Saturday, January 19, 2008
I find bananas very motivational. You can buy them, ignore them, and then discover they're perfectly ripe for baking. Some of my favorite recipes involve bananas: Abigail Johnson Dodge's banana cake with chocolate frosting, Bill Granger's banana upside-down cake, Pichet Ong's banana bread, Flo Braker's banana cake with espresso caramel frosting...
I loved this banana gugelhupf from Kaffeehaus as soon as I tasted it. It's very delicate- that's not a word I usually associate with banana desserts. More often I call them hearty, comforting, rich, rustic, or indulgent.
Powdered sugar and heavy cream give this cake a very fine crumb that slices beautifully. The lemon zest makes the cake wonderfully fragrant and unique tasting. I'm tempted to try adding some lavender in the future, or a lavender glaze like my friend at Cookworm has used.
I wish i'd made this for an occasion; it makes me so crazy when I bake something fantastic and I can't find people to share it with. I gave huge pieces to a neighbor on the seventh floor and my old roommate's boyfriend, but there's still half a cake looking lonely on my counter-top.
adapted from Rick Rodgers' Kaffeehaus
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F. Butter the inside of a 9 to 9.5 inch Gugelhupf mold or fluted tube pan. Coat with flour and tap out the excess. (I just used PAM.)
2. Beat the butter in a medium bowl with a hand held electric mixer on high speed until smooth , about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the confectioners' sugar. Return the speed to high and beat until very light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, beating well after each addition.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk the bananas, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and lemon zest until the sugar is dissolved. With the mixer on low speed, one third at a time, alternately beat in the flour and banana mixtures, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, until the batter is smooth. Pour into the pan and smooth the top.
4. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto the rack and cool completely. The cake can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered with plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature.
at 8:39 AM