BANANA BUNDT CAKE
For the past few months I have been on a cookbook collecting spree! For days, I researched on what books should be must-haves for any baker, made a list, logged into my Amazon account, checked the reviews of those books, added them to my cart, realized the list had become too long, decided to save the books for later, narrowed the list down, and then finally giving a sheepish grin to my DH (luckily, he is the kind who thinks spending on books is an investment :)), I ordered the books. One of the books I ordered, was “Baking- from my home to yours” by Dorie Greenspan. The book is a lovely treasure and so is Dorie. Her instructions are beautiful. I read the book like a kid reading a story book, flipping through the pages, marvelling at all the pictures (sheesh I’m such a baking nerd!), wishing I could be transported into a world filled with all the goodies in the book.
Now once you have a cookbook, it’s only fair to make something from it. My first attempt from the book was the Lemon Poppy Seed muffins. This was also my first attempt at baking in my new oven! It was also the first time I was calling my girlfriends at home – actually the first time I was calling anybody to MY home (recently married you see, new house , new life! Exciting!) While I got rave reviews for the muffins, I was not too happy with the results – the oven temperature listed was a little too high for my oven and I personally felt that the muffins could have been more moist.
Not giving up on the book yet, though, since I had read a lot of great reviews for it, and well this is Dorie Greenspan I’m talking about- she taught Julia Child how to bake (well kind of!). So I decided to try another recipe. For long I always wanted to bake a Bundt cake and now being the proud owner of a bundt pan, that’s where I thought I should head next. So, I checked the index and there it was the Classic Banana Bundt Cake recipe! Bananas- cool DH loves them- finally he will see that all that spending was worth it =)! And it truly was! Moist with a nice flavour of banana, everybody loved the cake!
CLASSIC BANANA BUNDT CAKE
source: “Baking from my home to yours” by Dorie Greenspan
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter (should be at room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs (again room temperature)
1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups bananas, (I used 4 large, very ripe bananas )
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
Center a rack in the oven. Preheat oven to 350° F. Generously butter a 9-10 inch Bundt pan.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes in. ( I prefer to break an egg in a bowl first and then add- that ways if a shell peice does fall in with the egg , I can easily remove it with the help of another egg shell).
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the bananas. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (Dorie says not to worry if the batter curdles- its normal), all the sour cream and then the rest of the flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to de-bubble the batter and smooth the top.
Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. (It took about 73 minutes for my cake to be done and since the top was browning too quickly, I had to cover it loosely with a foil midway).
Transfer cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool to room temperature.
If you’ve got the time, wrap the cooled cake in plastic and allow it to sit on the counter overnight before serving – it’s better the next day!
Tip: In his book “Classic Home Desserts” by Richard Sax, he mentions that in case one forgets to take the butter out of the fridge in advance, grating the cold butter into the mixing bowl will help it warm more quickly. Another trick that French pastry chefs use is to cut the butter into pieces and place it in a heatproof bowl. Then place the bowl on a stovetop burner over low heat, breaking it with a wooden spoon till it becomes warm, soft and creamy–but not melted. You will still see some solid pieces. When mixed with an electric mixer, it should soon become fluffy!