Monday, March 8, 2010

Banana Poppy Seed Cake

We're starting again with the bananas! This time, I've bitten off way more than I can chew. Last week, I took an entire bunch of bananas and they've finally gone bad. Except now I dont know what to do with them. Ive already made banana everything. I might have to start repeating... Anyway, when I got home from Shabbat in Alon Shvut, the first thing I did was turn on the oven to make a dent in the bunch. Ive been flipping through all my cookbooks in search of promising banana recipes. Having struck gold last time with Flo Braker's banana snack cake, I decided to try her recipe for Banana Poppy Seed Cake, since I had everything on hand. The cake is really easy to put together and when baked in a ten inch round springform pan bakes up really quickly. I made the lemon glaze a bit skeptically. I'm always afraid to bake things that have a more sophisticated flavor profile because Im never sure that my girls will enjoy anything other than chocolate. So I was incredibly surprised when this cake mostly disappeared in about ten minutes, receiving glowing reviews. No one complained about the poppy seeds, which I think contribute a beautiful appearance and the lemon glaze which, although nervous about, was in perfect balance with the flavor of the bananas. This quite an elegant tea cake. It would be lovely at the end of a heavy dinner, with tea and coffee. I also personally love the look of cakes baked in round springforms. They look so delicate and sophisticated. I really should make them more often. Theyre a great alternative to the ubiquitous bundt. For now though, its back to the banana drawing board.

Banana Poppy Seed Cake
from Baking for All Occasions

1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup well shaken buttermilk
1 stick unsalted butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp poppy seeds

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a ten inch springform pan with non stick spray. Set aside.
Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and poppy seeds in a bowl.
Whisk to combine. Set aside.
In a small bowl place the mashed bananas and buttermilk.
Whisk to combine.
In another bowl, place the margarine and sugar.
Beat or mix to cream. I usually take the lazy way out by using a plastic bag as a glove and mix things that way. I hate dirtying my hand mixer when I dont have to. Thats how I mash bananas, too.
Add the eggs one at a time,
blending well after each addition.
Add the banana/buttermilk mixture,
and mix. The mixture will look curdled at this point but thats okay.
Add the dry ingredients,
and stir to make a uniform batter.Pour into the pan and spread to all of the edges. Bake the cake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is nice and browned.
For the glaze, place all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
Mix to combine, adjusting the liquid to make it drizzle-able.
Drizzle over the cake. Dig in!

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