Today was bake-y. I don’t like to bake as well as I like to cook, and I’m not as good at it. However, a friend asked me to make my banana cake for her Yom Kippur celebration, so I figured while I was baking I’d just keep on.
The recipe is from the Silver Palate Cookbook.
½ pound (2 sticks) sweet butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ to 2 medium-size, firm but ripe, bananas, sliced
1 ½ cups shelled chopped walnuts
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
honey to taste (about 2 tablespoons)
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-inch layer cake pans.
- Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add mashed bananas, mixing thoroughly.
- Sift dry ingredients and add to butter and egg mixture. Stir until flour has been incorporated completely. Add buttermilk and vanilla. Mix for 1 minute.
- Pour batter into the prepared pans. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Unmold and cool on rack for 2 hours.
- When cooled, place one layer on a serving plate and frost with Cream-Cheese Frosting. Arrange slices of banana over frosting; cover with second layer and frost top and sides of cake.
- Cover sides of cake with chopped nuts, holding nuts in palm and pressing firmly to sides of cake.
This cake is really delicious, but the layers are very short, making for a short squat cake. For that reason, I always double the recipe and make four layers, using three for the finished cake and saving one in the freezer for emergency dessert cravings. The amount of frosting in this recipe works for the three layers.
After I made the banana cake, I started thinking about pumpkin, for some reason. Everyone has pumpkin-everything right now, and I have been wanting some. So I broke out my friend Andrea’s Pumpkin Brownie recipe, because…yum.
1 cup melted butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup cooked pumpkin
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat eggs well. Beat in sugar, butter, pumpkin, and vanilla. Add flour, mixing well; then add spices. Spread brownie mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 9 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting, if desired.
And this was dinner. In anticipation of the Pumpkin Brownie orgy to come, I opted not to use the meat in order to save a few calories. Probably didn’t help much.
8 ounces rice noodles
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ketchup
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
8 ounces diced cooked chicken or shrimp (optional)
2 cups bean sprouts
4 sliced green onions
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
chopped peanuts, lime wedges, chopped cilantro
- Soak rice noodles in boiling water for at least 20 minutes.
- Mix together fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, ketchup, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
- In a wok, heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil. Add garlic and stir-fry until brown. Add eggs and stir-fry until egg is scrambled. Add meat if using. Add drained softened noodles and sauce mixture. Combine well, then stir-fry for at least 3-4 minutes or until noodles are completely soft. If mixture seems dry, add a little water.
- Add bean sprouts, green onions, and peanuts; cook until bean sprouts are wilted and everything is heated through. Garnish with more chopped peanuts, lime wedges, and chopped cilantro.