I love it when bananas are on sale. The slightly spotted bananas which the grocery store knows will ripen exponentially overnight. They have to get rid of them and I am one happy customer who don't mind buying them.
In the grocery store here, this kind of bananas comes in the 5lb bag. OCT being a banana lover, would try to eat as many as he could.While the rest would be left to ripe at room temperature. After which I would either use some to make a cake or freeze them for later use. I find freezing banana extremely convenient and satisfying. I feel empowered knowing that I can make banana cake whenever the craving hits, without making a trip to the grocery store.
Inspired by the bag of ripen bananas we bought not long ago, I am going to share two banana recipes with you.
The first one is a simple coconut banana bread with lime glaze. After trying a few banana bread recipes and found one that I really love, there isn't much incentive or urgency for me to try a new one. As the old adage says "if it isn't broken, don't fix it". However, I was tempted the positive reviews it received from other reviewers. This recipe, which comes from my favorite magazine- Cooking light, also garnered the test kitchen's highest rating. I just have to make it myself and see what the hype's about.
Instead of making it in a loaf pan, as instructed in the recipe, I make it in the muffin pan. It's more convenient for sharing with friends and took half the time to cook.
The coconut banana bread which incorporated low fat yogurt and a few tablespoons of dark rum was full of flavor. I especially love the lime glaze that provided a hint of tang that cut through the sweetness of the banana bread. If you are going to make this recipe, remember not to omit the lime glaze. Since I am not a fan of shredded coconut, I would probably omit it the next time.
The second recipe, is a banana chiffon cake. Recently,I am addicted to the pillowy texture of chiffon cake, and have to make it whenever a good recipe presents itself!Oh how happy we were, biting into the first slice of this cottony soft chiffon cake. The lightness of the cake almost deceived us into finishing half of it in one sitting! Although I like to eat it as it is, I would not consider a thin glaze of chocolate ganache on top to be gilding the lily. Especially when one is considering of bringing this to a party.I am content however, with an unadorned slice of banana chiffon cake to go with my cup of coffee in the morning, or afternoon or even after dinner!
I was initially sceptical of the usage of only one banana in the batter. I mean, it's such a huge cake! But I was pleasantly surprised with the banana flavor in each slice of the chiffon cake. It was the right sweetness and spot on flavor. The secret, as some of you may already know, is to use a very ripe banana.
Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze
adapted from Cookinglight.com
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely on wire rack.
Banana Chiffon Cake
Modified from Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2007 and Carol Bloom's Essential Baker
1 large, ripe banana
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup unflavored vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, separated ( I used 1 1/4 cup of sugar)
7 large eggs, at room temperature, separated (I used 6 extra large eggs)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
confectioner sugar, for dusting
For Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache (optional):
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used 72% chocolate), finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 tablespoons rum
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 325F.
Cut a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and cut out a hole in the middle to fit the center tube of the pan. This cake is baked in an ungreased pan because greasing the pan would keep the batter from rising and gripping the sides of the pan as the cake bakes.
In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, mash the banana. Add water,oil,vanilla and eggyolks. Whisk until well combined.
Over a large piece of parchment paper or bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. Add 3/4 cup of sugar and salt and stir together.
Make a well in the center of the mixture by pushing the dry ingredients towards the side of the bowl. Add the banana mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir together until thoroughly combined.
Place the egg whites in the grease free bowl of an electric mixer or in a large grease free bowl. Using the wire whip attachment or a hand held mixer, whip the egg whites on medium speed until they are frothy. Add the cream of tartar. Slowly sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue whipping until the egg whites hold glossy and firm but not stiff, peaks, about 5 minutes.
Fold the egg whites into the cake batter in 3 to 4 stages, blending thoroughly after each addition. Transfer the batter to the tube pan. Use the rubber spatula to smooth and even the top.
Bake for 1 hour, or until the cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.(Mine took 45-50 minutes).
Remove the pan from the oven and invert it over a cooling rack onto its feet or over a funnel or a thin necked bottle. Let the cake hanf to cook completely. Don't set the pan on a cooling rack on its base. This will cause the cake to collapse onto itself.
Don't shake the cake out of the pan before it is cool. Once the cake is cool. use a thin blade knife or flexible blade spatula to run across the outer edge and the inside tube to help release the cake from the pan. Invert the cake onto a rack, then reinvert onto a serving plate.
Place the cake on a rack over a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar if using.
Making Chocolate Ganache Glaze:
Heat cream, sugar, rum in a saucepan over medium heat until it simmers and bubbles forming on the sides of saucepan. Remove from heat and pour cream over chopped chocolate. Using a rubber spatula, stir to melt chocolate with hot cream until the mixture turns glossy and smooth. Let the chocolate ganache cool to pouring consistency. Pour over the chiffon cake.