As weird as it may sound, one of the must have items in my freezer is banana. You know, those over ripen ones with black dots all over their yellow skin? Sometime I buy bananas with the sole purpose of freezing them. Undoubtly, a few will be consumpted when my back is turned, but most go to the freezer.
The freezed bananas offer me the spontaneity of whipping up a batch of banana cake when the craving calls. No longer do I have to go out to get some, and wait another day or two before they turn into the right stage for banana cake. You know how sometime you see an intriguing recipe in the middle of the night, and want to get into the kitchen to make it immediately? (note to self: don't read food blogs or cookbooks before bed) Such is the case with this banana cake recipe, from Pichet Ong's The Sweet Spot.
I have a favorite banana cake recipe, which I am in a commited relationship and have used it in almost all the events that called for banana cake. But when someone shares a favorite recipe, especially like Chef Pichet Ong, whom I met in NYC, I know I have to give it a try.
The original recipe calls for baby bananas, in which a variety called "Pinang Emas" comes to mind. It is more readily found in South East Asia, although I see it at the farmer market here in Atlanta sometime. It is also the only kind of banana I eat. Did I tell you that I don't eat banana in its original form? Shocking, I know.
For this recipe, I used the regular bananas from the grocery store though. The resulting banana cake is very moist and tasty. Mine turns out a tad short because I used a bigger pan than the recipe called for. Other than that, there isn't much to pick about. I keep my loaf in the freezer, thinking that it would take us sometime to finish. Boy am I wrong! The last slice is gone before I know it!
I know I am going to make this recipe with baby bananas (Pisang Emas) when I go home in November.
adopted from The Sweet Spot: Asian-Inspired Desserts
1/3 cup (78g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
1 cup (155g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (85g) honey
1/2 cup (72g)packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (228g) mashed ripe banana,dotted with black spots all over, from the freezer (or baby bananas)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup (130g) plain whole milk yogurt or sour cream
1 cup (155g) chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet), optional (I used about 1/2 cup)
Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly butter an 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan, set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
Put the butter, honey, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a mixer bowl, and beat with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the bananas and vanila and beat on medium speed until the mixture looks lumpy, about 1 minutes.
Reduce the speed to medium low and beat in the egg until well incorporated. Turn the speed to low, and gradually add in the sifted flour mixture. Mix just until no trace of flour remains, about 10 second. Taking note not to overmix the flour. Add in the yogurt, and mix until the batter has only a few remaining white streaks about 5 second. If you like, stop the mixer and mix in the yogurt by hand instead. Gently fold in the chocolate chips, if desired. (I sprinkle the chocolate chips on the batter after it has been poured into the pan.They will sink slightly into the batter after baked)
Transfer the batter into the greased pan and bake in the center of the oven for 40 minutes or until the tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool completely on rack.