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.
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.
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.