

I first made this cake with Kate Flour and it worked okay, but did end up with the wet layer that Rose talked about.  I made it with Gold Medal All Purpose - same deal a very slight wet stodgy layer.  With the cake flour - perfection.  Even crumb, delicate, the oil allows the banana flavour to really shine.  I assume that butter masks some of that flavour in a traditional banana cake.  I left out the lemon zest this time - I can't discern it in the final cake.  I also left out the almond essence in the icing, only because I think almond essence is the work of the devil.  Along with cherry essence.

My lazy method resulted in a slightly less high cake, but really, not a deal breaker for me.  The lazy method wins out.  I mean, 16 minutes, a few rotting banana's and some creme fraiche, some white chocolate and cream cheese... it doesn't get more simple than that.  Plus no flagellation required (unless you are into that kind of thing).

This cake is so easy and quick and reliable, it will forever be in my cake universe, on an orbit similar to Mars.  Assuming that US cake flour is also in that same orbit.

I am looking forward the Whoopie Pies this weekend.  I sampled my very first one about two months ago and I was massively unimpressed.  The frosting was gritty, the cake itself dry... it can only be up from there.

7 comments:

  1. wow, your live traffic feed is pretty cool! has that always been there and i just never noticed?

    anyhoots, your cake looks great and now i am regretting not making the frosting. now that i know it can safely be made without the food processor it doesn't seem like such a pain to make! thanks for timing the prep--that was fun to see.

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  2. Nicola! You renegade! So glad you're back in the kitchen with your tight schedule. I loved this cake and am very glad to know it will survive being handled without kid gloves and the blasted flour sifter. About the placenta leaving your brain? About the time kids go off to college which puts you in starting position for long term memory loss!

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  3. Welcome back to baking, Nicola! Your banana cake looks great. I did the exact opposite: follow the instructions to the T. I usually like to whip the eggs + sugar until light and fluffy, add oil to emulsify, then bananas, and finally the dry ingredients. It was a good cake and a big hit at the potluck today!

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  4. I'm soo glad you are back.. I was like where is she? where is she? And of course your post did not disapoint me, had me laughing at my desk, during a very BORING afternoon of a gorgeous day THAT IM NOT ENJOYING OUTSIDE, but at my COLD, OFFICE DESK (there, all frustrations are out there).

    I have to agree this cake... top 5. And now that I know we can drop the rules and be all over the place with the instructions, I will be making it more and more.

    I mean... HELLO - BANANAS!

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  5. Hi Nicola, welcome back! Glad the planet realigned. I've been missing your funny posts :).To answer your question on my blog: I don't know. I think my bananas was not ripe enough that's why the color is lighter. I actually wished I had let it ripen more - the darker cake looks yummier and I bet they smell more bananas!

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  6. ב''ה

    Your cake looks really great!

    About the placenta thing, just chalk it off to pregnasia...

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  7. I actually really like the homey look of slathered frosting! so, you've made the cake over and over...I think I'll be joining you in that...welcome back:)

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