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08/03/2017

~ She's Gone Bananas: Banana-Walnut Bundt Cake ~

IMG_2131How many bananas can a gal put into a bundt cake?  Every time I bake this banana cake, I push the envelope a little farther, and, today I used the entire bunch.  Six bananas.  It yielded a total of 3 cups mashed bananas, and, the recipe, which started out using 1 3/4-2 cups, came out super-moist and full-flavored -- just perfect.  Often times, this is how recipes are developed or improved upon (by trial, error and gutsy experimentation).  That said, me thinks I'll stop improving this one.

IMG_2140The original recipe came from my mother's recipe box and I'm pretty certain she got it from her mother.  Why?  Because my grandmother, a woman who cooked her way through the depression, used oil instead of butter to bake most of her cakes (even after the depression, she still used oil). If you're thinking oil is a compromise, you're wrong.  It makes for a very moist cake.  My mom made banana cake often because dad loved bananas and all things bananas.  Mom made it in a 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan, so, if you'd rather a sheet cake than a bundt cake, it will work just fine.

Rather make a sheet cake?  Bake it in a 13" x 9" x 2" pan.

IMG_2054For the banana-walnut cake:

2 1/2  cups chopped walnuts, lightly toasted (total throughout recipe, 2 cups for the cake + 1 cup for the topping)

3  cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

2  cups sugar

2  teaspoons baking powder

1  teaspoon baking soda

1/2  teaspoon salt

3  large eggs

2 3/4-3 cups mashed banana purée  (from 5-6 large, very ripe, peeled and sliced bananas)

2  teaspoons pure banana extract

1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4  cup vegetable oil

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing bundt pan

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c8f38a50970bFor the cream cheese glaze & walnut topping:

4  ounces cream cheese, at room temperature, very soft

2  cups confectioners' sugar

2  teaspoons butter-rum flavoring

1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2  tablespoons milk, plus 1-2 teaspoons more, if necessary

1/2  cup lightly-toasted and finely-ground walnuts

IMG_8357 IMG_8359 IMG_8368 IMG_8369~Step 1.  Coarsely chop the walnuts.  Place nuts in a small, shallow baking pan.  Roast nuts on center rack of 350° oven, until fragrant and lightly-toasted, about 5-6 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.  While nuts are toasting, in a medium mixing bowl, on medium speed of hand-held electric mixer, purée the sliced bananas.*  Measure 3 cups of the bananas, then add and stir both extracts into the bananas.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, using a fork, whisk the eggs.

*Note:  Bananas don't need to be a smooth purée.  Small bits of fruit laced throughout is perfect.

IMG_2059 IMG_2064 IMG_2067 IMG_2070~Step 2.  In a large bowl, using a large rubber spatula, place and stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the beaten eggs, followed by the banana purée, then, using the spatula fold the mixture together until roughly moistened.  On medium-high speed of hand-held electric mixer, add and thoroughly incorporate the vegetable oil, about 1 minute.

IMG_2073 IMG_2077 IMG_2085Step 3.  Using the rubber spatula, fold in 2 cups of the lightly-toasted chopped walnuts (set the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts aside and use as directed below).  Transfer/pour batter into a 12-cup bundt pan that has been lightly sprayed with no-stick.  Bake on center rack of preheated 350° oven 55-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven, place on a wire rack and cool, in pan, 15 minutes.  Invert cake onto wire rack to cool completely, 2-3 hours.

IMG_2091 2To prepare the cream cheese glaze & walnut topping:

IMG_8410 IMG_8412 IMG_8415 IMG_8420~Step 1.  To prepare the cream cheese glaze and pecan topping, if you have a small, "mini" food processor, now is the time to use it.  Place the remaining 1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts in the work bowl and using a series of 25-30 rapid on-off pulses, process them to small bits and pieces.

IMG_8431 IMG_8434 IMG_8441 IMG_8445~Step 2.  In a food processor fitted with steel blade, place confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, banana and vanilla extracts and 2  tablespoon milk.  Starting with 5-10 on-off pulses and then with the motor running, process for 25-30 seconds until smooth and drizzly.  If necessary, through feed tube, add 1-2 teaspoons additional milk, until desired consistency is reached.

IMG_2100Step 3.  When the cake has cooled completely, and with the cake still sitting on the wire rack: holding your hand 4"-6" above the surface of the cake and moving it (your hand) back and forth, in a slow, steady, stream, drizzle the glaze over the cake, while turning the wire rack about 1/4" with every back-and-forth drizzle, until all the glaze is gone.  While glaze is still moist/sticky, sprinkle the nuts evenly over the top.  Allow glaze to harden a bit prior to slicing cake, 1-2 hours.

Go bananas.  Banana-walnut bundt cake.  Simply irresistible...

IMG_2107... & scrumptious from first bite to last:

IMG_2146She's Gone Bananas:  Banana-Walnut Bundt Cake:  Recipe yields 12-16-20 servings (depending upon how thick or thin you slice the cake).

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; small baking pan; hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; 2-cup measuring container; 1-cup measuring container; fork; whisk; 12-cup bundt pan; wire cooling rack; cake tester; mini-food processor; food processor

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d27d969e970cCook's Note:  For another "fruity" cake recipe, this one containing pineapple, bananas and aromatic spices (cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg), check of my recipe for ~ Charmingly Southern: Hummingbird (Bundt) Cake ~.  Originating in Jamaica, this cake has got a fascinating history worth reading.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2017)

Comments

Pleased to meet you "spirits" & welcome to TypePad. Tomorrow 8/10 is my 7th anniversary of starting my blog. Oddly, subscribe only works via certain servers (or so I've been told), and, over the years, I simply gave up trying to get it worked out -- a great many of my readers find it easier to follow me on Facebook, &, we are a happy bunch of foodies w/varying interests (should you choose to do that). I look forward to checking out your blog, and, keep in touch! ~ Melanie

Hello,I'm new to typepad and was looking for blogs to follow. Then I saw yours in the 'featured blogs' area. So here I am, I've tried to find the follow button but can't. I've clicked the subscribe to blogs feed button and I'm directed to a page full of text. The cake in this article has to be awesome, and I'm going o make it this weekend. Thank you for sharing your excellent recipes. I've got your blog added to my bookmarks.

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