With all the produce going in and out of the kitchen, this past week we discovered that the fruit flies had decided to make their home here. Not many, but where there are few, many usually are not far behind. This meant that a bunch of nicely browned bananas needed to be used right away- waiting would only increase the quantity of flies in the house, and I really wanted to get them managed before the got out of hand. Right away my thoughts turn to banana bread, but as I am out of walnuts, and did not want to make a trip to the store, banana bread was out. (It just is not the same without the walnuts.) So I turned to baking genius Dorie Greenspan and I was not disappointed.
Her Classic Banana Bundt Cake is just as easy to put together as banana bread, only it makes an impressive looking cake to serve company. The batter came together very quickly, it was pretty basic, flour, butter, sugar, eggs, leavening and bananas. I used yogurt instead of the sour cream and before I knew it the cake was filled with a wonderful baking banana aroma. Since I baked the cake on Saturday for Sunday Dinner, I took the generous advice Dorie gave and wrapped my cake with plastic wrap overnight. I decided at the last minute to glaze the cake. I took powdered sugar, cocoa, and a drizzle of brewed coffee, mixed them together until combined and drizzled away. I was a little disappointed that the coffee did not come through very well, but then later Abigail told me she thought the glaze tasted funny- that it started out tasting like coffee then chocolate. Huh. Guess the mocha worked.
The cake was delicious! It did taste similar to banana bread, but the texture was definitely lighter. It was so moist and really, it just was an excellent cake. The mocha glaze really is not necessary, but it did jazz it up a bit, and I like the chocolate-mocha flavor in combination with the bananas. I can recommend the Classic Banana Bundt Cake from Dorie Greenspan wholeheartedly. It is a delicious cake, and definitely company worthy.
Classic Banana Bundt Cake
from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Generously butter a 9 to 10 inch bundt pan. (If you've got a silicon pan, there's no need to butter it.) Don't place the pan on a baking sheet- you want the oven's heat to circulate through the Bundt's inner tube.
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. 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 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 65 to 75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after 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.
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 even better the next day.