Archive for: banana
Bananas foster is a dessert that was created in 1951 by Paul Blangé at Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana, and was named for Richard Foster, a friend of the owner. It is a dish where bananas are cooked in a caramel sauce made with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and rum, then served over vanilla ice cream. The dish is a hit because of its dramatic presentation. It was prepared tableside in the restaurant’s dining room, cooked over a portable burner. When the rum was added to the hot pan, the alcohol would immediately catch on fire and shoot up in a blaze of color. The flame would only last for a minute, while the alcohol burned off, then the bananas would be served.
The dessert became popular for the presentation, but it has stayed popular because bananas, butter, caramel and rum are a great combination. Bananas foster is a dessert that is very easy to make at home and it can still be just as dramatic to make if you have your family or friends gather around when you get to the rum part of the sauce. The classic recipe uses banana liqueur for extra banana flavor, but I prefer to add just a little vanilla extract to my version of bananas foster instead.
I make my bananas foster in a skillet, using a smaller one for this version and a larger one if I’m going to feed a crowd (the recipe can be doubled). First, I prepare the caramel, then toss in my sliced bananas. Slicing the bananas lengthwise gives the dish a classic look, but you can slice them into smaller rounds if you prefer. I cook them on both sides for a few minutes, then add in my rum. Be very careful when you do this. If your pan is very hot, the rum might catch fire on its own. If it doesn’t, just use a match or a lighter to give it a spark and you’ll have that brilliant alcohol flame in no time. The sauce cooks until the fire goes out, then it is ready to serve over vanilla ice cream.
This Banana Buttermilk Chocolate Cake is the kind of classic cake that never goes out of style. It’s the kind of cake that you can bring to bake sales or barbecues, and even serve at dressy dinner parties. It is also very easy to make, so it’s the type of recipe that you can keep “in your back pocket” for occasions when you need a cake quickly. In short, it is an all purpose cake recipe and it is absolutely delicious.
Bananas and chocolate share the flavor spotlight in the cake. There are very generous amounts of both mashed banana and cocoa powder in the cake batter, and they contribute to a cake that is extremely moist and has a very tight, tender crumb to it. There are subtle butter and vanilla undertones here, but chocolate and banana are the stars. The cake is very satisfying, but it is not to rich or heavy, so you can eat a generous slice without feeling stuffed, too.
I baked this cake in a 10-inch ring pan, but it can also be baked in a bundt pan. The baking time will be about the same, but don’t forget to grease and flour your bundt pan to ensure that the cake comes out cleanly. You can serve it plain, or top it off with a drizzle of chocolate or cream cheese frosting. You can even turn it into a sundae with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The cake keeps well for several days when stored in an airtight container, and you can even freeze a few (unfrosted) slices to save for another day.
Banana bread isn’t the only option when you have a bunch of overripe bananas sitting in your kitchen. Sometimes you want something a little bit dressier than a plain loaf of banana bread and this Banana Cake with Orange Caramel Glaze is a great option. The cake is just as easy to make as banana bread (and it makes good use of those leftover bananas!), but it looks a little bit fancier when it comes out of the pan.
The cake is moist, tender and much less dense than most regular banana breads are, though it still has a wonderful banana flavor to it. It is baked in a 9-inch cake pan and kept as a single layer. It’s amazing how much just changing the shape of your baking pan can change the presentation for a dessert, elevating this banana cake from a brunch snack to a dinner party-worthy dessert. That said, this is simple enough to put together that I would typically make this to keep around my kitchen for snacking.
You could easily put a cream cheese icing on top of this cake, or even a thin layer of vanilla buttercream. I made a simple caramel glaze with brown sugar and orange juice that is drizzled over the top of the cake after it has cooled. The glaze has a slightly buttery, brown sugar flavor and just a hint of orange to it. I use light brown sugar in my caramel, but dark brown will give you a more intense flavor if you prefer to use that. Since the amount of glaze is quite small, I did not bother cooking it in a saucepan, but instead simply combined the ingredients in the microwave until the caramel was slightly thickened.
A freshly baked batch of muffins is often reserved for the weekends, when we have the luxury of being able to spend some extra time in the kitchen and some extra time to drink coffee, read the paper and relax. But muffins can easily be an everyday food, especially if you make a batch that has a few health-conscious tweaks made to it, and you can bake a batch over the weekend to enjoy even on a busy weekday morning.
These Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins are that everyday type of muffin. Packed with fresh mashed banana, they are made with whole wheat flour, vegetable oil and have a handful of heart-healthy nuts thrown into the batter to add a little extra texture and flavor. The muffins are moist and have that same tight, dense crumb that a traditional loaf of banana bread will have, as opposed to a light and cake-like crumb. They have a good banana flavor, accented with a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar. They muffins aren’t too sweet and you can taste the nuttiness of the whole wheat flour, which actually works well with the nuts in the muffins.
I prefer to use white whole wheat flour in these muffins because the finished product is slightly lighter than muffins made with regular whole wheat flour, although both will work just fine in the end. I typically use a mixture of chopped pecans and walnuts in these. You can opt for one or the other – or even use chocolate chips if you want to make these slightly healthy muffins a little more indulgent.
These muffins, like banana bread, store quite well. They will stay moist and fresh in an airtight container for a few days if you’re not going to eat them all at once. They also freeze fairly well, though I like to wrap the individually so that they’re a little more convenient to grab for snacking. They’re good plain, but I also like them warmed up and served with a little smear of salted butter on top.
Bananas go very well with both peanut butter and with chocolate, and when you put those three elements together in one cake, the result is irresistible. And irresistible is just how I would describe a slice o this Chocolate Peanut Butter Topped Banana Snack Cake. The snack cake consists of a layer of moist banana cake that is topped with a thin layer of salty-sweet peanut butter and drizzled with melted chocolate.
I was inspired to create this cake after making a batch of my Peanut Butter Tasty Kakes, a homemade version of a popular snack cake made by the East coast-based Tasty Kake company. Those cakes have a plain sponge cake layer as a base, and I wondered what other flavors I could add to the cake for some variety. Some overripe bananas slated to be baked into banana bread caught my eye, and instead I made a banana cake base. The cake is very moist and tender, with a great banana flavor to it. There is some sour cream for added richness, and it keeps the cake moist along with mashed bananas.
Honestly, the cake is excellent on its own without any topping and you could simply stop this recipe there (it’s a great alternative to banana bread!). But if you want to make the cake more decadent, spread a thin layer of peanut butter over the still-warm cake and allow it to set up, cooling as the cake cools. When the peanut butter layer is set, carefully spread a thin layer of dark chocolate over the top to finish it off. The effect is almost like having a candy bar on top of your banana bread – but much, much better.
This cake is best stored in a cool place to keep the topping from melting on a hot day. The cake can even be stored in the refrigerator, although the cake will start to dry out (as do most baked foods) if you store it in the refrigerator for too long. Chill the cake slightly just before serving if it’s hot out, and wrap any leftover pieces for storage in the freezer if you don’t think you’re going to finish it all up in a day or two. If the weather is cool, however, the cake can simply be stored for a few days in an airtight container.