It was a quiet Friday afternoon and my younger daughter Riya and I were waiting for a call so that she could be picked up for her sleepover. I got a text message from a close friend- let's call her Supermom for reason of anonymity ( She will dispute this as she claims she is more of a Blur mom!).
'Quick question Nilo, does your family like banana cake?' My first thought was who doesn't? I mean I don't know anyone who doesn't like banana cake. It is by far one of the most simplest way to use up any old overripe bananas and it usually turns out pretty well. So no one should have any good reason to hate banana cake!!
Two surprises followed suit - its always nice to have good friends turn up unexpectedly and what 's more, she brings us a teatime treat! Supermom popped by my place to offer us a homemade banana cake wrapped in foil. I love home made cakes - no preservatives and no artificial flavors to make it more sellable. I peeled away the foil and the first thing that caught my eye was its unique color... ( see photo above) it was of pale yellow and it stuck to the foil. Banana cakes usually appear medium brown on the exterior with a light brown interior. Did Supermom take the cake out too early while rushing out to pick up her kids or to run her other ever mounting errands? I checked with her and she said it is supposed to be that way and apparently it has a unique cooking method ( which I will mention later).
Before she rushed out ( yet again! ) I did ask her this :
'Is everyone fine at home after eating your banana cake? '
Her reply ? 'No one has tried it yet !!' My next thought- Better keep emergency numbers ready - just in case!! ;))
My verdict ? Surprisingly soft and moist and with lovely light banana aroma.. No overpowering egg or butter smell or taste. Nice texture and it melts in your mouth ( I can imagine my friend going ' Nilo - you are exaggerating!' ) Kudos to you Supermom - you have another feather to add to your hat! But I did find it a little sweet for my taste buds.
One important cooking tip - if you are watching your sugar intake for whatever reasons, you must remember to adjust sugar when baking banana cakes. There is enough sweetness in over ripe bananas - I usually add only 1/2 or 2/3 of the sugar quantity suggested.
Supermom was generous enough to share her unique recipe with us. This Banana Cake is unique on so many fronts - color, texture, cooking method and an unusual ingredient in Banana Cakes - lemon juice.
Ingredients ( yields 12 servings)
1 and 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tsps baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 and 1/8 cups sugar (reduce to 1 and 1/2 cups if you prefer less sweet)
3 large eggs
2 tsps vanilla essence
1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk
Preheat your oven to 275 deg F or 140 deg C (or 120 deg C if you are using a fan oven) . Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
In a small mixing bowl, mix the mashed bananas with lemon juice and set aside.
In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in one egg at a time and then stir in the vanilla essence.
Beat in the flour mixture into the butter mix alternately with buttermilk. Stir in the banana mix.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
This part is the unique method of this recipe - once out of the oven, immediately place the banana cake into the freezer for 45 mins! Apparently, according to the recipe and Supermom, this is the magic step to make the cake moist and so melt in your mouth! I believe the sudden cold temperature halts the cooking process which then leaves the cake still in its moist form instead of further cooking and drying out in its pan even after removing from the oven.
Remove from freezer after 45 mins and enjoy an aromatic light banana cake...
Supermom had adapted this recipe from My Baking Addiction.
Note to Supermom:
We are fine after 3 days of having your delicious cake. Emergency numbers have been chucked aside for now :)) Thank you for sharing your recipe with us.