Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ebony Banana Cake—Craigslist “Best of”

With over-ripe bananas and no pan for banana bread, I searched out some alternatives. Banana pudding sounded interesting, as did banana pancakes, but neither came up with good recipes. Finally, I came across the Ebony Banana Cake, which I'd saved several months back on craigslist, amongst the “best of” posting.

It was simple enough to throw together, after making my own buttermilk and buying a whole bottle of (gold) rum...dark rum and buttermilk seem to be specialty items here. I threw the sugar and rough lemon zest in our mini-food processor, which worked beautifully for creating a fine grate.

The cake got burnt a bit, as everything seems to in this oven. One day I'll learn to gauge temperatures better. I had the dial almost all the way to the low flame. Next time, I guess we'll go for low.

Still, it turned out delicious. I skipped the powdered sugar, and think even with the sugar, it lacks the presentation and wow factor necessary for company, but is a yummy treat to have at home. (I also got more practice with “food pictures.” I'm trying to replace all my internet steals with my own photos.)

10 minutes to prep, 1 hour to bake. 30 seconds to consume.
Makes 1 9-by-9-inch cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda (or less)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed -- about 11/2 cups
1 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs, beaten
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon dark rum

1. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. Beat together bananas, sugar and zest. Slowly add beaten eggs. Slowly add melted butter. Add buttermilk, vanilla and rum.

3. Add sifted dry ingredients, mixing only until just incorporated. Deposit in a 9-by-9 Pyrex baking dish that's been greased with butter or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven, approximately 1 hour.

4. Test center of cake for doneness. Cake will spring to the touch when finished. Cool on a rack. Invert cake when completely cool. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

*My notes: next time I'll increase the rum to 1T, because I think it'd add some more complexity, and possibly add more vanilla.

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