Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Banana Cake

We have a tradition at work. We take turns to bake birthday cakes or cupcakes for the birthday boy or girl! So I had started my search for a perfect banana cake recipe much before the actual birthday of my coworker W. W had wished for banana "cake".

When I was new in this country, I couldn't understand the difference between a banana bread and a banana cake. For me, anything sweet, that came out of a loaf pan - was a cake! When I had made a banana bread and called it a banana cake, my friend's 4 year old son had taken a strong objection. It's not a cake, it's a  bread - he had snapped! I was perplexed. For me, Bimbo, Wibs & Britannia were breads!!:-D

Anyhow, I had many recipes for banana "bread", but I was looking for a banana "cake". I went back to my newly discovered stash of Good Housekeeping recipes. When we got our first apartment after marriage, most of our neighbors were grand, old ladies. They became my friends. One of them was a lady named Nora. She always gave me her old magazines. After reading, when I went to return those magazines, she told me that they were for me, since I was a newly married bride, she encouraged me to make new dishes from the magazines. Whenever I baked something from those recipes, I always wanted to share my goodies with Nora and all other ladies. But  I never really did. I was too scared thinking of any allergies or ailments they might have. I kept those magazines for a long time. But later, I just clipped the recipes. I often wonder about those ladies. We had kept in touch for quite some time even after we had moved out of that apartment, but eventually we lost touch.

So a long story short, that's how I got a recipe for my banana cake.

Banana Cake
1 cup mashed overripe banana (about 3 overripe bananas)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg powder

1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup ricotta cheese (optional)

You will also need
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Grease and flour cake pan. I used Bundt pan.
3. Beat eggs, sugar, butter and ricotta -  if using.
4. Add flour and banana mixture alternately while beating.
5. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Pour the batter in the cake pan.
7. Bake for 30 - 45 minutes.
8. Coll in the pan for 1 minutes.
9. Invert and let it cool completely on a cooling rack.

Note -
1. Always use butter and eggs at room temperature for better results with cakes.
2. I sprinkled some powdered sugar using a sieve instead of using any icing.

Good Housekeeping or Family Circle

Miri of Pepper Mill
Miri of Pepper Mill passed away two weeks back. I was shocked. I really couldn't believe that the article was talking about the same enthusiastic food blogger that I knew through her blog. We never knew each other personally. So I didn't know her real name and I didn't know about her health. But I did know that she has a little daughter and she cooked with her just like I do with mine. I knew that we both started blogging around same time. I knew that she had spent her childhood in Mumbai and was familiar with my neighborhood. So whenever I posted something about  my neighborhood, she would leave a comment. I had bookmarked many of her recipes and had tried & blogged about her "poee"- a Goan bread. My heart goes out to her family - especially her little daughter. Her family will be in my prayers. RIP Miri!

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