I haven’t baked all week so when my friend asked me to bake a cake for her Dads 80th birthday my mind started going (and going and going). My first thought was trying the Salty and Sweet Chocolate Cake recipe from Baked which I have been dying to try out but then thought that older people might not really like a cake with a salty caramel filling that soaks into the cake and sea salt sprinkled on top (what with sodium count and all) – maybe too over the top. My friend thought of my Red Velvet cake with Cream Cheese filling (I’ll post at a later date) but I just made that so I wasn’t really into that either. She said that her Dad really liked banana -no nuts though- so I have come up with a cake that is a combination of all 3 cakes. I used the salted caramel filling from the Sweet and Salty cake but also add cream cheese to it. That mixture will get mixed with Italian meringue buttercream for the filling.I found the cake recipe over at Recipezaarr but changed it where I thought it needed it. I have substituted 1 cup of Demerra sugar for some of the granulated. I love the depth that it adds to baked goods. I also replaced 1 cup of all-purpose flour with cake flour to lighten it up a little and give it a tender crumb. If you don’t have cake flour handy by all means just use all all- purpose. This recipe is quite interesting as it bakes the cake at a low temperature for a longer time and then you pop the cake directly into the freezer to cool. It makes the final result nice and moist. I did this entire cake in stages, first baking the cake 2 days ahead of time. Not only does this save me time but it lets the flavors develop which I think is really important with Banana cake. After they were in the freezer for 45 minutes I split the cakes,wrapped them well in plastic wrap and put them back in the freezer overnight. I also made the caramel cream cheese which I put in the fridge overnight until I was ready to mix it with the buttercream.
I used two 9 inch cake rounds but you could use one 9×13 cake pan instead. Spray your tins with PAM and line with parchment paper. I knew I wanted 3 layers for my cake so I put more batter in one pan than the other and split one layer but if you are not used to doing this I would recommend filling the 2 cake pans evenly and having just 2 thicker layers for your cake. (Or just make the 9×13 and save yourself the work). This cake is great on it’s own-don’t feel you need to make the caramel or the buttercream to enjoy this.
Banana Cake – preheat the oven to 275 F
1 1/2 cups bananas,(about 3) pureed with juice of one lemon ( I like to do this in my mini food processor so there are no chunks left at all)
2 C all purpose flour
1 C cake flour (not self rising)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 C Demerra sugar (if you can’t find it use dark brown sugar instead)
1 C granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Sift the flours,baking soda and salt together- set aside
Beat the butter in a standing mixer for at least 3 minutes on medium speed to get it light and fluffy and then add the sugars- beat another 3 minutes. With the mixer on low add the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated then add the vanilla.
Alternate adding the dry mix and the buttermilk in 3 stages, starting with the dry ingredients first. Stop the mixer and add the banana puree with a rubber spatula, stirring until well combined.
Pour into your prepared cake tins, bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. immediately put the cake (in the tin) into your freezer and leave it there for 45 minutes. After that you can take it out of the pan and either fill and frost right away, simply dust with powdered sugar, or wrap it well in plastic wrap and put it back in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
Caramel Cream Cheese Filling
You can use this as a frosting as well. I bet it would be great with an apple cake, spice cake, or carrot cake. This recipe calls for a candy thermometer, which I really recommend everyone owning. You don’t need an expensive one- one of mine is from the dollar bin and it works just as well as my $20 one
1 C sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/4 cup sour cream
1 C cream cheese, softened and cut in cubes (I used one pkg of Philly cc)
Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, mix together cream and salt. Bring cream to a boil and cook until salt has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. If you don’t have fleur de sel, just omit the salt and heat the cream
When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Carefully add the hot cream to the caramel; stir to combine. Whisk in sour cream.
Drop the cream cheese into the hot mixture and keep stirring until it is fully incorporated. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to chill and firm up.Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
Now— when I made this cake I added 1 cup of this filling to 1 cup of italian meringue buttercream to make a crazy good filling but this is really good just as it is.
I love real buttercream, so don’t be scared to make it. The taste and texture is surely worth it. This recipe makes 4 cups.
This recipe is from The Wedding Cake Book, one of my all time favorite books
1/2 C Pure Maple Syrup (you could also use honey instead)
4 Large egg whites
1 lb unsalted butter
Place the maple syrup in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, place your egg whites in a clean, grease-free (this is very important) mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment, whip the whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. Turn the mixer up to high and beat until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. While doing this, turn the heat up on the syrup and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. When the egg whites are stiff and the syrup boiling, remove the syrup from the heat, turn off the mixer and add some of the syrup. Immediately turn the mixer back on and continue to pour in the syrup in a steady stream, avoiding the beaters.
Whisk on high until cool, about 10 minutes. Touch the bottom of the bowl to feel the temperature. When the bowl is cool, stop the machine and test the surface of the meringue. It should be cool to the touch. Then turn the mixer back on (at medium) and add the softened butter, just 2 or 3 tbsp at a time until it is all in. Do not worry if it looks curdled- keep beating. After about 5 minutes it will all of a sudden it will come together into a beautiful light mass. Use immediately to frost your cake or put it into an airtight container for the fridge (up to 1 week) or in the freezer (up to 1 month). If you chill it or freeze it before frosting your cake you must bring it back to room temperature and re-whip it for a few minutes before using.