Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Banana Streusel Snack Cake

What a nice day! I spent the day babysitting for my niece O while her parents were out. She is a little monkey, curious and climbing everywhere. But she was truly a pleasure to watch and I'm so glad we got to bond. Crazy though how cold it is where they live. It was spring last week and now it's winter again.... Go figure. In other news... I'm going to New York for Pesach! I couldnt be more excited. Pesach will be almost a year since I've seen my parents and even more than a year since I've last seen my sisters and nieces. This time around, there's a new baby to meet, too. I can hardly wait. Finally and most importantly....the last of the bananas are finished! And I must say, I don't think they could have gone to better use even if they tried. Seriously, I'm not sure where this banana cake has been all my life- it puts banana bread to shame. Moist, tender and bursting with banana flavor, this cake rocks a crunchy streusel that is nothing short of brilliantly divine. The recipe comes from Flo Braker's masterpiece, Baking for All Occasions. (Sadly, this book is an underused one on my shelf, but that all changes right now! Thumbing through the book again it amazes me how many creative and mouthwatering recipes there are. Buy this book, people.) I made this yesterday around lunch time and it disappeared in no less than fifteen minutes. It didnt even have time to cool completely. They had a hard time waiting the fifteen minutes before I would let them dive into it. But they unanimously decided that it was well worth the wait. I made this recipe exactly as is except that I substituted all purpose flour for the cake flour, by weight. Also, if there's no one around demanding a slice, make sure it cools completely- you cant get a smooth slice if its too hot.

Banana Streusel Snack Cake
from Baking for All Occasions

6 tbsp all purpose flour
6 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp softened butter or margarine
1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 ounces unsalted butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly coat a 9x5 inch loaf pan with butter or margarine. Set aside.
Place all of the streusel ingredients into a small bowl.

Rub together with you fingers until crumbs form. Set aside.
Place the bananas in another small bowl,
and add the milk and vanilla.
Blend thoroughly and set aside.
Sift the flour onto a sheet of parchment. Add the leaveners and salt and set aside.
Place the margarine and sugar in a bowl.
Cream.Add the egg,
and beat until combined.Add the banana mixture,
and mix. It will look curdled at this point; that's okay.
Add the dry ingredients,
and mix until all the flour is moistened. Do not overbeat!
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.
Top evenly with the streusel.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool for ten minutes. Place another rack onto the pan and use it to invert the cake onto it. Once the cake has released, use the first rack to turn it right side up. Allow to cool completely.

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