Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yummy Ugly Cake

Last night, I was in a baking kind of mood, and since the bananas on the counter had reached a "use 'em or chuck 'em" state, I dug out a recipe for banana cake. I'd never made it before, though I've made banana bread before, but never the sort you'd ice.

Now, I love to bake, and I'm pretty good at it, too. I've had my share of disasters, but they are fortunately not the norm. So I was a little surprised to pull my 2 little cake pans out of the oven to find that both centers had sunk a bit. Usually I'd blame that on the kids running through the kitchen, but since it was about 9.30pm, that option was unavailable to me.

Once it was finally cool, I started icing it, and oh. dear. As much as I like to bake, I seem to be generally rubbish when it comes to icing things. I can never seem to get it uniform and smooth and without loads of crumbs smeared throughout. By the time I was through with this sucker, it looked as if someone had tried to eat it and cover up the missing bits.

However, it was unanimously voted the best banana cake any of us had ever had. Those of us who don't like banana bread loved it, and even the dessert snob (that would be Eleanor), who turns her nose up at pretty much anything but ice cream and cookies, inhaled her piece. So, I am pleased to share with you the recipe for the Yummy Ugly Cake (aka Banana Cake), found here.

2 cups sifted all purpose flour

1tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup butter or veg shortening

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 mashed ripe bananas

2/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts (optional - these would probably be great, but some kids have "views" on nuts in their food)

1. Grease and flour well 2 round cake pans.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.

3. Separately, cream butter. Slowly add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with bananas and buttermilk and mix until smooth and blended. Add nuts if using.

4. Spoon batter into pans and bake at 350 for 25-30 min. Cool for 10 min, remove from pan and cool completely before adding...

Vanilla Frosting

4 tbsp butter, 2 tsp lemon zest, 3 cups sifted confectioners' (icing) sugar, 2 to 3 tbsp cream or milk, 1 tsp vanilla.

1. Beat butter and lemon until creamy. Gradually add half of the sugar, blending well.

2. Beat in 2 tbsp cream, vanilla, and remaining sugar. Add enough cream to make icing smooth and spreadable.

Just do a better job of icing the sucker than I did, please.