Tomorrow is the last day our landscape architecture studio is meeting (hopefully!). Its finals week here on campus, so classes are finishing up and projects are being completed. I decided to make a cake and take it to our studio since I’m always looking for a reason to try new baking recipes.
Today I made a banana cake with whipped cream icing topped with coconut. I have tons of frozen bananas in my freezer, so it gave me a good reason to make this recipe out of my Modern Baker book (I love this book!) He has all kinds of recipes for baking sweets and savory dishes.
Yes, you can freeze bananas. It’s a great way to use them when they’ve gone past their prime for regular eating. I usually buy bananas every week, but sometimes they go brown before I get to eat all of them. To freeze bananas, simply put them in the freezer as is, with peel and all. When you want to use them, just defrost them.
Mashed bananas from the freezer
I’ve found a good way to do this. Simply cut off the stem part of the bananas and defrost them in the microwave 1-2 minutes, depending on how many you have. I had three. Then I take a cutting knife and split the skin down the middle on one side. Then I peel back the skin. That’s it! They’re perfectly good. I like thawing them this way because they seem to become less watery, which is what happens when you thaw them in the refrigerator. It is still okay to do this. You can use the liquid in your baking, but you can also drain it if you want to.
Bananas have a high fat content, which is why they freeze well. If you want to use them in baking, make sure you let the bananas get really brown before you freeze them. This creates more of the banana flavor in the baked good. You can also use frozen bananas in smoothies.
BANANA COCONUT CAKE
WHIPPED CREAM ICING
TO MAKE CAKE:
TO MAKE WHIPPING CREAM
*To stabilize the whipping cream, use a chilled metal bowl for the mixing. You may also purchase a whipping cream stabilizer packet at the store, or add in a teaspoon of cream of tartar. I used a packet of whipping cream stabilizer. This prevents the whipping cream from getting watery while sitting.
Frost the cake and sprinkle with the shredded coconut.
I like icing the bottom of the cake because it is rougher in texture and allows the icing to stay on better.
*For an even more sophisticated cake, add in a tablespoon of dark rum to both the cake and icing mixtures. This is called for in the original recipe.
>I haven’t been really cooking that much lately because of being busy. Wednesday was our last community meeting with Scott County. Our project is finally wrapping up and our final book and products are being put together. They will soon be on the web!
A few photos from the meeting in Scott County:
This weekend is going to be pretty eventful. It looks like the weather isn’t going to cooperate though, so some of the things we planned may not happen. For this busy weekend, I’m fixing a two layer round cake, which I haven’t done before. Since Easter is coming up soon, I decided that it should be a carrot cake. I’m always up for a baking challenge! Here is my adapted recipe from Alton Brown’s.
If you didn’t want to use the round cake pans, I think a 9X13 pan would work well. If you do, you may want to cut the frosting recipe in a third since you will only be frosting the top! It was a little too much frosting as it was!
CARROT CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
One of my favorite baking books is “The Modern Baker” by Nick Malgieri. I like this book because it shows you methods of baking with all different types of doughs and how to make different icings. I’m not a huge fan of lemon desserts, but this one looked really good. It’s cold outside right now, so I think a lemon dessert might help with my dream of summer. This is a different dessert, so I think at a potluck it would stand out. Garnish with lemon zest or thin slivers of lemon peel and I think people will know it’s lemon.