Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Banana Brunch

 This recipe is from a family brunch last year.  Brunch is a rarity in my life. I work on Saturday
and Sunday mornings.  But I love brunch, and where else can you have toasted bagels, smoked salmon (lox) and cake in the same meal.  As my dad says "If that ain't yum, I don't know what is."

  This cake was really different than I first thought it would be/taste. It is not super cake-y. The cake was really moist and fresh. Now I am not big on anything banana. In fact, my friends can tell you, almost anything banana really disgusts me, the exception being banana nut bread.  Growing up a friend's mom made the best banana bread. I loved her banana bread and still to this day have the recipe. The difference in the banana bread, the reason I actually liked her bread is the same reason I liked this cake. This cake was moist, it had multiple textures like the nuts and soft banana bits. It is really a combination of a cake and a bread. It is sweet but not cake-sweet and of course, it made a perfect brunch cake.
I dressed this banana-nut cake up up with  powdered sugar and fresh cranberries.

Banana Nut Cake: Recipe from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts

7 ounces (2 cups) pecan halves or large pieces

2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large or 4 small bananas (to make 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups mashed)
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
Adjust rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 375˚ degrees/ Butter a 9 x 3 1/2 -inch tube pan and dust it all over lightly with fine, dry, bread crumbs.

In a small bowl, toss the nuts with about 1 tablespoon of the flour to coat them thoroughly. Set aside. Sift remainder of the flour with the baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl of electric mixer, break up bananas. Beat them at low speed only enough to mash. You should get 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups. Set aside.

In a large bowl of mixer (with same beaters) beat the butter to soften it a bit. Add vanilla and sugar and beat for a few minutes, using a rubber spatula as necessary to hep mixture blended. Add the eggs and continue to beat for 1 to 2 minutes. On lowest speed add half of the dry ingredients, then the buttermilk, and then the remainder of the dry ingredients, continuing to scrape bowl with rubber spatula as necessary. Add mashed bananas, beating only enough to blend. Remove from mixer. Stir in nuts.

Turn batter into prepared pan. Level top by rotating pan briskly back and forth. Bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours on until cake tester comes out dry.

Cool in pan on rack for about 10 minutes. Cover with rack or a small cookie sheet. Invert and remove pan. Cover with rack and invert again to cool, right side up.

1 comment:

  1. Cake looks super delicious made even better with the powdered sugar and cranberries. Makes me hungry.

    It has been years since I made banana bread. Love it too.

    It is strange you did bagels and lox. I had that twice this past week. One of my all time faves. First it is so easy and two so delish!! I put chopped red onions & chopped tomatoes, and capers on mine.


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