Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we could solve problems with cake?
I have my own reasons for baking and one of them is of course my quest for the best darned fool-proof cake recipes. Another reason is that baking cakes brings me immense pleasure. I actually like the feeling you can get when the cake’s in the oven and the aromas wafting out are sweet and enticing. I like the anticipation when you have to wait until the cake cools on its rack—or you’ll risk unmolding a broken cake if it hasn’t had time to firm up. I like my fingers dancing a hot chunk of cake into my mouth; the crust still crunchy, caramelized and warm.
However, one of the more esoteric reasons I bake, is so that I can give away my goodies. Only that doesn’t jive with some people I know. The concept eludes them. They must think I’m nuts to spend good hard-earned money, time and effort to feed people I don’t have any reason to feed. I understand. It must seem weird. But it feels good. So I do it.
I must not be alone though. There are a kajillion food blogs out there (hello, fellow foodies!) and not a small number of these food bloggers also gift the products of their labour away.
I do wonder what those other people (the food recipients) think though. Sure, you get recipients who, like Pavlov’s dog, start salivating when they see you. Or the Hoovers who eat pretty much everything and anything you place on the staffroom lunch table (bless them!) and profess their undying love for your baked goods. But there are a few recipients who kind of smile a little funny at you and you can detect their little hamster wheels turnin’ inside as they’re thinking “what the heck does she want in return?”
Nothing. Don’t wanna be your friend if you aren’t already. Don’t want a favour. Don’t want you to bake me something in return (unless of course you want do). Don’t want to pad my “Owes me something” list. Don’t want to get rid of stuff ‘cause it tastes bad.
Don’t eat it if it’s causing you any angst whatsoever because it’s simply flour, butter and sugar. It’s not a covert operation where I’m baking and gifting for some sort of world domination.
Well, not this time. I was recently inspired to make yet another cake with bananas when I noticed a frozen lump of ripe bananas in the back of my freezer. No, it didn’t have freezer burn. Frozen bananas don’t really last too long in my household. Not when there are so many different banana cake recipes to try!
This Lemon Glazed Banana Bundt cake was inspired by Greenspan’s “Classic Banana Bundt Cake” recipe in her Baking: From My Home to Yours. I say inspired because I totally took liberties with it and adapted the heck out of it. However, the overall recipe and technique is still pretty much the same. I discovered that I don’t really like sour cream in my banana cake. It’s too twangy for me. But buttermilk’s okay. So I tried an experiment using a soured whipping cream. I added a tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of whipping cream and let it sit for a while while I readied my other ingredients. I swapped out the regular sugar for a combination of brown sugar and organic evaporated cane sugar and used all organic ingredients to ensure profound yumminess.
LEMON GLAZED BANANA BUNDT CAKE
(inspired by and adapted from Greenspan’s “Classic Banana Bundt Cake” from Baking: From My Home to Yours)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- approx. 4 very ripe bananas, pureed (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-to 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan.
- In a cup, add the lemon juice to the whipping cream and allow to sit until ready to use.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.
- Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugars and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (don’t be disturbed when the batter curdles), all the soured whipping cream and then the rest of the flour mixture. Scrape the batter in the pan, rap the pan on the counter to de-bubble the batter and smooth the top.
- Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Check the cake after about 30 minutes—if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool to room temperature.
- Glaze with the Lemon Glaze (recipe follows). Or eat plain because it’s SO good on its own too! Wrap in plastic and allow to sit on the counter overnight before serving—if you can wait that long!
Sift 3/4 cups confections’ sugar into a bowl and squeeze in enough lemon juice to make an icing thing enough to drizzle down the Bundt’s curves (2 teaspoons, added in drops).