Light and fluffy sponge cake flavoured with bananas and a drop of banana flavouring, topped with a banana liqueur-enhanced buttercream: Totally Bananas Banana Cake.
This started out with a strong desire to make a banana liqueur and put it in a cake, conveniently timing it for a celebration of Cake Of The Week's 2nd anniversary. I followed the recipe that I set out in the Baking With Spirit October Challenge announcement. At first it seemed like the bananas did not like being doused in vodka: they fermented a little too much and the resulting liqueur smelled like too-far-gone bananas. I don't really like to waste things though, so I added the sugar syrup and left the liqueur overnight. Luckily, this time did wonders and mellowed the flavour right out. I was left with a perfectly flavoured banana liqueur, even if it was a little too brown for my liking.
Though the liqueur turned out alright in the end, I hit another flaw in my plan pretty quickly. I'd been planning to decorate the cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which requires a hell of a lot of whisking. This is normally no problem, but last week my electric whisk finally gave out on me and I had to throw it out. I'm not an insane person, so manual whisking was totally out of the question. Instead I had to resort to the more commonly used buttercream which uses icing sugar and butter.
Oh - and then I ran out of caster sugar, so I had to substitute in some icing sugar. Perfect.
Moving on, today we're celebrating two years of Cake Of The Week. Two years ago today I posted my first ever post, Flapjacks, and a year ago today I posted my (slightly disastrous) Peanut Butter, Banana & Chocolate Cake. Last year I picked out my three favourite posts from the last year, so to celebrate another year of blogging I'm going to do the same thing (as well as eat this cake):
- Cheesecake Brownies With Ganache Topping [Low Fat]
- Raspberry Cupcakes With Bailey's Icing
- Campfire Cake
Though this Totally Bananas Banana Cake didn't go as intended, neither do many of the cakes I make so I think it sums up my 'roll with it' attitude to baking, which is no bad thing. I'm not a perfectionist, but when a cake does go exactly as planned it is pretty exciting. It's good to know that I can deal with it when this doesn't happen, though.
Help me celebrate two years of blogging by making this cake too! If you don't want to make the liqueur (though it has very little hands-on time - most of the time the ingredients are just sat in a jar) you could use more banana flavouring, or if you're a banana purist you can try adding lemon juice to some mashed banana, draining them and beating them into the icing.
For the banana liqueur (makes approx. 300mL)
- 350mL Vodka
- 2 Ripe Bananas
- 240g Caster Sugar
- 240mL Water
For the banana cake
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 200g Butter
- 200g Plain Flour
- 2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Ripe Bananas
- 50mL Milk
- 1 Tsp Banana Flavouring (I got mine at Lawson's)
For the banana buttercream
- 75g Butter
- 500g Icing Sugar
- 75mL Banana Liqueur
- Yellow Gel Food Colouring
To make the banana liqueur
- Slice the bananas and place them in a large jar (or two smaller ones) and cover with the vodka. Seal with a lid and leave for 3 days, shaking every 24 hours.
- Strain the bananas using a fine sieve, catching the flavoured vodka in a jug.
- In a saucepan, make a simple syrup by heating the water and caster sugar together until dissolved, then allow to cool.
- Stir the simple syrup into the flavoured vodka, pour into the container (e.g. a glass bottle) you want to store the liqueur in and leave for 24 hours. Your liqueur is now ready to 'sample'.
To make the banana cake
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan and line to cake tins with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the batter and fold in until well combined.
- Chop the bananas into small chunks and stir into the batter.
- Add enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency, then stir in the banana flavouring.
- Divide the batter between the tins and bake in the oven for 22 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
To make the banana icing
- Place the icing sugar and butter in a bowl.
- Whisk together until soft and fluffy (1-2 minutes).
- Beat in the banana liqueur - taste as you go to make sure the flavour comes through adequately.
As I mentioned above, this uses a home made banana liqueur. DIY liqueurs are the theme for this month's Baking With Spirit challenge (hosted by me), so this cake is my entry. The deadline is the 28th of this month, so if you're feeling inspired then get baking!